Member communications from the International Council of Design
The theme of International Design Day 2021 is ‘Design for Each and All’. The collective human family is made up of many different, intersecting types of people. How ‘each and all’ humans encounter the designed world depends on varying degrees of equitable access to certain material realities, spaces, and experiences.
The goal of International Design Day is to challenge designers to reflect deeply on the well-being of people within their local environments, and to find innovative solutions to local needs by using design as a vehicle to honor diversity, transcend borders, and improve quality of life. Marking the anniversary of ICoD’s establishment on 27 April 1963, participants worldwide are invited to gather, innovate, and live out a moment of design by organizing public events and initiatives.
The theme of International Design Day 2021 is 'Design for Each and All'. The designs that designers create can bring joy, spread information, promote education, grant access to healthcare, and provide knowledge and well-being. It is a fundamental part of the designer’s job to understand how the interplay of social, economic, environmental, technological and geographic factors may grant or block fair access in certain contexts—and to find new ways to let more people ‘in’.
“All people deserve to live in a well-designed world”. Living well and flourishing, supported by objects, places, and systems designed to support and encourage this, is something every being should be able to access. The concept of ‘universal experience’ is more often than not, inadequate for most. Designers—whether they are aware of it or not—not only provide improvements to life situations but also often control access to these benefits. Design for Each and All is about noticing all the parts present, giving care and attention to a broad range of human variation, relations, and environments. More and more, things like family bonds, status, income, whether a person is able-bodied or not, whether they live in the global North or South, shape an ever-changeable design journey. As part of this transformative designing process, there are some guiding questions that might lead to more design for each and all:
BIG QUESTIONS • How can design shape how people live well and flourish? • Who is/are ‘each and all’ and what is the context? • How do I think about ‘just’ and ‘fair’ access in design? • How does design build a better—more inclusive, fairer— world?
ICoD would like to thank Peter Bankov once again for his design of this year's theme poster! Download your poster via the link below.
Starting in 2021, the event formerly known as World Design Day is now being celebrated as International Design Day (IDD). IDD is an opportunity to recognise the value of design and its capacity for change in the world—and to celebrate the birthday of ICoD!
We encourage our Members and other design organisations to create digital events (Instagram live interviews, on-line conferences or talks, Zoom gatherings, or anything else you can come up with on the theme.
The 2021 theme has many sub-themes that could be of interest for design organisations to explore, including:
diversity in design teams and how that improves outcomes
accessibility in design
how design controls access to services, spaces
the effects of geo-political factors on design
the effects of socio-economic factors on the suitability of design solutions
groups that are excluded or omitted from user-research
health care effects of exclusionary design
Share your events with us by sharing pictures and stories on our Facebook Group. You can also post things relevant to the theme on your own socials using the hashtag: #IDD2021 and
> Share the IDD Facebook group with your community and encourage them to participate!
Please note that only posts that follow the IDD2021 Design for Each and All theme will be shared. The International Design Day poster and branding may be used without alteration. No other uses of the ICoD logo are not permitted without the prior approval of ICoD.
All professional designers are warmly invited to participate in International Design Day.
If you communicate with your members, students, faculty, etc. please encourage them to post about issues relating to the theme on social media. Some possible topics of discussion are:
how design grants and prohibits 'access'
how the design process can better consider 'each and everyone' including marginalized groups and non-traditional targets
how designed environments, designed objects or design communications might not be adequate for parts of their intended user groups are forgotten.
Sharing of with historical tidbits, or inspiring stories
Sharing the advocacy work of designers that have or are inspiring them
personal stories, historical information, inspiring anecdotes, issues in the headlines that highlight this issue
Designers can post on social media and tag the Council so that we can see and share their stories. Here’s how to submit: