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The Design Society, which was founded in 2000, is an international "non-governmental, "non-profit making organisation whose members share a common interest in design. It strives to contribute to a broad and established understanding of all aspects of development and design, and to promote the use of results and knowledge for the good of humanity.
The Society undertakes a range of activities including paper publication, conferences (e.g. the International Conference on Engineering Design, which was held in Copenhagen in 2011), Special Interest Groups in a variety of topics and Branches in different parts of the world. The Design Society is built on the foundations laid by the WDK (Workshop Design-Konstruktion) Society, which was an informally constituted international society based on a common interest in engineering design and founded in the early nineteen eighties. In 2001, all previous activities and responsibilities of WDK were taken over by the Design Society, including the right to continue the ICED conferences, which were initiated in Rome in 1981 and are held every two years.
Membership of the Society is open to persons with recognised design qualifications and/or experience in the fields of "design research, design practice, "design management, and "design education. The Society is governed by a Board of Management which is responsible for managing all business of the Society. The Board of Management comprises five elected members of the Society including the President, Vice President and Secretary. The Design Society is a charitable body, registered in Scotland under the "Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, number SC 031694.