Journey to the Design Summit


This is a short story of how design100 & Design Summit has come to be. It might be new to you, however it’s been in the works for 9 years. design100 is a community who celebrates the courage to commission and create design projects with the mission to grow demand for design. But most importantly it’s a community who understands the design economy. It’s now time to share with you that knowledge; to celebrate excellence and accelerate the transformation happening in our society, naturally facilitated through design and tech fuelled projects.

I’d been working around design for over 20 years as a creative director and noticed that the design market conversation had a bias to focusing on those who created and was missing out on the valuable voice of those who commission design – this didn’t sit well with me as I was well aware that markets need both supply and demand and design was a market where supply was leading the conversation.

Yes we expect design projects to offer up the new, something that hasn’t been proposed before, but that all begins with the person who has the courage to commission a design project.

design100 was setup to grow that voice, along the way we’ve run 20 design awards programs in 7 cities, reached an audience of over 50 million, grown a community of people passionate about applied design and had the input from over 150 panel members who have helped curate nominations, rate nominations and advocate the design100 mission to grow demand.

Mid 2014 I began exploring a forum that focused on the design economy, initially that was to be a prelude to the [city] design awards presentation. As with all great projects it took on a life of its own and grew into 3, 4, 5 and 6 days of programing. It needed an umbrella to fit all that under – welcome to the design summit – I hope you gain as much from your engagement as I do.

Mark Bergin
Founder – design100