World Design Capital 2014: Highlights for Cape Town!

Clocktower WDC 2014There has been little information about what to expect for next year when Cape Town takes over the honour of being World Design Capital (WDC) 2014, from 1 January onwards.  The theme for Cape Town is ‘Live Design, Transform Life‘.

An article in Mercedes-Benz magazine provides a short summary of the ten projects chosen by World Design Capital 2014 operating company Cape Town Design NPC  CEO Alyne Reesberg.  She is a dynamic personality, having worked as a relationship manager at Microsoft previously.  She says her vision for the important design year is to ‘make visible and tangible the many life-altering innovations that are being fostered‘ in Cape Town.  She also wants to incorporate our continent of Africa into the design discussion, and wants it to continue beyond 2014.

Reesberg believes that Cape Town’s design focus will attract more businesses to the Mother City, to offer employment to locals, and to utilise our city’s infrastructure.  She also hopes that tourists will visit next year, to also experience ‘the incredible ingenuity, know-how and capability’, which seem intangibles which will be hard for them to experience!  She would like to see the legacy of Cape Town as World Design Capital 2014  as ‘an absolute must-see for people who are interested in how design can improve citizens’ lives‘.

The ten top design projects for 2014, according to Reesberg, are the following:

*   OPEN DESIGN Cape Town, which had a test run this year, and will be a platform for the city’s designers to share their work

*   Maboneng Township Arts Experience, which will turn township homes into art galleries in February and November

*   Open Streets, which identifies streets which ‘embed and generate respect for people

*   Workshop 17/V&A, which will be a space to invent and test new products, new business models, and create new businesses focusing on Africa

*   COMMON METHODS – CRAFT IN PRODUCTION is aimed to create a linkage between South African and European designers.

*   WDC 2014 Food, a year long program of food design events, but of which no further details are known.

*   SKA/MeerKAT – the MeerKAT radio telescope will inspire a project, whereby a scale model of the telescope will be developed and set up in Cape Town.

*   EDUC8 will be a learning project, whereby prototype schools will create a unique ‘education ecology‘.

*   Trevyn McGowan’s Design Network Africa exhibition, hosted in February in conjunction with the Danish Embassy, will present the work of African as well as Danish artists

*   WDC Pavilion will be a multi-use space which will represent Cape Town as World Design Capital 2014.

The Clocktower in the V&A Waterfront has been painted yellow, and will be the central information station for those wishing to obtain more information about Cape Town in its role as World Design Capital 2014.

We can see no impact of World Design Capital 2014 on tourism bookings to date, and hope that the operating company will be marketing Cape Town and the accolade internationally!

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio:  Twitter: @WhaleCottage

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