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September 2010

Cape Town is bidding for World Design Capital 2014, an award bestowed by the International Council for Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid), to cities dedicated to using design for their social, economic and cultural development.

World Design Capital promotes design’s solution-finding, transformative potential, rather than primarily design aesthetics. A World Design Capital Designation gives cities the opportunity for a global focus on a year-long programme of design-led events.

We have a strong story to tell 20 years post democracy of how design is being used to begin to undo how the City was historically designed to divide people. Icsid is understood to be looking for a City from a developing country. Previous recipients of the award are Torino(inaugural 2008), Seoul (2010), and Helsinki (2012).

In addition to promoting Cape Town’s design and creative industries and assets, the broad theme of the bid will be connection and reconnection, with a strong focus on the way Cape Town has been using design to reconnect people. The bid will look at the IRT, the public spaces programme, the dark fibre network, among others. It will look at public architecture, art and memorialisation, through the lens of their contribution to place-making. The bid allows the City to leverage the gains made during the 2010 World Cup which demonstrated the positive impact of people-centred design.

Cape Town will use the bid process to promote City design assets and designers, and use this process to put design and the City’s design-led projects in the public domain, so that everyone can understand the impact design can have on City development; how important designers are; and how critical design education is to the City’s future.

The deadline for applications is February 2011.
Icsid reverts with a shortlist of two cities by the middle of 2011.
This is followed by a -comprehensive programme for 2014 from the shortlisted cities and a visit by Icsid.
World Design Capital is then announced by the end of 2011.

The City of Cape Town has mandated the Cape Town Partnership to coordinate the bid.

To get involved or show you support the bid visit or email or call 021 4191881.

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