The designation is awarded biennially by
the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID)
to cities that are dedicated to using design for social, cultural and
But Cape Town's bid was not about the city claiming to be an already established 'design capital', it was instead a bid to acknowledge that we are using design thinking as a tool for transformation.
Contemporary Cape Town is a tale of two cities: one a postcard narrative of wild beauty and sophisticated cosmopolitanism, the other a story of poverty and urban degradation. What connects the two realities is its four million inhabitants, who share the same hopes, depend on the same resources and whose future prospects are inseparable.
In the past, the city was divided by design – by the social engineering of the apartheid era. It is therefore only by design, and a reshaping of the cityscape, that a safer, more efficient and inclusive home for all our residents can be created.
2014 is not just a programme of events. It is a step in the process of changing how the city and its people approach development and use both design and innovative thinking to transform Cape Town.
The title is awarded in advance, allowing winning cities enough time to plan, develop and promote a year-long programme of -themed events for their designated year.
Cape Town’s 465-page 2014 bid book was officially handed over to City of Cape Town Executive Mayor, Alderman Dan Plato, on 30 March 2011, a day before the formal ICSID submission deadline of 31 March 2011.
Three shortlisted cities for the 2014 title were announced, and an ICSID site visit to each of these cities took place.
Cape Town was designated WDC for 2014 in October 2011.
To find out more about visit http://www.worlddesigncapital.com/.