About us

30 years of municipal actions in design and a team devoted to enhancing quality in design and architecture in Montréal

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., Design Montréal 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


The Bureau du design team

Patrick Marmen, Design Commissioner, Chief of Staff (2021)

The holder of both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from Université Laval, Patrick is interested in the implementation of mechanisms for promoting and framing quality in public and private development projects and in approaches to culturally driven land-use planning. After collaborating on numerous urban and landscape characterization studies, in 2011 he joined the UNESCO Chair in Landscape and Environmental Design at Université de Montréal, working on development of design-driven research projects, including the YUL/MTL Moving Landscapes international ideas competition, as well as co-ordination of WAT_UNESCO international urban design workshops held in Brazil, China and France. Prior to joining the Bureau du design in the fall of 2020, he helped oversee landscape architecture and urban design competitions including the competition to redevelop McGill College Avenue in Montréal, and moderated design panels.

Driven by the desire to share his enthusiasm for the city and its spatial planning, Patrick has been a lecturer at the Université de Montréal School of Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture, a member of the planning advisory committee of the Sud-Ouest borough, and Chair of the Ville de Montréal’s Comité Jacques-Viger. At the Bureau du design, he continues to work on development of design competitions, workshops and panels.

Sylvie Champeau, Advisor, Management Control and Analysis

Sylvie holds a master’s degree in project management and is trained in multiple facets of administration. She has been dedicated for nearly 30 years to the promotion and development of design and architecture. After serving as director of the Société des designers d’intérieur du Québec, she founded her own communications and public relations agency, specializing in design and architecture. In a consulting capacity, she has been a curator of architecture exhibitions, executive producer of the Ordre des architectes du Québec’s architectural awards of excellence, and special projects coordinator for the SIDIM (Montréal’s interior design trade show). She has also undertaken many mandates for the Ville de Montréal’ such as the Commerce Design Montréal awards and the Design Montréal Open House.

As an employee of the Bureau du design since 2012, Sylvie plays a cross-cutting and versatile role. Her interests include innovative supply process optimization as well as awareness-raising and development actions in favour of Montréal design and architecture talents. As the Design Montréal platform webmaster, she co-ordinates the Bureau’s internal and external communications. A mentor and trainer, she designs and perfects workplace performance tools and helps implement them within the city’s Service du développement économique.

Caroline Dubuc, Design Commissioner

Caroline has a bachelor’s degree in art history as well as a master’s in urban planning science, specialization heritage, from Université de Montréal, and more than 25 years’ experience in urban development. She has worked as a heritage specialist for the Écomusée du fier monde and the Conseil du patrimoine religieux du Québec, among others, and in consulting roles for various architecture firms. She went to work for the Ville de Montréal in 2004, spending five years with the city’s Conseil du patrimoine (heritage advisory board). Her approach is grounded in an open, scalable vision of the city and defence of meaningful, qualitative insertion of contemporary elements.

The city, architecture, public spaces and art practices have always been her core focus areas. In her early years working on heritage issues, she gained a keen understanding of urban planning challenges and exceptional analytical ability. Since joining the Bureau du design in 2009, Caroline has designed methods and developed strategies for fostering improved integration of design professionals in municipal projects. Over the years, she has developed in-depth knowledge of the legislative framework for municipal procurement, and brings this singular expertise to bear in providing support and guidance to competitions and other public-sector design contracting processes.

Emeric Boucher, Design Commissioner

Emeric has a master’s degree in architectural science (Université Laval) and a graduate diploma in design and construction project management (Université de Montréal), which he completed following studies in urban planning. He has worked for the Ville de Montréal since 2018, after working for many years as an urban design consultant. Among the Bureau du design team, he contributes to development of actions and processes that aim to ensure the quality of public spaces, facilities and services through design, notably by providing advice and expertise on design commissions and by delivering projects involving all design disciplines.

Marie-Josée Lacroix, 1st Design Commissioner and Chief of Staff (1991-2021)

Marie-Josée earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental design from Université du Québec à Montréal. She also holds a master’s of information studies, specialization in design and architecture, from McGill University in Montréal and Columbia University in New York City. Motivated by her vision of the public sector’s duty of exemplarity and a desire to democratize and promote the idea of quality in design and architecture, Marie-Josée has been committed to raising awareness among members of the public as well as the political and business communities. Since taking up her duties as Montréal’s first Design Commissioner in 1991, she has spearheaded multiple initiatives, which have led to the creation of the Bureau du design in 2005, institutionalization of design and architecture competitions within the municipal administration and, in 2006, Montréal’s designation as a UNESCO City of Design (for which she is the city’s representative) and related international outreach initiatives.

As the Bureau du design’s chief of staff, she oversaw the implementation of the Montréal 2030 Agenda for Quality and Exemplarity in Design and Architecture, adopted in December 2019. The city’s first-ever policy in this regard, the Agenda aims at the cross-cutting and strategic mainstreaming of design quality processes and all municipal practices.


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