The Unitec School of Design is a member of CUMULUS a non-profit organization of 124 institutions of art, design and media from 41 countries all around the world (http://www.cumulusassociation.org) The association is the only one in the world to serve art and design education and research. Cumulus is a forum for partnership and transfer of
knowledge and best practices. Members can propose conferences, workshops and projects among members and with industry, business and other partners. Cumulus offers also projects for members. Members can organize mobility, do research collaboration, and keepon working on a topic in specific Cumulus working groups that meet annually. Members can also only observe and learn from the others through the events and Cumulus Working Papers.
At the 2008 CUMULUS Kyoto conference, which is to be held on the 27th March, a design declaration will be signed by all the organizations members in the Kyoto International Conference Centre.The The Kyoto International Conference Centre is highly symbolic place as it is precisely where in 1997 the Kyoto Protocol for the reduction of Greenhouse gas emissions was signed. By signing the Kyoto Design Declaration, the members of Cumulus commit to sharing the global responsibility for building sustainable, human-centred and creative societies. In doing so, Cumulus also obtained the noteworthy support of the Bureau of European Design Associations (BEDA) and of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID).The signature of the Kyoto Design Declaration will be the highlight of the Conference whose theme is [Cu:]"emptiness" Resetting Design – A New Beginning. Inspired by the Eastern concept of [Cu:] meaning “emptiness” the aim of the conference is to restructure the meaning of design towards a new future. Specialist educators and experts on current state-of-the-art design will review the role of contemporary design and present various alternative perceptions of future possibilities. (source of information cumulus organization)