About us

30 years of municipal actions in design and a team devoted to enhance quality in design and architecture in Montreal

Since creating the position of Design Commissioner in 1991, the Ville de Montréal has implemented numerous initiatives aimed at stimulating creation in design and promoting the local and international reputations of Montréal-based designers.


The Bureau du design falls under Montréal’s Service du développement économique. Structured around improving the design of the city and asserting Montréal’s status as a UNESCO City of Design , the Bureau du design’s mandate is to support public commissions in design and architecture (e.g., design workshops, design and architecture competitions), develop the market for Montréal-based designers and architects (e.g., CODE Souvenir Montréal gift items catalogue) and raise awareness of the talents of Montréal designers and architects (e.g., DesignMontreal Platform and UNESCO design cities subnetwork).

It is responsible for Montréal’s designation as a UNESCO City of Design in 2006, for the report that led to its extension in 2016, and for the review filed for the purpose of its renewal in 2021.

The Bureau du design initiated and is in charge of implementing the Montréal Agenda 2030 for Quality and Exemplarity in Design and Architecture, a policy document adopted in 2019 that sets out guidelines and leverages the creativity and innovation of designers and architects, in partnership with other fields such as engineering and urban planning, to carry out the Montréal’s green and social transition.


  • Enhance value
  • Commission work
  • Experiment and innovate
  • Promote
  • Discuss and share


  • Raise awareness
  • Support and educate
  • Document and equip
  • Contribute

Historical background

Following the publication in 1986 of the Picard Report, which recognized design as a strategic development area for the city, the Ville de Montréal worked to implement a framework of initiatives that helped the city obtain, and give tangible expression to, its UNESCO designation. 

Key dates

1991  Position of Ville de Montréal Design Commissioner created
1995  Commerce Design Montréal competition (1995–2004) created
2003  First international Commerce Design Montréal licences awarded
2004  International New Design Cities symposium and publication
2005  Design of the City | City of Design municipal action plan adopted
International Design Alliance (IDA) head office established in Montréal
2006  Montréal appointed a UNESCO City of Design
Bureau du design created
2007  Design Montréal Open House created
November 2007 Rendez-Vous – Montréal, Cultural Metropolis
2008  2007–2017 Action Plan – Montréal Cultural Metropolis adopted: Commitment 3.2: Promote excellence in architecture and design
Commitment 4.4: Highlight Montréal’s designation as a UNESCO City of Design
2009  Montréal, UNESCO City of Design initiative launched
2012  Annual meeting of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network held in Montréal 
2013  Report Montréal, UNESCO City of Design in Action and Statistics, 2006–2012 issued
2014  International Colloquium "Unsitely! - Leveraging Design to improve Urban Construction Site" - Entretiens Jacques Cartier
2015  Special edition celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Commerce Design Montréal Awards
2016  10th aniversary of Montréal's designation as a UNESCO city of design
2017  City Counsel commissions the Bureau du design to undertake the Montréal's Agenda for Design and Architecture Quality
2018  City Executive committee adops the Creating Montreal Design Action Plan (2018-2020) 
2019  City Counsel adopt the Montreal Agenda 2030 for Design and Architecture Exemplarity and Quality and commissions the Bureau du design for its implementation
2020  COVID-19 pandemic: design solutions applied to emergency and economic recovery plans



Marie-Josée Lacroix
Head of the Bureau
Design Commissioner

Diane Cantin
Office Clerk

Sylvie Champeau
Counselor and analyst - Control and Management

Caroline Dubuc
Design Commissioner

Emeric Boucher
Design Commissioner

Patrick Marmen
Design Commissioner


Bureau du design, Service du développement économique
Ville de Montréal
700, rue De la Gauchetière Ouest, 28e étage
Montréal (Québec) H3B 5M2

514 872-8076