President's Statement

The Design Society, a Worldwide Community

The Design Society was founded in 2001 to continue the successful work of the international society of design science WDK, which was founded in the early nineteen-eighties as an informally constituted international society based on a common interest in engineering design. Since then a dramatic change in industrial and educational needs has taken place due to the dominance of mechatronic products, the advancement of computers and software - tools, and the need for life-cycle-design and human insight in design.

With the global economic downturn and the environmental pressures that face us there may never have been a greater need for innovation. We need to "reinvent" many of the engineered systems that we use today, from transportation to living spaces, from manufacturing to water and food supplies, and we need to do it in the context of creaking economic systems and faltering trade. The role of the designer in the reinvention is surely paramount - in specifying, conceiving and then realising the new systems that will serve us in the future. In this context there is an enormous need for an improved understanding of the nature and practice of design, and of how we can use design best to serve human needs and the needs of our environment.

In March 2000 an international group of scientists and practitioners working in the field of product development and design therefore founded the Design Society. It was intended to be an international society as a non-governmental, non-profit organisation. The Design Society is broadly based, flexible, professional and agenda-driven. It encompasses all branches and disciplines of design and is decentralized in respect to local and cultural aspects. The Design Society concentrates on activities that transcend national boundaries, and, where possible, will seekseeks to complement national activities. The initiatives, themes, issues and questions addressed by the Design Society are discussed and disseminated through its conferences and workshops, along with their associated publications.

For further information please address: enquiries at designsociety dot org