Cape Town World Design Capital 2014 – Time to shine

What better way to celebrate the creative soul of Cape Town than with the title of Cape Town World Design Capital 2014.

The World Design Capital (WDC) is a prestigious title given out every two years to the city deemed most deserving. The International Council for Societies of Industrial Design awards it to the city that proves its total dedication to utilising design for social, economical and cultural improvement. That definitely sounds like Cape Town to us!

Carrying the title comes with certain responsibilities though. As the ultimate design capital, the Mother City is tasked with planning, establishing and promoting year-long events focussed on design for development and progress… and they’re not complaining. Creative Cape Town will no doubt be in its element.

So, why Cape Town?

Mother City happens to be considered the nucleus of design training in South Africa, as well as the hub of the creative industry.

Cape Town administration and design-orientated organisations have also put a lot of sweat, blood and tears into promoting design within the city as well as abroad, starting with the establishment of the Cape Town Design Network. Helping budding creative minds to gain greater exposure, and Creative Week Cape Town; a chance to showcase design works to the public. Add the regular support of Design Indaba, an international flagship design event, and you have a city truly and enthusiastically focused on promoting design in all forms.

Cape Town’s city design

Working with Cape Town Partnership, the Mother City is designing itself around the vital needs of the public. It’s important that the spirited atmosphere is kept alive and thriving, in accordance with the layout principles for Liveable Cities. Allowing for mobility and connectivity, is also a key factor.

The winning concept

“Live Design. Transform Life” was the fulcrum of Cape Town’s bid, which emphasised socially responsive forms of creative and functional design. Its focal point is addressing the footprints of apartheid’s history, aiming to repair the imbalances caused by the system, through:

  • reconstructing Cape Town through the solidarity of the community
  • connecting its people by improving infrastructure
  • enhancing the people’s education

Patricia de Lille, Executive Mayor of Cape Town, was the person who accepted the award, acknowledging its great honour and promising a future city which belongs to its citizens and which should therefore be designed for them.

A year of magnificent design

How it works is that the design capital showcases work and implements design throughout the year from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014. For example, GUILD (in association with the V&A Waterfront and the World Design Capital 2014) hosts a number of exhibitors such as:

  • Nacho Carbonell, Holland – GUILD Featured Designer for 2014
  • 20th Century, New York
  • Rossana Orlandi, Italy
  • V&A Museum And The British Council, UK
  • Coletivo Amor de Madre, Brazil
  • Agents of the 3D Revolution, Global
  • Origins Centre, South Africa
  • Southern Guild, South Africa
  • Design Network Africa, African continent

Plus, visitors have the chance to enjoy festivals like the Renewable Energy Festival (8 Feb 2014), the Spier Secret Festival (October 2014) and the Maboneng Township Arts Experience (February/March 2014).  It truly is a sustainable event that calls in art-lovers from all over the world to get involved in support and progression of urban and artistic design.

It’s a really big deal for Cape Town, winning the title of Cape Town World Design Capital. It’s a prestigious accolade to be proud of. 2014 is the twenty year benchmark for democracy and freedom, and this award is the ideal way to address and celebrate such a momentous occasion. Enjoy it!