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GloWD 2023 



Reading of the GloWD Mexico City Manifesto - Dr. Gavin McCabe, University of Edinburgh
00:00 / 00:00
This Globally We Design manifesto represents contributions of over 50 design educators and practitioners from five continents who met over two days in April 2023  at the National Autonomous University – UNAM in Mexico City.
This manifesto is an evolving document that reflects our current perspectives.
We aspire to involve all in the design community, including learners, educators, and professionals. This goes beyond those directly engaged in design and encompasses our wider communities and societies.
We encourage all to leverage this document, its commitments, and its demands.


  • An intercultural, global, diverse community of different nationalities, genders, generations, and disciplines who dream, imagine, hope, and believe that design education can reframe itself as a positive, respectful, and caring catalyst for tackling urgent and structural global and local issues in our collapsing world.


  • Design is a cultural, social, political, economic, and relational activity that responds creatively to its context, location in time, connections, and people. In response, it needs to liberate itself from traditional measures of progress.

  • Design connects communities to fill the society-technology gap and is a facilitator of flexible, adaptable, and resilient practice within, across, and outside our disciplines. When used purposefully, technology is supportive of the design process.

  • Design is a collective process that must respect the plurality of bodies, knowledges, and ways of being, and the non-static nature of learning and individuals.

  • Design reflects, informs, and shapes mindsets and behaviors across our communities.

  • Design is a regenerative social contract that must move towards and support collective wellbeing, embracing that:

    • nothing is beyond sustainability

    • global is the collection of local

    • nature and cultures are inseparable

    • equity, accountability, and social justice are non-negotiable

  • Time is of the essence and the future is now.


  • Design education needs to liberate itself from existing educational structures where they constrain. Design has to therefore shift to inclusionary learning models that equitably support top-down and bottom-up approaches.

  • Design, design language, and design practices must weave an ever-increasing positive role in emerging futures.

  • Design is not always a solution but is an advocate for change that promotes and harnesses risk, reflection, and reward.

  • All those affected by our actions must be meaningfully involved in the creation, delivery, and evolution of design education. This must specifically include those who have not been heard, species beyond the human, and our diversity of ecosystems.

  • Transformative reflection and critical self-awareness must be fully embedded given their fundamental role in addressing bias and are crucial to:

    • ethical and equitable accountability

    • ensuring that ethics become a core design behavior

    • being effective instigators of equity and plurality

    • delivering our hopes for resilient, planetary, and common wellbeing

  • We need to move design education from being primarily tutor-led or student-led, to socially-led learning.

  • We need to approach academic projects as impactful and resourceful interventions that promote curiosity and awareness of the whole system we are designing in and for.

  • We must act humbly with measurable impact in service of the common good.

  • We are all responsible for succeeding and failing together, and designers are accountable for co-creating, co-realizing, and co-communicating optimistic visions for possible, plausible, and preferable shared futures.

This document is evolutionary.

We urge you to share, act, change.

We encourage manifest action.

All the above precedes subsequent outcomes.

29 April 2023 in Mexico, hosted by the Faculty of Architecture and Center for Industrial Design Research – CIDI, National Autonomous University of Mexico – UNAM

© Globally We Design 2023

2019 Joburg Declaration_22Nov2019.jpg

Addendum Agreement Document


ReDesignEd Educators Forum  |  University of Johannesburg  |  Johannesburg, South Africa


Primary Document


ReDesignEd Educators Forum  |  LASALLE College of the Arts  |  Singapore

All rights reserved. No part of GloWD written, audio, or visual collateral may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, outside of its intended purpose without the prior written permission of GloWD.

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