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Cape Town starts the World Design Capital bid

Along with Bilbao, Dublin and a number of Chinese cities, who are reportedly putting in bids, Cape Town is preparing its first stage in the bid for World Design Capital 2014, run by the International Council for Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID).
With Cape Town's theme being 'Live Design Transform Life', the city has mandated the Cape Town Partnership to coordinate the City's bid, and already a vital network of partners from local and provincial government, creative industry organisations and institutions, the media and leaders in local design have come together to lend support for the initiative.

Says Lorelle Bell, the Cape Town Partnership's bid coordinator: "Cape Town may not have Bilbao's design assets or Dublin's locale, or China's financial resources, but what we do have is a strong story to tell of how design is being used to undo how the City was historically designed to divide people. ICSID is understood to be looking for a City from a developing country."

The broad theme of the bid will be connection and reconnection and focus on the way Cape Town uses design to reconnect people through projects such as the IRT, the public spaces programme, the dark fibre network, research and design and the calendar of major public events. These draw on the talents of designers, their networks and design programmes to incorporate as wide a citizen base as possible. It will also look at public architecture, as well as art and memorialisation, in terms of their contribution to place making. The bid allows the City, for example, to leverage the gains made during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which demonstrated the positive impact of people-centred design.

"We have a thriving design community - from our internationally awarded and recognised industrial designers, to our architects and even our animation industry. This is an ideal opportunity for all creative industries to showcase our talent to the world, and achieve important recognition for design among our own communities in terms of educational transformation and development," adds Bell.

Put your design in the Bid book

The first step in the bidding process is the preparation of a bid book to specific guidelines laid out by the ICSID, and to be submitted by the end of March 2011.

"We are calling for all those involved in design to look at submitting their projects and programmes for consideration for the bid book. We are also asking all those in the creative industries to lend support to the bid by displaying the 'I support World Design Capital 2014' logo on their own property - from websites and blogs to promotional material."

For more information go to or call +27 (0) 21 419 1881.
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