For the first time in 55 years, The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) has appointed an Australian president.
The council appointed Dr. Brandon Gien to lead the organisation for the two-year term, which will run until late 2015. The announcement was made at the Icsid’s 28th General Assembly late last year in Montreal, Canada.
“It is with a pounding heart, a head bursting with fresh ideas and an unwavering passion for design that I embark on a journey to lead this organisation,” said Gien. “There is without doubt a design renaissance happening around the world, where the profile and importance of design is shifting to a new level. Design is now being understood and embraced as a driver for positive change in areas of business, industry, government and more importantly, at a societal level."
Gien has already served as Icsid's treasurer for two terms (2007-2011) and is currently CEO of Good Design Australia and chair of the Australian International Design Awards.
During his statement, Gien outlined five key objectives he will focus on during his tenure: organisational stability and financial sustainability, strategic brand alignment, international collaboration and advocacy, a greater focus on the industrial design profession and building an aspirational organisation.
Gien also outlined the opportunity to encourage the profession to push boundaries of design into "corporate strategy and design-led innovation" and spoke of his eagerness to work with a fresh board (11 members in total) and executing his new leadership model.
"I have very high aspirations for this term and the Board members joining me, to design the roadmap ahead for Icsid to ensure this organisation matters today as much as it will in 50 years time,” he said.
The Icsid will begin to implement Gien's vision as of the council's next board meeting, which is scheduled for February 2014 in Mumbai, India.