Research Outline

The Growth of Design Around The World: Key Cities & Programs


  • Outline how governments are fostering design innovation in design hubs.
  • This research will enumerate city-level, design-oriented programs in design-forward cities, the stated goals of these programs (as quoted by the organization), and the amount of funding (where available).

Early Findings

Due to timing, a few things that the client requested were out of scope:
  • A dive into what the private sector is doing to promote the intersection of design and technology.
  • Outcomes of the programs listed over the last 10 years.
  • A funding breakdown was not readily available for most programs.
  • Other cities of interest include: Chicago, Seattle, Milan, Copenhagen, Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, Seoul, Helsinki

Programs By City

New York

  • Organization: NewYork Council on the Arts
  • Goals: Recognize organizations and programs that encourage innovation and excellence in the design arts.Assist New York State-based design professionals in contributing to the advancement of their field. Promote the importance of preserving and interpreting New York State’s architectural and design heritage. Encourage excellence in the Design Arts. Foster the development of design literacy for all New Yorkers.
  • Funding: $1.1M to 45 organizations and artists in 2020.
  • Website:


  • Organization: Innovation Office Programs
  • Goals: The City of Austin's Innovation Office helps diverse and inclusive teams examine challenges and opportunities to surface better ideas and solutions that make a lasting, positive impact. We work with internal and external partners to develop, test, organize, and encourage innovative projects with the goal of fostering a culture of innovation within the City of Austin.
  • Funding: Not Stated.
  • Website:

San Francisco

  • Organization: Committee on Information Technology
  • Goals: San Francisco Digital Services works with other City departments to improve public services. We use technology to make it easier for people to get things done. We're working on critical issues like affordable housing, small businesses, legal aid for immigrants, and more. Our team is also rebuilding the city’s website from the ground up. This means taking a service-led approach so that anyone using the site can get what they need. Our work goes beyond websites. We’re re-thinking how public services are designed, by understanding what our users need and building with an agile approach.
  • Funding: Not Stated
  • Website:


  • Organization: Design Council UK
  • Goals: Design Council’s purpose is to make life better by design. We are an independent charity and the government’s advisor on design. Our vision is a world where the role and value of design is recognised as a fundamental creator of value, enabling happier, healthier and safer lives for all. Through the power of design, we make better processes, better products, better places, all of which lead to better performance.
  • Funding: Not Stated
  • Website: "