Cape Town for World Design Capital 2014

The Cape Town Partnership are officially announcing the bid for Cape Town as World Design Capital 2014 at this year's Design Indaba.

The City of Cape Town is bidding to become the World Design Capital in 2014. Do you think that Cape Town is a design city? What are you planning for 2014 that would contribute to making Cape Town a World Design Capital?

Cape Town Partnership and other key partners of the World Design Capital bid are calling on you to give your input at and tell us what you would like your world to look like in 2014 and how you plan to contribute to that vision. Whether it is an event you have planned for 2014 or a design-related project that you hope to complete or implement during that year.

Cape Town Partnership have launched this call to action at the Design Indaba. As Cape Town’s greatest design asset, this is the most appropriate platform to kick start a campaign of this nature. The Cape Town 2014 campaign will also be activated at various platforms throughout the Cape Town events calendar.

We believe that Cape Town possesses many assets that could make it a World Design Capital. From a history of hosting big events like Cape Town’s own internationally acclaimed Design Indaba, to the World Economic Forum and Cape Town Jazz Festival, to mention a few. There are also many creative industries that are concentrated in the city – with a high level of design-related companies and design leaders. Furthermore there is a new infrastructure left by the 2010 World Cup: The new international airport terminal, a new train station, a new stadium and the beginnings of a more efficient public transport system. Your 2014 project could also form part of this design heritage.

In the efforts to secure this designation, the groundwork to position Cape Town as a centre for design and innovation in the future, has started. A senior delegation representing Mayor Dan Plato will attend the World Design Cities Summit in Seoul during February. This summit forms part of Seoul’s celebration of its year of designation as World Design Capital 2010. This senior delegation comprises Alderman Felicity Purchase from Mayor Dan Plato’s Economic Development and Tourism office, Cape Town Partnership deputy CEO Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana, and Cape Town Tourism marketing executive Lianne Burton. This senior delegation will introduce Cape Town to a network of design cities at the summit and announce Cape Town’s plans to bid for the World Design Capital in 2014.

In positioning Cape Town as a centre for innovation, we also recognise that Apartheid has left a legacy of “bad design” that is manifested in a spatially, socially and racially divided society. There is broad recognition that the answer to Cape Town’s development challenges lies in the DESIGN of the cityscape itself as well as the design of its processes. We have witnessed this in projects like the IRT transport project, the Oude Molen Eco Village, Sinking the Cape Town Station, the Reclaim Camissa initiative and others that encourage Capetonians to engage with the process of redesigning the city. Furthermore, there is a strong desire to foster an environment where innovation thrives in initiatives such as East City Design Initiative, Cape Town Activa, Bandwidth Barn and Silicon Cape.

If you have thoughts around the notion of Cape Town as a design city, you now have a blank canvas on which you can show us what this design city could look like in 2014. Make your contribution at

What is World Design Capital?

This prestigious status is designated biennially by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) to cities that are dedicated to using design for social, cultural and economic development. This title will give Cape Town a chance to showcase its achievements and aspirations through a year-long programme of design-led events and activities as World Design Capital designees Seoul and Helsinki will do in 2010 and 2012 respectively. For more information on World Design Capital, please visit

Cape Town for World Design Capital 2014 Partner Organisations

Accelerate Cape Town

African Centre for Cities (UCT)

Cape Craft and Design Institute

Cape Film Commission

Cape Peninsula University of Technology (Infomatics and Design)

Cape Town Fashion Council

Cape Town International Convention Centre

Cape Town Partnership

Cape Town Tourism

Cape Town Stadium

City of Cape Town

ESP Afrika/Cape Town Jazz Festival

Interactive Africa/Design Indaba

MMA Architects

Tsai Design Studio

Makeka Design Lab