About us

Close to 30 years of municipal actions in design 

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.

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 (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., Commerce Design, Design Montréal Open House).

In June 2006, Montréal was named a UNESCO City of Design, and became part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, established in 2004. To date, the Network comprises 246 member cities in seven centres of creativity (Cinema, Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts and Music), including 40 cities of design.

In attributing the title to Montréal, UNESCO acknowledged the potential of designers to contribute to the city’s future, as well as the commitment and determination of the Ville de Montréal, other levels of government and civil society to build on that strength for the purpose of enhancing Montrealers’ quality of life.

The UNESCO designation is neither a label nor a form of recognition. It is an invitation to develop Montréal around its creative forces in design.

Montréal UNESCO City of Design is thus a project for an entire city. A collective project that, to become a reality over time, demands that all stakeholders—elected officials, citizens, experts, entrepreneurs and designers—buy into it and make it their own.

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



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

514 872-8076


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