The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) is currently inviting cities to submit applications for the World Design Capital (WDC) 2014 designation - a biennial international appointment that is conferred to a city for the period of one year, in recognition of its achievements and focus on design as a driving force for economic, social and cultural development.
The vision of the World Design Capital initiative 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 WDC designation honours the city that has best used design to revitalise and reinvent its urban environment.
The title is bestowed to a city that has demonstrated exceptional progress using the multidisciplinary sectors of design. The city must demonstrate that government, industry, educational institutions, designers and in fact the very population of the city, are working individually, and in concert to realise the city's strategic development and provide a platform to demonstrate the merits of design as a sustainable factor to the betterment of living conditions. The successful candidate city will have proven tangible and visible results that have enhanced the experience of the city and improved the quality of life of citizens.
For the appointed city, the WDC designation is a yearlong opportunity to strengthen economic development, stimulate new partnerships and build upon its global image as a centre of creativity and innovation.
Interested cities are encouraged to download the application form from the official World Design Capital website. The deadline for submission is March 31, 2011.
The international Selection Committee for the 2014 designation will consist of Dr. Mark Breitenberg, Icsid President; Edna dos Santos-Duisenberg, Chief, Creative Industries Programme of UNCTAD; Jeremy Myerson, Director and Chair of the Helen Hamlyn Centre at the Royal College of Art; Kohei Nishiyama Founder and CEO of elephant design co., ltd. and Founder of CUUSOO.com and Jussi Pajunen Mayor of the City of Helsinki (Finland).
Applications will be evaluated by the WDC Selection Committee, which will convene in September 2011 to announce the final selection at the IDA Congress in Taipei, in October 2011.
Since the inaugural designation in 2008, the WDC title has been bestowed upon the cities of Torino, Italy (WDC 2008); Seoul, South Korea (WDC 2010); and most recently, to Helsinki, Finland (WDC 2012). Testaments of their commitment to design, the appointment of these cities demonstrate the extent through which design has been a catalyst to the reinvention of their municipalities to the benefit of a growing number of businesses, citizens and visitors. They have understood the benefits of design as an integral component to social, environmental and economical development and have deployed within their municipalities a set of programmes and initiatives that have incited reform to the betterment of their citizens.
"At a time in history when over half the world's population lives in cites, the World Design Capital designation calls attention to the power of design to improve our quality of life," stated Icsid President Dr. Mark Breitenberg. "WDC cities also demonstrate how the creative industries and the creative economy impact the changing urban environment, and showcase the importance of the design sector as a tangible economic benefit for all cities. Our ambition is to educate governments around the world about the ways in which design-driven approaches can address our most urgent and challenging problems, including planning and urban regeneration, technology and the development of new products and services that improve daily life, transportation, and the urban environment."
Icsid encourages municipalities to use the preparation of the WDC bid as a platform to strengthen the link between design and city development, as well as identify ways to celebrate design over a period of 365 days through various educational, social, environmental, economic and cultural events.