The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) revealed yesterday, that the City of Cape Town (South Africa) has been chosen as the World Capital Design® (WDC) 2014. The designated city was disclosed on the closing day of the International Design Alliance Congress in Taipei. Cape Town will be the fourth city to hold this biennial appointment and represents the first for the African continent.
Awarded to cities determined by their commitment to make use of design as an effective technique for social, cultural and economic development, the WDC has grown to become more than simply a project or a programme. Today, it is a global movement and serves to acknowledge the fact that design can, and does, have an effect on the quality of human life.
Icsid President and Member of the Selection Committee Dr. Mark Breitenberg stated, “It is encouraging to see how Cape Town intends to use design as a tool to resolve urban challenges. I am positive that this new member of the WDC family will reveal to the world how design is growing in application and influence.”
For Cape Town, the WDC appointment will come exactly two decades after reaching democracy. “2014, then, is the moment when the past and the future will come together for Cape Town, in contemplation and in action,” stated Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Ms. Patricia de Lille. “It represents how the city has socially and physically reinvented itself.” Cape Town’s vision of design is founded on socially responsible design, sustainability and innovation. In their bid, the theme “Live Design. Transform Life” was introduced in support of Cape Town’s objective to concentrate on improving the city’s infrastructure to make it a far more liveable African City.
Shortlisted candidate cities, Bilbao (Spain) and Dublin (Ireland) at the same time mounted persuasive bids. “The decision for the Selection Committee was not straightforward given the high calibre of the bids that were considered amongst the final candidates,” added Dr. Breitenberg. “The commitment of Cape Town’s strategy to broaden the scope of the World Design Capital and shape the way forward for this initiative, were the determining factors that eventually led to the city’s appointment for 2014. Cape Town has the most powerful claim on a new chapter for Icsid as the World Design Capital. The storyline of transformation is all about sustainability, urban development and embracing a global community in light of its drive to enhance its social and economic environment. We anticipate tangible benefits will be reaped to assist reposition Cape Town on an international scale.”
Cape Town can be described as a developing and energetic city, where design has for many years been a significant factor in its desire to build an open city. The marriage of need and innovative design has led to unique approaches to deal with the difficulties of a developing city. Design in Cape Town is in addition reaching beyond city limits by aspiring to become the design and style centre for South Africa and for the African continent.
Ms. De Lille concluded her acceptance of the WDC designation by saying, “We are delighted for the World Design Capital bid process and title. It has assisted to bring different initiatives together and has made us realise that design in all its forms, when added together, creates human and city development. We look forward to gaining knowledge from other cities that happen to be using design as a tool for transformation, including designated cities Torino, Seoul and Helsinki and our fellow shortlisted cities, Dublin and Bilbao. We are honoured to have been taken into consideration with them.”
The City of Cape Town will follow the examples of past World Design Capitals to develop an engaging programme for 2014.
Source: worlddesigncapital.com, capetown2014.co.za