World Design Summit extends Call for Proposals for Montréal 2017

The World Design Summit has extended its First Call for Papers for the summit to be held in Montréal, Canada from October 16 to 25, 2017. The deadline for submissions is October 17, 2016.

The World Design Summit Montréal 2017 is an international event during which practitioners, academics and other players from the design scene will get together to address a broad spectrum of issues related to the various disciplines of design. The sessions will be constructed to foster crossovers and the exchange of knowledge between disciplines.

What are the innovative design ideas and actions that could bring about better futures? How can design in all its facets respond to issues as a transformational agent that supports cultural, political, economic, environmental and everyday societal needs? These are the key and essential questions that will drive discussions at the World Design Summit.

The Call for Proposals is open to scholars, practitioners and concerned parties from all spectrums of the design disciplines, including: architecture, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, urban planning and interstitial or hybrid practices. The committee is looking for presentations and papers that provoke paradigm shifts, and that propose how we might rethink challenging world issues through design processes and their applications. The committee encourages the coming together of the design disciplines to explore issues of importance to all disciplines, from both specific and interdisciplinary perspectives.

Overview of the Summit

Title: World Design Summit Montréal 2017 – WDS2017
Date: October 16-25,  2017
Venue: Palais des Congrès
Host City: Montréal, Canada
Theme: 10 days to change the world

WDS2017 will host design professionals, government and business leaders, industry representatives, media and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world. For 10 days, attendees will come together to work beyond silos, foster cooperation and enhance scientific and professional development. The Summit will aim to use the unique capacity of design to contribute to the creation of viable solutions to our current challenges.

Important Dates:

Online Submission Deadline – October 17, 2016
Notification of Acceptance – December 15, 2016
Registration Deadline for accepted presenters – January 31, 2017
Presentation File Submission – May 1 –June 15, 2017
Feedback on Presentation File – July 1 – September 1, 2017


The Scientific and Professional Committee invites proposals for presentations and sessions inspired by the Summit’s six major themes outlined below:

Design for Participation – In this era, individuals and groups can take part in social and political life – all kinds of private or public projects – through a number of public platforms and policies. In this often collaborative and consultative context, what is the role and status of the designer? Design disciplines fundamentally contribute to shaping the virtual and physical spaces of both private and public communities, as well as fostering and shaping culture and heritage, both past and future. How can designers help address issues like inequality or the evolution of participation and representation in the political process and in social life?

Design for Earth – In the midst of the Anthropocene, how can we transform our living environments to respect the capacity of ecosystems and, even more, restore their balance and reveal their potential? Humans are indeed part of nature and, as such, as fragile as our living environment. Beyond responding to emergencies and disasters or immediate conditions, the design disciplines can also offer broader, more sustainable approaches to shape the world for the long term. Going beyond short-term, market-driven needs can allow designers to drop conventions, look at their work on a different scale and become agents of change who can generate alternatives to the status quo.

Design for Beauty – The creation of useful objects to planning green spaces in urban contexts, design disciplines share a concern for sensible and wise design. The beauty of objects, buildings, interiors, cities and landscapes is not superfluous: it is essential. However, the decision to beautify or not, is most often political. Furthermore, these perspectives on sustaining well being and making life more than just bearable oscillate between universal designs that reach across the globe to inspiration from local realities that can provide more adapted ways to improve quality of life.

Design for Sale? – The role of design within modern economic systems can take many shapes and generate often unexpected results – with outcomes that can be significantly better or worse than originally planned. What is the value of design within the production of goods and the development of society as a whole? While design can be used for commodity, it can also be used for the common good, with the latter implying a more political design voice, driven by values and ideals, rather than a solely monetary purpose.

Design for Transformation – Climatic shifts, seasonal changes, day and night cycles, high tides, low tides and human tides all impose transformative criteria and context to the design of goods, experiences and processes, both for more permanent projects and for more fleeting moments. The evolving nature of the relationship between cities, their surrounding hinterland and global networks of all kinds also create a need for adapting and rethinking territories and exchanges. New insights, new approaches, new tools and new materials facilitate the increased need to design, redesign or rethink – and therefore make design a source of transformation.

Design for Extremes – Recent migratory movements are challenging political and design strategies to forecast gradual human migrations between countries and even within one country, through political upheavals and/or as a result of climate change. As rising sea levels change the shape of continents, as new spaces become more accessible and others unliveable, the capacity to adjust to such dramatic shifts will become even more essential. Canada, reaching all the way to the Arctic, will be at the heart of those changes. How can design solutions support these sociological, economic or political migrations?

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