The World Design Capital is a city promotion project that celebrates the merits of design. Held biennially, it seeks to highlight the accomplishments of cities that are truly leveraging design as a tool to improve the social, cultural and economic life of cities, throughout a yearlong programme of design-related even.
Through the WDC, Icsid aims to:
- Recognise innovative cities for the use of design as an effective tool for social, cultural, environmental and economic development
- Showcase a designated city and its achievements on the international forum
- Promote global understanding of design as an economic development tool
- Create an international network where cities and municipalities can learn and share innovative design programmes and strategies
- Present international examples for enhancing economic growth, innovation, public safety, quality of life and social interactions
- Promote outstanding education and research institutions in the field of design
- Share municipal design-led project between developed countries and emerging economies.
- Past cities to hold the title include Torino (Italy) in 2008 and Seoul (South Korea) in 2010. The City of Helsinki (Finland) is concluding its programme for 2012 under the theme of Open Helsinki: Embedding Design in Life, whilst preparations for Cape Town (South Africa) are underway for 2014.