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been active in Icograda, the International Council of Graphic
Design Associations, as a means of developing channels of
communication among designers in the United States and other
countries. AIGA, as the largest professional design association in
the world, shares its practices and experiences with other
associations and encourages worldwide collaboration on issues
important to all designers, such as professional standards and
means of communicating the value of design.
Since my term on the Icograda board ended in late 2007, I have
continued to represent AIGA by working on several governance task
forces, with two AIGA members currently serving on the
international board: Omar Vulpinari of Italy and Greg Serikoff of
In October, Icograda's General Assembly held its biennial
meeting in Beijing. Among the issues raised in this gathering of
delegates from worldwide member associations were three that are
important to AIGA:
The general assembly adopted a resolution acknowledging the
responsibility of designers in meeting criteria for sustainability.
At AIGA's recommendation, this resolution included the addition of
cultural criteria to the frequently cited environmental, economic
and social criteria. At the same time, the board and assembly
Living Principles for Design, a framework for designers'
responsibility toward sustainability developed by the AIGA Center
for Sustainable Design, as a means for all association to begin
meeting their responsibilities.
Icograda supported a study of how to merge the international
associations of the industrial, communication and interior design
professions as a step toward a unified voice in support of design
and its value. AIGA has long supported the integration of the
different voices of design professions so that a stronger message
can be conveyed to business, the public and society. This is
consistent with AIGA's own interest in the pan-disciplinary
practice of design.
AIGA nominated Leimei
Julia Chiu of Japan as the president-elect for Icograda, since
she represents so well the converging issues of globalism,
multiculturalism and cross-disciplinary practice.
World Design Congress, which occurred concurrently in Beijing,
is an international design conference organized by Icograda and the
Central Academy of Fine Arts. AIGA China played a significant
role at the conference, presenting two exhibitions at the museum at
the Central Academy: “365: AIGA Annual Design Exhibition and ”50
Books/50 Covers of 2007.“ In addition, AIGA China organized a
festive event to launch the Chinese editions of 365: AIGA Year in
Business and Ethics and David Berman's Do Good
Design under the AIGA imprint, and hosted a reception for
the leading design educators in China to meet with the attendees
from around the world.
The final event in Icograda's Beijing series was an education
conference. Educators from around the world presented peer-reviewed
papers. AIGA encouraged educators to participate in the INDEX:|AIGA
Aspen Design Challenge for students.
In each of these activities, AIGA seeks to establish
opportunities for its members to participate, reinforce the
leadership of our members in the design profession, and engage
actively with our colleagues from abroad—so that U.S. designers
will become accepted, appreciated and respected participants in the
global design community. AIGA's policies and practices become
models for others they will become globally accepted, thus
validating the standards already upheld by designers and clients in
the United States.
This involvement in the global community is critical to the
relevance, leadership and opportunities for the profession over the
long term and can be obtained through a minimal investment—just two
percent of AIGA's annual budget. While these activities will not
always translate into an immediate benefit for each of AIGA's
members, over time they will contribute toward making the global
design economy more accessible to all members.
When the current economic turmoil settles, there is little doubt
that the global economy will consist of a number of highly
competitive local economies. At the same time, local markets
worldwide are more likely to seek solutions that are responsive to
local cultural perspectives. These dynamics require that all
designers become more familiar with their global colleagues and
other cultures. There are several opportunities for member
involvement in the aforementioned initiatives:
Thumbnail photo of compass byTobias
Richard Grefé is the executive director of AIGA, the professional association for design. While guiding all of AIGA’s activities, his most significant contributions are in strategy, formulating new initiatives to enhance the competitive success of designers
and advocating the value of design to business, government and the public.
New York, NY—September 29, 2014. As the definition of
“design” continues to broaden, so too will the scope of AIGA’s biennial
design and business conference. Next month, leading
thinkers-practitioners-writers-educators will converge in New York City
at “Gain” to consider many facets of the design of business for the
New York—September 23, 2014. Next week, AIGA, the professional
association for design, opens “Dan Friedman: Radical Modernist”—a
vibrant and inspiring retrospective of a designer who pioneered New Wave
design while carving his own path from academia to corporate design,
experimental European commissions and AIDS activism in the East Village
art scene. This exhibition is organized and designed by AIGA Medalist
Chris Pullman and Laura Varrachi of LVCK Environmental Graphics with
support from Dan Friedman's brother Ken Friedman.
New York, NY—September 25, 2014. AIGA and Wacom announce the launch of “Rise & Shine,”
a new video series that goes behind the scenes of the diverse practices
of six up-and-coming communication designers. Viewers are invited to
travel across the United States with AIGA, the professional association
for design, and Wacom, the leading producer of intuitive design tools,
to visit a range of talented, emerging designers working today and find
out what fuels their creativity. The series offers a closer look at
everything from creative processes and big career breaks to the
techniques and technology they use to realize their visions.
NEW YORK—September 18, 2014. AIGA, Design Observer and Designers & Books today published results of the 2013 “50 Books/50 Covers” competition. A panel of jurors including Michael Bierut, partner at the New York design firm Pentagram; Jessica Helfand, founding editor of Design Observer; and Peter Mendelsund, associate art director of Alfred A. Knopf Books chose 50 outstanding books and 50 exceptional covers.
After much discussion throughout the entire design community, the national board
approved the sale of AIGA’s building in New York City. At this pivotal point in our history, the board
adopted a revised strategic framework which articulates four strategic focuses for the organization and outlines the process and timeline for funding decisions.
Section: About AIGA -
AIGA Insight, AIGA news, governance
AIGA South Carolina
Member since 2014
What 360-degree Views of Gothic Cathedrals Reveal
February 20, 2015
AIGA San Francisco
AIGA Los Angeles
Andres E. Arauz
AIGA New Orleans
Jessica L. King
Jeanne M. Verdoux
AIGA New York
AIGA New York
Creative Manager- The Arizona Sports Foundation (Fiesta Bowl)
February 19, 2015
What’s Up With Your Workspace?
February 18, 2015
Digital Summit Phoenix 2015 Recap
February 17, 2015
From Memory to Action: Meeting the Challenge of Genocide