Cape Town is bidding to be selected as World Design Capital 2014, reports the Cape Argus. The Cape Town Partnership is driving the bid, and its bid focuses on making Cape Town a better place to live. It is a pity, however, that the logo designed for the bid is so boring, and does not reflect the design wealth and creativity of Cape Town, nor its beauty.
The Cape Town bid for World Design Capital 2014 has the slogan “Live design, transform life”, and will benefit Capetonians if Cape Town wins, in attracting interest in and visitors to our beautiful city.
The World Design Capital project promotes the value of design in ‘managing and reshaping cities’. It is a project of the International Council for Societies of Industrial Design. It aims to show how design can tackle the problems of urbanisation in making ‘cities more attractive, more livable, and more efficient’. It encourages organised urbanisation through planning, design and management of cities.
A winning design city is selected every two years, and in that year the city commits to using design to address its urbanisation challenges, and showcases design achievements of that city through a program of design events and activities. Two cities are short-listed every two years, and have to expand on their design proposal, to be selected as a winner. The selection for 2014 takes place in two years’ time. Likely competitors for Cape Town include Bilbao and a number of Chinese cities.
The Cape Town World Design Capital bid focuses on the natural beauty of Cape Town, set between two World Heritage sites, being Table Mountain and Robben Island, its cultural diversity, cuisine, music, dance, unique language, and its urban design and designers. In the city centre there are more than 1000 creativity-related companies alone, including ad agencies, architecture and urban design practices, IT companies, and fashion and jewellery design companies.
The annual Design Indaba has already established Cape Town’s credentials as the leader in international design, attracting the world’s top designers as speakers as well as delegates (putting Martha Stewart on the programme earlier this year was the first Design Indaba flop). In addition, a number of Cape Town-based urban designers and architects have won international design awards.
The Green Goal programme, which was designed to offset the carbon footprint of the World Cup, forms part of the city’s bid, and has achieved international recognition. Over the past few years the city has attracted residents back to living in the city, in beautifully designed warehouses and lofts. Salt River and Woodstock have been regenerated, with furniture and lighting design companies opening there, as have art galleries, eateries and one of the city’s largest markets at the Old Biscuit Mill. The benefits of urban living in using the new modern and world-class Integrated Rapid Transport system to get around the city forms part of the bid. The film and television industry also forms part of the bid, having been an important means of attracting international productions to the Mother City in the past.
Cape Town’s bid for World Design Capital 2014 is being managed by the Cape Town Partnership’s Lorelle Bell, and she is requesting Capetonians to alert her to all the design-related assets of Cape Town, to be included in the Cape Town Bid Book. Contact her: email@example.com and see more details about Cape Town’s bid for World Design Capital 2014 at www.capetown2014.co.za
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com