World Design Summit – Call for papers


The World Design Summit, to be held in Montréal, Canada from October 16 to 25, 2017, has made a Call for Papers. Information about this can be found below.


The World Design Summit Montréal 2017 is an unprecedented international event during which practitioners, academics and other players from the design scene will get together to address a broad spectrum of issues related to the various disciplines of design. The sessions will be constructed to foster crossovers and the exchange of knowledge between disciplines.

What are the innovative design ideas and actions that could bring about better futures? How can design in all its facets respond to issues as a transformational agent that supports cultural, political, economic, environmental and everyday societal needs? These are the key and essential questions that will drive discussions at the World Design Summit

The Scientific and Professional Committee invites proposals for presentations and sessions inspired by the Summit’s six major themes outlined below.

The Call for Proposals is open to scholars, practitioners and concerned parties from all spectrums of the design disciplines, including: architecture, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, urban planning and interstitial or hybrid practices. We are looking for presentations and papers that provoke paradigm shifts, and that propose how we might rethink challenging world issues through design processes and their applications. We encourage the coming together of the design disciplines to explore issues of importance to all disciplines, from both specific and interdisciplinary perspectives.


Title: World Design Summit Montréal 2017 – WDS2017
Date: October 16-25, 2017
Venue: Palais des Congrès
Host City: Montréal, Canada
Theme: 10 days to change the world

WDS2017 will host design professionals, government and business leaders, industry representatives, media and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from around the world. For 10 days, attendees will come together to work beyond silos, foster cooperation and enhance scientific and professional development. The Summit will aim to use the unique capacity of design to contribute to the creation of viable solutions to our current challenges.


Important Dates:

Online Submission Deadline – October 17, 2016

Notification of Acceptance – December 15, 2016

Registration Deadline for accepted presenters – January 31, 2017

Presentation File Submission – May 1 –June 15, 2017

Feedback on Presentation File – July 1 – September 1, 2017


Design for Participation
In this era, individuals and groups can take part in social and political life – or all kinds of private or public projects – through a number of public platforms and policies. In this often collaborative and consultative context, what is the role and status of the designer? Design disciplines fundamentally contribute to shaping the virtual and physical spaces of both private and public communities, as well as fostering and shaping culture and heritage, both past and future. How can designers help address issues like inequality or the evolution of participation and representation in the political process and in social life?

Design for Earth
In the midst of the Anthropocene, how can we transform our living environments to respect the capacity of ecosystems and, even more, restore their balance and reveal their potential? Humans are indeed part of nature and, as such, as fragile as our living environment. Beyond responding to emergencies and disasters or immediate conditions, the design disciplines can also offer broader, more sustainable approaches to shape the world for the long term. Going beyond short-term, market-driven needs can allow designers to drop conventions, look at their work on a different scale and become agents of change who can generate alternatives to the status quo.

Design for Beauty
In a world in search of meaning and prosperity, the creation of useful objects to planning green spaces in urban contexts, design disciplines share a concern for sensible and wise design. The beauty of designed objects, buildings, interiors, cities and landscapes is not superfluous: it is essential. However, the decision to beautify or not, is most often political. Furthermore, these perspectives on sustaining well being and making life more than just bearable oscillate between universal designs that reach across the globe to inspiration from local realities that can provide more adapted ways to improve quality of life.

Design for Sale?
The role of design within modern economic systems can take many shapes and generate often unexpected results – with outcomes that can be significantly better or worse than originally planned. What is the value of design within the production of goods and the development of society as a whole? While design can be used for commodity, it can also be used for the common good, with the latter implying a more political design voice, driven by values and ideals, rather than a solely monetary purpose.

Design for Transformation
Climatic shifts, seasonal changes, day and night cycles, high tides, low tides and human tides all impose transformative criteria and context to the design of goods, experiences and processes, both for more permanent projects and for more fleeting moments. The evolving nature of the relationship between cities, their surrounding hinterland and global networks of all kinds also create a need for adapting and rethinking territories  and  exchanges.  New  insights,  new  approaches,  new  tools  and  new  materials  facilitate  the increased need to design, redesign or rethink –  and therefore make design a source of transformation.

