The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) announced today the launch of the World Design Capital (WDC) 2012 bid process during the International Design Policy Conference held in Torino, Italy.
The vision of the World Design Capital project is to promote and encourage the use of design to further the social, economic and cultural development of the world's cities. In this spirit, the designation honours those cities that use design to revitalise and reinvent their urban environment. The World Design Capital is a biennial designation awarded to cities to showcase their design merits with national and international audiences.
While there are many awards that recognise individual accomplishments in design, the World Design Capital designation is unique as it aims to focus on the broader essence of design's impact on urban spaces, economies and citizens. The designation also provides a distinctive opportunity for cities to feature their accomplishments in attracting and promoting innovative design.
Since the establishment of the project by Icsid in 2005, the WDC has received international acclaim for its contributions to raise the awareness of urban revitalisation strategies using design as a fundamental tool. For the designated city, the WDC title is one of international distinction and allows the selected city to share a captivating story on design success through an extensive programme of multidisciplinary design-related activities held within the city for a period of one year.
Interested cities are encouraged to download the application form and guidelines from the official World Design Capital website. Deadline for submission is 31 March 2009. Applicants will be evaluated based on a predetermined set of criteria and the final selection will be announced at the Icsid World Design Congress in Singapore, in November 2009.
The international jury for the 2012 designation will consists of Prof. Carlos Hinrichsen, Icsid President (Chile); Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum (United Kingdom); Guto Indio da Costa, Architect (Brazil) and Se-hoon Oh, Mayor of the City of Seoul (South Korea).
In today's rapidly changing environment, design is becoming an increasingly fundamental tool in all levels of public and private development. Corporations are including design in the core of business strategies, governments are taking advantage of effective design to make their cities more attractive, more liveable and more efficient, and citizens around the globe are becoming increasingly more aware and attuned to the benefits of design. "We should commit ourselves to realise that this world will be different only if we live differently," stated Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, Icsid Senator and WDC Founding Chair. "Initiatives such as the World Design Capital are good examples of how design can encourage strategic thinking and demonstrate the merits of design as a sustainable factor to the betterment of quality of life."
As the current titleholder for 2008, the city of Torino has established an impressive calendar of design events that have served to highlight regional, national and international initiatives in the fields of education, innovation and technology, industrial design, visual communication, urban design, architecture, transportation, food design, contemporary art and cinema, and lighting design. The city has been infused by the WDC project during the course of the year and has cultivated a heightened appreciation for design among its citizens, as well as with a large number of international visitors who have come to Torino to experience the WDC concept for the first time. Not surprisingly, the appointment of Torino as the pilot-city for the project and the success of the programme established by the city, have served as a benchmark for future municipalities interested in bidding for the WDC title.
In October 2007, the first official bid was launched and the city of Seoul, South Korea was selected as the WDC for 2010. Plans are currently being developed to implement a stimulating programme that will unveil Seoul's unique culture of design. "Although still in its incubation phase, the impact of the designation on each city is quite encouraging," stated Prof. Hinrichsen. "As the network of WDC designated cities continues to grow, we will make every effort to empower the project and encourage the exchange of knowledge among the cities. As a partner of the International Design Alliance (IDA), Icsid is also committed to sharing the best practices of the WDC project with its partners in order to further the collective voice of design."