On Monday, October 16th, Jordan, Joe, and myself flew to Montreal to attend the inaugural World Design Summit.

Montreal played host, as one of UNESCO’s world design cities. The summit kicked off with the signing of the first ever Design Declaration, signed by international organizations representing various design disciplines: interior, industrial, graphic, architecture, landscape, and urban design/planning.

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Aside from soaking up all of the great shared knowledge from the diverse group of designers, we also had the opportunity to present some of our own work. Jordan presented his Masters’ thesis on engaging tourists at multiple shoreline ‘stations’ in British Columbia (under the Design for Nature category), which explored “dismantling the human/nature dichotomy”, bearing striking resemblance to Hapa’s PODS Project. I also presented my Masters’ thesis and a research paper on the role of Landscape Architects in Canada’s National Parks system, along with a projective future of the Trans Canada Highway as Canada’s Next National Park (under the Design for Extremes category). Lastly, Joe presented a case study of the Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza as an argument for funding public space, in his talk titled “After the Designer’s Leave the Room” (under the Design for Transformation category).

In three words, the conference was: inspiring, invigorating, and interdisciplinary.

In three other word pairings, I noticed the most common threads (at least in the landscape architecture sections) were reconciliation & decolonization, participation & engagement, and collaboration & cross-disciplinary… All signs point to an incredibly rich and positive future for the profession.