Kyoto Design DeclarationYrjö Sotamaa and Cumulus, 2008
By signing the Kyoto Design Declaration on March 28, 2008, the 124 members of Cumulus committed to sharing global responsibility for building sustainable, human-centred and creative societies. The Declaration has received support from the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID), BETA, AIGA, and EIDD.
A statement of commitment by the members of Cumulus to sharing the global responsibility for building sustainable, human-centered, creative societies.
Proposing new values and new ways of thinking
All the people of the world now live in global and interdependent systems for living. We continue to enhance the quality of our lives by creating environments, products and services utilizing design. Design is a means of creating social, cultural, industrial and economic values by merging humanities, science, technology and the arts. It is a human-centered process of innovation that contributes to our development by proposing new values, new ways of thinking, of living and adapting to change.
An era of human centered development
A paradigm shift from technology driven development to human centered development is underway. The focus is shifting from materialistic and visible values to those which are mental, intellectual and, possibly, less material. An era of “cultural productivity” has commenced where the importance attributed to modes of life, values and symbols may be greater than that attributed to physical products. Design thinking stands steadfastly at the centre of this continuum. Simultaneously, this development highlights the importance of cultural traditions and the need to extend and revitalize them.
The imperative for designers to assume new roles
Global development and an awareness of the growth of related ecological and social problems are posing new demands and offering new opportunities for design, design education and design research. Design is challenged to redefine itself and designers must assume new roles and commit themselves to developing solutions leading to a sustainable future.
Seeking collaboration in forwarding the ideals of sustainable development
The members of Cumulus, representing a global community of design educators and researchers, undertake the initiative outlined in this, “The Kyoto Design Declaration,” to commit themselves to the ideals of sustainable development. Furthermore, the members of Cumulus have agreed to seek collaboration with educational and cultural institutions, companies, governments and government agencies, design and other professional associations and NGOs to promote the ideals of, and share their knowledge about, sustainable development.
From education to global responsibility
In order to fulfil its declared mission to contribute to sustainable social, environmental, cultural and economic development for current and future generations, and to contribute to an environment and culture that makes harmonious and healthy life possible, the Cumulus members make this declaration. Members will commit themselves to accepting their part in the further education of our youth within a value system where each of us recognizes our global responsibility to build sustainable, human-centered, creative societies.
The power to make fundamental improvements to our world
Human-centered design thinking, when rooted in universal and sustainable principles, has the power to fundamentally improve our world. It can deliver economic, ecological, social and cultural benefits to all people, improve our quality of life and create optimism about the future and individual and shared happiness.
The signatories of this Declaration agree to submit annually a Sustainability Report to Cumulus Secretariat informing of the actions they have taken to implement this Declaration. The reports will be published on the Cumulus website and through this they are available to all interested parties.1