The highlight of the Dutch contribution to World Design Capital 2014 is the Department of Design, a three-week long event representing a R4.5m investment from the Netherlands that launches on 8 July 2014.
The Dutch Consulate General in Cape Town further announced that the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, will lead an economic trade mission to South Africa on 7-8 July to take part in the Department of Design programme, which features workshops, presentations, debates and activities that focus on addressing sustainability challenges in South Africa.
"Department of Design symbolises the changing relationship between our two countries, from aid to trade and from giving to sharing," said Bonnie Horbach, Dutch Consul General in Cape Town. Both Minister Ploumen and representatives from a number of leading Dutch companies will attend the event with interest in matchmaking opportunities with South African counterparts in water management, transport and logistics, agriculture and farming, health and science and creative industries.
An initiative of the consulate, together with the Dutch Top Team for Creative Industries and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), Department of Design will be created with Dutch design company Droog and programme director, Christine de Baan in the Provenance Auction House space in the Cape Town CBD.
Platform for knowledge
"With Department of Design, we create a platform for knowledge exchange where, through the perspective of design as an agent of change, we can lay the groundwork for long-term solutions," said De Baan. "As a result of this participatory approach, we hope to gain mutual appreciation and continued collaboration after 2014, as well as the possibility for innovations that resonate beyond Cape Town and prove valuable for other urban areas in South Africa and the world."
Locally, the programme is supported by Design Indaba founder, Ravi Naidoo; Laurine Platzky, Western Cape deputy director-general of provincial strategic management; Richard Perez, programme director for World Design Capital 2014; and non-profit organisation Future Cape Town.
"Our organisation has been a platform for raising the discourse on major sustainability issues for close to four years," said Future Cape Town director, Rashiq Fataar. "With Department of Design we create a working laboratory to tackle them even further by throwing a creative spotlight on the need to collaborate for change."
For more information, go to www.departmentofdesign.nl