Cape Town has won the title of World Design Capital 2014! Early this morning, the city collectively held its breath as the countdown to the announcement, made in Taipai by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid), began.
The Western Cape Provincial Government’s MEC for finance, economic development and tourism, Alan Winde, tweeted “Good luck Cape Town! My thoughts are with our team in Teipei. Waiting anxiously…”
His sentiments were echoed by Andrew Boraine, CEO of the Cape Town Partnership, the body responsible for co-ordinating Cape Town’s bid, who wrote “15 minutes to #WDC2014 announcement. Nerves jangling. Thinking of everyone gathering at Field Office. Thanks for all your great support…”
Back at the Field Office in Cape Town, work was already underway to celebrate the hoped-for and highly anticipated win. “In anticipation, VISI and Mak1one from @sjartists spent the night painting a celebratory #WDC2014 wall”, said SA’s premier design magazine, @Visi_Mag.
So, when the announcement was made, the virtual crowd – and the real representatives sitting in the audience in Taipei – erupted!
“Awarded to cities based on their commitment to use design as an effective tool for social, cultural and economic development, the WDC has become more than just a project or a programme. Today, it is a global movement and serves to acknowledge that design can, and does, impact the quality of human life,” Icsid said in a statement.
“It is encouraging to see how Cape Town plans to use design as a tool to solve urban challenges. I am confident that this new member of the WDC family will demonstrate to the world how design is expanding in application and influence,” said Icsid President and member of the selection committee, Dr. Mark Breitenberg.
“For Cape Town, the WDC appointment comes exactly two decades after reaching democracy. “2014, then, is the moment when the past and the future will come together for Cape Town, in contemplation and in action,” stated executive mayor of Cape Town, Ms. Patricia de Lille. “It is a reflection of how the city has socially and physically reinvented itself.”
Cape Town’s vision of design is based on socially responsible design, sustainability and innovation. As part of their bid, the theme “Live Design. Transform Life” was introduced in support of Cape Town’s objective to focus on enhancing the city’s infrastructure to make it a more liveable African City.
Executive editor of The Argus, Gasant Abarder, was one of those waiting for the news early this morning. He told TheMediaOnline: “Winning the title of World Design Capital 2014 is the catalyst we need to transform lives by design. We all know that Cape Town is still a divided city thanks to the legacy of our past. We now have an opportunity to bridge the divide between the haves and the have-nots in our city by linking them through design. The hard work starts now.”
Shortlisted candidate cities, Bilbao (Spain) and Dublin (Ireland) also mounted compelling bids. “The decision for the Selection Committee was not easy given the high calibre of the bids that were considered amongst the final candidates,” added Dr. Breitenberg. “The promise of Cape Town’s approach to broaden the scope of the World Design Capital and shape the future of this initiative, were the deciding factors that ultimately led to the city’s appointment for 2014.
“Cape Town has the strongest claim on a new chapter for Icsid as the World Design Capital. The story of transformation is about sustainability, urban development and embracing a global community in light of its drive to improve its social and economic environment. We expect tangible benefits will be reaped to help reposition Cape Town on an international scale.”
Cape Town is a growing and vibrant city, where design has for decades been a significant factor in its desire to build an open city. The marriage of need and innovative design has resulted in unique solutions to address the issues of a developing city. Design in Cape Town is also reaching beyond city limits by aspiring to become the design hub for South Africa and for the African continent.
De Lille concluded her acceptance of the WDC designation by saying, “We are grateful for the World Design Capital bid process and title. It has helped to bring different initiatives together and has made us realise that design in all its forms, when added together, creates human and city development. We look forward to learning from other cities that are using design as a tool for transformation, including designated cities Torino, Seoul and Helsinki and our fellow shortlisted cities, Dublin and Bilbao. We are honoured to have been considered with them.”
The City of Cape Town will follow the examples past World Design Capitals to develop an engaging programme for 2014.
[Check out the video here]
helenzille Helen Zille: Great News, Tweeple. Cape Town has won the bid to be the International Design Capital of the World 2014. ++ for economy and jobs.