The City of Torino has been announced as the first World Design Capital. As the first municipality to hold the title, the City of Torino accepts the designation as the 2008 Pilot Project for the World Design Capital competition - a biennial international competition created to identify and recognize cities that have effectively used design from a social, cultural and economical point of view to revive the city.
The competition, initiated by Icsid under the direction of its President Professor Dr. Peter Zec, was envisioned following the astounding interest generated as a result of the participation of 34 cities in the bid to host the joint Secretariats of Icsid and the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (Icograda). "Following the unbelievable success of the Host City Project, it became apparent that a number of cities aspired to be recognized for their contributions to the industry of design," stated Zec. Further contemplation supported the proposal that a competition of this nature would not only generate interest among a number of communities worldwide, but that it could be developed in a manner that would ensure the longevity of this interest by cities willing to be recognised for their achievements in design.
There are many benefits for cities to become a World Design Capital. The list includes gaining visibility as a creative city, attracting investors and creative people, strengthening economic development, positioning itself as a leading city of design, improving the quality of life within the city, building a global image and taking part in an international network of design.
Icsid's initiative to launch the World Design Capital designation has since become a project of the IDA a joint venture and partnership between Icsid and Icograda. Following the 2008 pilot project, the IDA will spearhead the competition in an attempt to advocate design on an increasingly committed international platform. "As an honorary designation, we believe that the World Design Capital will help to highlight the importance of design as a driving force for economic, social and cultural development in the age of globalisation," stated Zec.
Photo: Courtesy of Icsid