[Image: World Design Survey logo]
World Design Survey™
The World Design Survey™ is a research project to establish and maintain an international framework measuring the contribution of the design economy and the level of strategic engagement by government in using design as a socio-economic and cultural developmental enabler.

The World Design Survey addresses four questions:
  • What are the structures/systems that define the design economy and what changes could lead to the recognition and promotion of design's contribution to the overall economy in the long term?
  • Who are the participants in the design economy, what are their numbers and what is needed by particular populations, such as professional design associations, design promotional agencies, design management consultancies and design educators to support their successful participation in the long term?
  • How can approaches to governance as well as particular programs, services and initiatives strategically contribute to the enduring growth of capacity within the design economy to foster and promote design's contributions in the long term?
  • How does design contribute to socio-cultural development?

Facilitating understanding

The World Design Survey™ facilitates understanding of the magnitude, impact, characteristics and unique cultural differences of the design economy in an international context. It further increases the base of policy and relevant research, encourages and supports research partnerships and facilitates the sharing of best practises and transfer of knowledge regionally and internationally.

Building new networks

The World Design Survey's approach was developed to foster collaborative alliances between national or regional governmental design policy makers/managers; design promotion agencies; representative professional bodies; design research centres; academic institutions; design management consultancies; and other organisations involved in the promotion of the design sector.

2010 initiatives

As a part its 2010 World Design Capital™ projects, Seoul Metropolitan City actively participated in the World Design Survey project. The Seoul Design Centre took on the role of online host for 2010 research activities, including the development of an Asian regional report and the first World Design Survey publication.

Learn more about the Asia Design Survey and the World Design Survey.

2008-2009 Forums

In July 2008 and October 2009, the Seoul Metropolitan City hosted two working forums, coordinated by the Seoul Design Centre, of stakeholders to discuss the project's framework development and a coordinated process for agreed indicators.

Pilot phase contributors

From 2007-2009, pilot phase contributors undertook original research to provide a preliminary mapping of diverse economies. This research was supported by independent work that has been shared with the World Design Survey as additional resource material.


Five Years On. Victoria's Design Sector 2003-2008
A five year overview of the design sector in Victoria, Australia.
Published in November 2008.


The Place of Design: Exploring Ontario's Design Economy
An overview of the economic value of design and an overview of design policy. Published in March 2009.


Seoul Design Survey 2009
Framework research to analyse Seoul's design status within the World Design Survey pilot project. Published in September 2009.

South Africa

World Design Report South African Findings
This first-ever mapping of the South African design sector was a collaboration between five of South Africa's most prominent organisations. Published in 2008.


The Economic Impact of Design in Spain
A comparison of 2008 results over a 2005 baseline  survey.
Published in 2008. English summary only.


Qatar Special Case Study
A first-ever mapping of the Qatari design sector conducted by the Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Research in Design.

United Kingdom

Value of Design Factfinder
In September and October 2008 the Design Council surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1522 firms across the United Kingdom.