The Montreal-based International Council of Societies of Industrial Design is striving to broaden its global membership while spotlighting the concept of a World Design Capital, selecting Torino, Italy, for the designation in 2008 and Seoul, South Korea, in 2010.
ICSID held its world design congress Oct. 17-20 in San Francisco, in collaboration with the Industrial Designers Society of America, and then conducted its general assembly there Oct. 21-22.
``ICSID is about communication and connecting people,'' council President Peter Zec said. ``ICSID was able to connect people during the Cold War'' because the Soviet Union would allow designers to attend industry meetings.
Zec is president of the Essen, Germany-based Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, an association that organizes the Red Dot design competition and operates Red Dot museums in Essen and Singapore.
Zec's 2005-07 term as ICSID president ended Oct. 22, and he passed the responsibility to Carlos Hinrichsen for the 2007-09 term.
Based in Santiago, Chile, Hinrichsen directs the school of design of the Instituto Profesional DuocUC of the Pontificia Universidad CatÃ³lica de Chile and is the Latin American-region design director for Design Innovation of Milan, Italy.
In an interview, Hinrichsen said he would like to broaden ICSID membership beyond the current concentration in the Northern Hemisphere.
He will encourage ICSID growth in Asia, Latin America and Africa. He envisions membership development including China and India and wants ICSID to serve as a bridge to Southern Hemisphere design operations. ICSID can ``offer a chance to see the design community from another point of view,'' Hinrichsen said.
Torino is gearing up for an extensive World Design Capital program next year. Torino was the host for the winter Olympics in 2006.
The effort in Torino consists of about 120 events, including a New Year's Eve celebration. A display of 350 objects from the Compasso d'Oro design award collection will be exhibited through February. Twenty geodesigns will be shown throughout Torino in April, and multiple conferences, exhibitions and educational events are on the 2008 schedule.
On Oct. 20, Zec announced an international jury had selected Seoul as the 2010 World Design Capital. Twenty cities showed interest in the competition.
ICSID has about 150 member groups representing 150,000 designers. ICSID is a partner of - and shares a five-person office in Montreal with - the International Design Alliance.
Members of ICSID include professional organizations, promotional societies, educational institutions, government bodies, companies and institutions with a role in developing the industrial design profession.
ICSID was formed in 1957 and based its operations, successively, in Paris; Brussels, Belgium; Helsinki, Finland; Essen and, since May 2005, Montreal. A public-private partnership in Montreal has agreed to host ICSID for 10 years; a total of 36 cities bid to host ICSID operations, said Dilki de Silva, ICSID secretary general.