Design for Extremes
With  political  upheavals  also  and  or  as  a  result  of  climate  change,  recent  migratory  movements  are challenging political and design strategies to forecast gradual human migrations between countries and even within one country itself. As rising sea levels change the shape of continents, as new spaces become more accessible and others unlivable,  the  capacity to adapt  to such  dramatic shifts will become even more essential. Canada, reaching all the way to the Arctic, will be at the heart of those changes. How can design solutions support these sociological, economic, political or environmental migrations?


-Abstract must be written and presented in English or in French.

-Abstract must not exceed 500 words.

-Proposal can include up to 5 images, 1MB each.

-Proposal can include up to 5 references, total of 150 words.

-Proposal must include 5 key words.

-Proposal must include a short, 40-word concept statement of the essence of the paper or session theme to answer the question “What is the core of the proposal that is transformative for the future?”

-Biography    and    photo   of    submitter    are    requested    for    purposes    of    promoting   the    program.

After acceptance is confirmed, the submitter/presenter must register and pay to confirm her/his participation in the Summit program.

How to submit:

Step 1. Sign-up

-Log on to the submission form.

-Click on „New User‟ link to create online profile for abstract submission.

-Fill all the required fields, including your biography and profile photo, then save. (After creation you may return to your profile at any time to view/add/edit submissions.)

Step 2. Abstract Submission

-To submit a proposal, go to the Submission page and click “add new”.

-Choose between Presentation or Session proposal.

-Fill all the required fields and save your work:

  • Save & continue later” allows you to save your work and return later to complete.
  • Save & submit” saves and completes the abstract for review. No edits are possible afterward.

-Proposals must be officially submitted (“save & submit”) by the  October 17 deadline.

-Submission will only be accepted online via the official website.

Step 3. Confirmation of Abstract Submission

-Acknowledgement of abstract submission will automatically be sent to the submitter via e-mail upon the first save. This letter confirms that the proposal has been saved in the system, but does not indicate whether the submission has been completed with “save & submit”.

-Official submission is required by October 17, 2016.

-It is the responsibility of each individual to verify the acknowledgements and carefully review the submitted abstract, as some special characters may not be readable.

Abstracts can be viewed or updated until  October 17, 2016.

Step 4. Notification of Abstract Acceptance

-The Scientific and Professional Committee will review all abstracts that are submitted on time and in accordance with the specified format. The Committee reserves the right to reject any proposals which fail to comply with the submission guidelines mentioned above.

-Official notice of acceptance status will be sent for all completed proposals on  December 15, 2016.

-After receiving a notification of acceptance, the presenting author (submitter) must register and pay by January 31, 2017.  Accepted abstracts submitted by authors who fail to register before the deadline will not be included in the Summit program.

-Accepted presenters are responsible for all expenses involved in their participation, including registration and travel.


We expect a wide variety of work and projects to be submitted. Irrespective of the range and stage of the work described in your submission, we expect the highest standards of clarity, accessibility, and professionalism. Projects will be evaluated in terms of establishing context, explaining methods of inquiry and/or project development, and reporting results. Proposals will be selected using a double-blind review process  that  will be conducted by an international  review panel, including  at least one  evaluator from academia and one from the profession.


The criteria for evaluation fall into three categories: relevance, quality, and clarity.


-How well do the aims or questions presented correspond to the objectives of the Summit?

-Does the core of the proposal satisfy the Summit’s aim of sharing work that is transformative for the future?

Quality –

-Is the context of the proposal clearly defined in terms of its significance?

-Were appropriate methods of research and/or project development used? Was the design approach used pertinent and/or original?

-Does the proposal report original research and/or project development?

-Are the outcomes, findings, and/or insights clearly evident, and do they logically follow from the work presented?

-Does the proposal situate the research or project in contemporary theory and/or issues?

-Do the references and/or precedents cited support the issues or findings (if applicable)?

-Are there errors of fact?

Clarity –

-Does the proposal clearly specify the intent, methods used, and outcomes of the work?

-Does the title accurately reflect the content?

-Is the proposal presented in a manner accessible to design specialists from different disciplines?

-Does the proposal conform to the conference style guidelines?

-Is the standard of English or French acceptable?


WDS2017 – World Design Summit


Telephone: +1 514-287-9898 extension 239