All Systems Go for Cape Town World Design Capital 2014

With just over four months to go until Cape Town assumes the coveted title of World Design Capital 2014, the City is finalising its official programme of events.

World Design Capital 2014The opportunity to be the World Design Capital for 2014 brings with it the responsibility of applying innovative design solutions to our challenges.

“Design is not just about pretty things. Rather, it can fundamentally change the way people live in this city and address the challenges we have in a sustainable and innovative way,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Marketing, Councillor Grant Pascoe.

The City has launched a series of community co-design workshops to get locals involved in re-imagining their communities through innovative design methods.

Successful pilot co-design workshops have already been held in Mitchells Plain, Hanover Park, Durbanville and the Bo-Kaap, and 34 more workshops (10 between September and November and 24 next year) are scheduled to be held in wards across the city over the next 18 months.

There are also six signature events that have already been confirmed.

First up is the Design Week Forum, set to take place in London on 18 September 2013 during the annual London Design Festival. There, the City will promote Cape Town as the World Design Capital 2014 to the global design audience. The festival is the “go-to” event for top international Design Week organisers from around the globe.

The second big event is the New Year’s Eve of Design, planned for the Grand Parade on 31 December 2013. Billed as the biggest New Year’s party yet, the event will mark the official launch of Cape Town’s World Design Capital programme.

This event will be followed by a Design Gala in Cape Town on 26 February 2014 to recognise the contributions made by local design industries and design professionals that are testament to the City’s World Design Capital designation. The highlight of the gala is the awarding of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) World Design Impact Prize. The objective of the prize is to elevate industrial design-driven projects that are producing examples of best practices that are socially responsible and yield a positive impact on the quality of life.

The first ever Design Policy Conference focusing on Africa will be held in November 2014. The conference will be a global platform for the high-level exchange of ideas, insights and the best practices from different countries, regions and cities focusing on developing, launching and maintaining effective design policy.

The fifth signature event is a Design House Exhibition, also in November. The seven-day event will see international exhibitors showcase the best designs from their cities, creating an opportunity for designers to share ideas, innovation and expertise.

To round off the year’s events, a Convocation Ceremony – a symbolic event highlighting the official “hand-over” of the World Design Capital title from Cape Town to the next host city in 2016 – will be held towards the end of 2014.

“The City is determined to make a huge success of the World Design Capital designation, not only by showcasing our unique designs globally, but also to use design to improve the lives of all Capetonians,” said Councillor Pascoe.

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