The Designers Accord was created in late 2007 and dissolved in 2018. It was conducted in two phases: first as a five-year project to mainstream sustainability in the global creative community, and next as a channel to conduct selective projects.

Formed as a distributed knowledge network of designers, design firms, university art programs, and creative businesses, the Designers Accord has helped advance the conversation around the ethics, practices, and responsibilities of the creative community.

Almost half a million designers from all over the world participated in the Designers Accord. It has been featured in articles, books, exhibitions, tv, radio, and curricula on design, sustainability, and innovation.

View the infographic below for a snapshot of the Designers Accord activities and progress from 2007-2012.

Most Design Firm/Studio/Agency adopters chose to be listed on Core77 Design Directory.

Mission & Initiatives

Adopters of the Designers Accord commit to five guidelines that provide collective and individual ways to integrate sustainability into design. Our focus is on creating positive impact in the creative community by connecting a broad network throughout the creative community, inspiring and motivating our members to share best practices, bold ideas, and compelling case studies, and enabling new initiatives to grow from the foundation built by the Designers Accord.

The three primary goals of the first five-year project of the Designers Accord were:

  • Engaging all members of the creative community in a dialogue about the importance of integrating the principles of sustainability in all practice and production.
  • Evolving design education, and supporting ongoing professional development.
  • Bringing the power of systems thinking and design thinking to higher-order strategic challenges.

DA Membership

  • 1188 Design Firm/Studio/Agency Adopters
  • 39 Educational Institution Adopters
  • 50 Business Adopters
  • 19 Professional Associations
  • 1000s of individual designers
  • 100 Countries
  • 6 Continents
  • * Update 2021

Initiative: Global Summit

In October 2009, the Designers Accord convened over 100 progressive individuals from academic and professional institutions all over the world for two days of highly participatory discussion, planning, and action around the topic of design education and sustainability.

Initiative: Educational Toolkit

The Educational Toolkit represents a collective point of view of the Global Summit participants about best practices and methods for integrating sustainability into design programs all over the world.

Initiative: Biomimicry Challenge

In partnership with the Biomimicry Institute, the Designers Accord conducted a trio of charrettes using biomimicry to solve real-world business challenges. The creative series ran on Fast Company and featured three teams, each paired with a “Biologist at the Table” (BaDT): Smart Design & IBM, IDEO & USGBC, and Taller de Operaciones Ambientales and Brightworks.

Initiative: Design Difference

The Designers Accord partnered with Japan Society and Common Ground to convene an international charrette exploring how design can be used as a tool for social problem-solving and change-making. The series was featured in GOOD.

Initiative: Sustainability In Seven

The Designers Accord Sustainability in 7 video series on Core77 delivered design inspiration by today’s leading sustainability experts who shared 7 things every designer should consider when integrating sustainability into design practice.

DA Community

DA Community


  1. 1.Publicly declare participation in the Designers Accord.
  2. 2.Initiate a dialogue about environmental and social impact and sustainable alternatives with each and every client. Rework client contracts to favor environmentally and socially responsible design and work processes. Provide strategic and material alternatives for sustainable design.
  3. 3.Undertake a program to educate our teams about sustainability and sustainable design.
  4. 4.Consider our ethical footprint. Understand the impact of our organizations – from operations to output – and work to measure and manage it on an ongoing basis.
  5. 5.Advance the understanding of environmental and social issues from a design perspective by actively contributing to the communal knowledge base for sustainable design.

Problem-Solving Methods

Problem-Solving Methods

Disciplines Represented

Disciplines Represented