features
#056 / 2004
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Montréal wins IDA bid

In August 2004, a press conference was held in Montréal to announce that the International Design Alliance (IDA) had selected the location for its head office. Dignitaries were delighted to annnounce that Montréal had won the bid over Brussels, Turin, Nagoya, Copenhagen and Hong Kong. Earlier in the month, Montréal’s entry was submitted during a mission to Germany that included Eleni Stavridou, Executive Director of the Institute of Design Montréal, and Peter Steiner, President of the Québec Association of Graphic Designers.

The IDA was formally created in 2003 to bring together almost 150 associations, industrialists, offices of design, universities, etc., in 50 countries represented by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) and close to 70 members in 45 countries belonging to the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (Icograda) (source).

(The International Federation of Interior Architects and Designers (IFI) was involved in early discussions to join in the IDA but withdrew following rejection by their general assembly in 2001.)

Over the years, several organizations and government reports have promoted Montréal as a bridge between North America and Europe and as a "design city." Since 1989, an impressive number of design-based organizations have formed there, including the Montréal Design Institute IDM, SIDIM, Commerce Design and a design "commissariat."

This fall IDA will likely choose the head office site in the international district of Montréal. Three sites being considered are the Stock Exchange building on Place Victoria, the World Commerce Centre or the old Montréal Herald building on rue Saint-Antoine West.

Creating an international "super design organization" will facilitate communication between the various disciplines, a common fee structure with discounts for member associations and closer collaboration on educational projects. Pentagram (London, UK) partners John McConnell and Fernando Gutierrez generously agreed to donate their time to create a new identity for the IDA.

ICSID and Icograda will be the two permanent members of the new organization. They will develop its governing structure and host and promote its events. The terms of the new organization will be confirmed at the World Design Congress 2005, to be held in the Nordic countries in September 2005.

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