Design is evolving. So are its practices and know-how. To broaden our horizons on the existing design ecosystem and what it might become, we are issuing a call for expressions of interest to gain insights into the people and organizations that are involved in emerging design practices. This process will also help us envision how these practices’ potential for innovation and value creation can be leveraged to benefit the Montréal community. We'd like to get to know you!
Emerging Design Practices
Call for Expressions of Interest
Our recent Symposium on Innovation by Design in Public Action shed light on the emergence of new practices and approaches to adopt in all design disciplines. Our experience in the field tells us not only that our colleagues and partners are interested and curious to learn about and experiment with these practices, but also that there are needs to be met and potential to be explored.
As such, we are issuing this call in order to:
update our knowledge of the state of the local ecosystem and find out which firms (whether emerging or established) are using emerging practices;
incorporate these practices and people into the City’s actions, projects and other opportunities, where they can have a positive impact;
manifest to the market the City’s interest in making room for these practices to respond to its needs and its strategic orientations; and
value, disseminate and raise awareness of these practices and stimulate their development in the local and international economy.
In addition, this process is indispensable given that the Montréal 2030 Strategic Plan calls for radical transformations in our working methods and for systematically making creativity, innovation, collaboration and experimentation part of our efforts in, for instance, effecting the ecological transition and reducing social inequalities. Emerging design practices and the diversity of cultural, social and economic perspectives they can bring are essential keys to achieving this goal.
For the purposes of this call, we are considering “emerging design practices” in an open and flexible manner. They may be defined as new practices, less conventional ones (compared with the more traditional design disciplines) or ones that are more marginal in our local context despite being well established elsewhere.
Without confining ourselves to a precise definition, we are thinking in particular of design practices that are centred on the process rather than on the material object or purpose; those that adopt a systemic or human-focused approach; or those that use design to help reframe questions and narratives, seize opportunities and push them forward, whether as part of a project, a service, an organization, etc.
For example, you may express your interest if you:
are in one of the following areas of practice or expertise: service design, strategic design, social design (or design for social innovation), speculative design, scenario-based design, mission-based design, systemic design (or design for transformation of systems), regenerative design, public policy design, or design thinking;
are developing or have developed a specialized design practice that intersects with another discipline (design and social science, design and behavioural science, design and technologies, etc.) or relates to a specific subject (inclusive design, neurodiversity, trauma-informed design, intersectional gender-based analysis or GBA+, etc.);
have another form of emerging design practice that you believe has strategic value for the Ville de Montréal.
The examples listed above are not meant to be exhaustive. This call also aims to identify singular practices that have the potential to generate ideas and connections.
It is a form of open call that can serve to gather information about a particular market or area of activity. It is also a process that provides an opportunity for people and organizations to publicize their expertise and their professional service offerings in the field in question.
In the case of this call for emerging practices, the process is exploratory in nature and is not linked to any particular project or contract. Respondents may provide only a summary level of detail. The intent is to get an overview of what is possible.
The response period ended on May 29, 2023. If you missed it but would like to share information about your emerging practice, you may still do so by completing this form.
We recommend answering the questions on the submission form succinctly and emphasizing the unique proposition and added value of your practice. We also recommend including concrete examples illustrating ways in which the practice can be applied.
If you have any questions about this call, reach out to Justine Leggett-Dubé and Emeric Boucher, Design Commissioners, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed on future opportunities involving emerging design practices.