As a proud son of Cape Town and a designer, I’ve often excitedly told my friends in Toronto that my city is going to be the World Design Capital in 2014. And then I get the inevitable; “Really? What does that mean?”  Well folks, here is the answer.

In October 2011, Cape Town was named the World Design Capital for 2014 by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design – an international non-governmental organization that aims to protect and promote the profession of industrial design. 

The vision of the World Design Capital project is to promote and encourage the use of design to further the social, economic and cultural development of the world’s cities.

While there are many titles that recognise individual accomplishments in design, the World Design Capital designation is unique, as it aims to focus on the broader essence of design’s impact on urban spaces, economies and citizens. The designation provides a distinctive opportunity for cities to showcase their accomplishments in attracting and promoting innovative design, as well as highlight successes in urban revitalisation strategies.

While Cape Town can’t exactly be viewed as a capital for design just yet, there have been many initiatives to harness the power of creative thinking and design as a catalyst for economic growth and a tool for transformation. Becoming the World Design Capital will crystallize that thinking and promote innovation and shine a spotlight on the interesting development in the city.

Creatives have submitted their ideas based on the four themes: African Innovation. Global Conversation | African ideas that speak to the world, Bridging The Divide | Design that reconnects our city and reconciles our communities, Today For Tomorrow | Sustainable solutions for people and planet and Beautiful Spaces. Beautiful Things |Inspiring architecture, interiors, food, fashion, jewellery, craft, art and creativity.

Make sure you visit Cape Town in 2014 and check out for more information about this exciting event.


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