Cape Town gears up for World Design Capital announcement

In just under two weeks, Cape Town will know whether it will be the World Design Capital 2014. Cape Town is competing with Dublin and Bilbao.

A high-level delegation, led by Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, will head to Taipei for the official announcement of the winning city, taking place on the final day of the International Design Alliance (IDA) Congress on October 26, 2011.

Mayor De Lille said: “Cape Town is committed to become an even greater city. While we still face many challenges from our past, we are constantly exploring new and innovative ways to move our city forward and create a city of opportunity where everyone is included. The bid process has given people the chance to see how excellence in design can help change our lives and just how vital that excellence is to a city moving forward confidently into the future.”

“A great deal of hard work has gone into becoming a global finalist, and we are extremely proud of our achievement thus far. But whatever the outcome, we must remember that the real work has been in the excellence in design itself that ranges across this city, excellence that will remain and indeed continue,” said Mayor De Lille.

The World Design Capital award is bi-annual and recognizes cities that use design for social, economic, and cultural transformation. Cape Town’s bid explores ways in which design has been used to heal the negative legacies of the city’s divided past and reconnect its people and its spaces. Cape Town’s bid also outlines a vision to create an inclusive city for all by embedding design thinking in its urban development plans.

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The title-holder will run a year-long program of design-focused events that will see creative communities from across the globe visiting and networking with Cape Town, for social, economic, and cultural solutions.

Cape Town will be showcased, along with finalists, Dublin and Bilbao and 2012 World Design Capital, Helsinki, at the upcoming global IDA congress in Taipei. The congress promotes interdisciplinary thinking to “inspire creativity, create business opportunities, advance culture, and meet the needs of the future.”

The Cape Town Partnership (CTP) has been responsible for managing the World Design Capital Bid on behalf of the city of Cape Town with the theme, “Live Design. Transform Life.”

Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana, Managing Director of the Cape Town Partnership, explained: “The process of bidding for World Design Capital has already resulted in new partnerships: between the public and private sectors and academia, between key departments in the City and Province, between Cape Town and Stellenbosch, all sharing a vision of the transformative power of design in the context of the many social and economic challenges we face. These partnerships will be a lasting legacy of the bid process, towards and beyond 2014.”