On Friday The Guardian published a very lengthy article about Cape Town’s role as host of World Design Capital 2014 (WDC), and highlighted the unusual locations of design gems in Cape Town, including the townships and previously run-down city areas, as opposed to art galleries. Unfortunately this is the second international article about Cape Town in two days with errors! The article highlights what a visitor to Cape Town should see during this design-centred year, and contains shocking news for the Tourism industry.
Journalist Lisa Grainger anticipated visiting upmarket galleries, style emporiums, and seeing craft art, but instead she spent most of her week in Cape Town in townships with guide Fernie, to experience real creativity born from poverty. ‘Because it is in these townships that some of the most inspiring people live: people who are incredible, positive, engaging, brave. And I want visitors to see the good there is here, the real heart of South Africa’, he explained to her.
She was told by Priscilla Urquhart, PR and Media Manager of Cape Town Design NPC, the company responsible for implementing World Design Capital 2014 for Cape Town, that our city’s budget (supplied by the City of Cape Town) is R 40 million, compared to close to R60 million spent by Helsinki two years ago, when that city carried the honour. Budget constraints prevented the creation of City-led design projects in Cape Town, but allowed the city’s design industry to offer its design projects for consideration, and about 450 have become official World Design Capital 2014 projects, summarised in a fold-open brochure. There is no showcase for these projects, the Design Indaba and Guild design fair having been the only two exhibitions where some of the work linked to some of the projects could be seen, unfortunately having run concurrently at the very busy end of February.
A shock is reading Urquhart admit to the journalist that ‘the WDC programme wasn’t designed to attract tourists, but to try to Continue reading →