Professor Dr Zec, Icsid president, held the anniversary address in San Francisco.
Kenji Ekuan, Japan
Loek van der Sande, The Netherlands
Deane W. Richardson, USA
Mr. Luigi Ferrara, Canada
As many organisations of its scale, Icsid depends on the exchange with its members - as here 1969 in London ...
... 1981 in Helsinki ...
... or 1997 in Toronto.
Torino was appointed World Design Capital 2008.


50 years of Icsid – International Council of Societies of Industrial Design celebrates 50th anniversary

Invigorating anniversary address held by Professor Dr. Peter Zec also opens design congress CONNECTING’07

The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) celebrated its 50-year anniversary. On October 17 at the Masonic Center, San Francisco, some 1,000 designers from all over the world attended the anniversary ceremony, which simultaneously inaugurated the 25th international design congress CONNECTING’07. Professor Dr. Peter Zec, the current Icsid president, appearing in an all-out white attire, delivered the main speech of the evening event. In his address, he underlined the unrelenting relevance of the Council’s half a century: “Fifty years of Icsid and design history show, first and foremost, that the Council has managed to survive throughout – itself an achievement given that most companies don’t even reach that milestone.” Since 1957, Icsid has enjoyed an incredible status in design development: it offers guidance; serves as a hub and platform; has credibility and competence; and is regarded as an authority. “Icsid remains an organisation worthwhile to be on good terms with for those wanting to establish a name for themselves in international design”, said Zec. He further explained: “Icsid has really achieved a lot and still serves a very timely and relevant purpose as there are still many countries and regions, for example, Asia, Africa, or South America, that have great need for improvement in matters of design. A further phenomenon is that design has prioritised industrial and economic development, at the expense of cultural and social aspects. These, however, are nearly equally important. This confirms the timeliness of Icsid’s vision and mission to be involved in the socio-cultural sector.”

The 50 years of Icsid correspond to 50 years of current events, such as politics, culture, society, and sports. Over those decades, Icsid has shaped design history. Since its official inception on June 29, 1957 in London, Icsid has tirelessly pursued its mission of promoting and strengthening industrial design on an international level. Since its beginnings, it has been individual people who have marked and advanced Icsid as an institution.

“Icsid lives through people, in other words, the many personalities who have served throughout the decades on the executive board and in the secretariat, who have worked with unfailing dedication, and who have identified with the concerns of industrial design. These individuals have established networks, many of which are still used today, as well as new partnerships that are continually being created”, said Zec. He also took the occasion to express his thanks to his forerunners and to the attending Icsid senators Kenji Ekuan, Luigi Ferrara, Robert Blaich, Dean Richardson, and Luk Van der Sande. Today, Icsid has a membership of 150,000 esteemed industrial designers and unites more than 150 institutions, universities and other institutions of higher learning, and companies from over 50 nations.

As many organisations of its scale, Icsid depends on the exchange with its members. As early as 1959, the Council held its first congress, accompanied by a general assembly in Stockholm, Sweden. Still today, these biennial congresses are among the most important and biggest events in the design world, as testified by the big participation in this year’s San Francisco congress with 2,000 registered designers, design promoters, and journalists.

However, Zec not only emphasised Icsid’s many former achievements; he also pointed to the bright future that lies ahead. The past two presidential terms have advanced promising projects, among them the cooperation with the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (Icograda), part of the International Design Alliance (IDA), and the World Design Capital competition initiated and carried out in the framework of that cooperation. The competition, which takes place every two years, was created to identify and recognise cities from all over the world that have effectively used design to revive the city and improve its quality of life. As a the first municipality to hold the title, the City of Torino, Italy, officially accepted the designation as the 2008 Pilot Project for the World Design Capital competition.  

At the Icsid General Assembly, taking place at the closing of CONNECTING’07, Professor Dr. Peter Zec will officially assign the office of Icsid president to his successor, the Chilean Carlos Hinrichsen.

Hall of Fame – Volume 2
Design for a better quality of life

Edited by Peter Zec on behalf of Icsid

What contribution does the factor design make to a better quality of life? An answer is found in the publication “Hall of Fame – Volume 2” introducing those players of the global design scene whose creative and innovative achievements have characterised the “Design of the World”. Landmarks of design history are documented as well as current products. It is published by Prof. Dr. Peter Zec on behalf of Icsid, the world umbrella organisation of industrial designers.

You can order the Hall of Fame, Volume 2 here in our bookshop: