World Design Organization (WDO) – Design for a Better World

World Design Organization (WDO)
World Design Organization (WDO)

The World Design Organization (WDO) TM, formerly known as the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID), is an international non-governmental organisation that promotes industrial design and its ability to create better products, systems, services, and experiences, as well as better business and industry, and, ultimately, a better environment and society.

History as ICSID

ICSID was founded as a non-government, non-profit organisation in 1957, making it one of the first genuinely international professional design groups (together with ICOGRADA and IFI). Many facets of the design profession, its method, and relevance are addressed, including the profession’s position in society, business, planning, the environment, and, more specifically, professional problems like intellectual property rights. 

It published the World Directory of Design and Hall of Fame: Companies Searching for Excellence in Design: A Review of the Twentieth Century and a bimonthly organisational magazine. In 2005, ICSID moved its headquarters from Europe to Montreal, Canada, sharing administrative offices and consolidating the merger of ICSID and the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (later known as Ico-D) into the International Design Alliance (IDA), which both organisations’ General Assemblies had approved in 2003. In 2008, the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI) became the IDA’s third member. The Alliance, however, was disbanded in 2011. Other ICSID projects include the World Design Impact Prize, the first of which was given to Planning System Services, a Kenyan company, for its Community Cooker project (2012).

World Design Organization (2016)

WDO has expanded from 12 founding professional design associations in 1957 to over 170 member organisations from over 40 countries, engaging them in collaborative activities and allowing them to be heard internationally.

At the general assembly in October 2015, members accepted a new vision and mission, as well as the change of the organisation’s name to the World Design Organization.

WDO has Special Consultative Status with the United Nations.


About Us. WDO About Comments. (n.d.). Retrieved October 28, 2021, from

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

Woodham, J. M. (2006). A dictionary of modern design. Oxford University Press.

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