Empowering cities with good design

This year welcomes back the World Design Capital (WDC), awarded to Cape Town.


Celebrating a year of culture and design, South Africa's oldest city is showcasing its influential architecture, historical buildings and contemporary artists and designers with a series of events throughout 2014.

Awarded biannually by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID), World Design Capital status for Cape Town be an African first. The award aims to highlight and celebrate the city's social, cultural and economic development. and visitors to the city can expect a year-long design programme based on the motto 'Live Design. Transform Life' - the basis of Cape Town's winning bid.

As well as addressing the city's apartheid past, the bid was also aimed specifically at dealing with the on-going social imbalances since the arrival of democracy in 1994.

Organised into three main themes - rebuilding Cape Town through community cohesion; reconnecting the city through infrastructural enhancement; and repositioning it for the knowledge economy) - the South African legislative capital is set to showcase how socially responsible design will transform it, as part of its broader vision for the future.

Cape Town secured the title in 2011 after beating off Bilbao and Dublin in the final. Previous World Design Capital winners have included Helsinki (2012), Seoul (2010) and Turin (2008). Cape Town will host a number of signature events throughout the year, including an international design exhibition, an international design policy conference and an international design gala, as well as more local-orientated community events.

For full details of events taking place in Cape Town see the World Design Capital Cape Town 2014 website.

Words by Emily Martin


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