De­signs on a world crown

Cape Town is gear­ing up to bid for the ti­tle of world de­sign cap­i­tal 2014, writes Anna-Marie Smith

Business Day - Home Front - - FRONT PAGE -

CAPE TOWN’S rep­u­ta­tion as a city of de­sign, with an ar­chi­tec­tural her­itage of world-class stan­dards as well as other forms of art in­clud­ing fine art, per­form­ing arts, graphic and me­dia art, as well as mu­sic and film, is paving the way to the city be­com­ing the world de­sign cap­i­tal in 2014.

If suc­cess­ful, the city’s art in­dus­try, in­sti­tu­tions, busi­ness and govern­ment de­part­ments should be able to gather long-term ben­e­fits, as such an award would boost its global sta­tus.

The an­nual award is be­stowed by the In­ter­na­tional Coun­cil for So­ci­eties of In­dus­trial De­sign to cities ded­i­cated to us­ing de­sign for their so­cial, eco­nomic and cul­tural de­vel­op­ment.

The des­ig­na­tion of world de­sign cap­i­tal gives the win­ning city an in­ter­na­tional fo­cus dur­ing a year-long pro­gramme of de­sign­led events.

Pre­vi­ous win­ners in­cluded Torino in Italy in 2008; Seoul in South Korea, cur­rently hold­ing the award; and Helsinki in Fin­land, which will be­come world de­sign cap­i­tal in 2012.

Other cities in the run­ning for the 2014 ti­tle are Bil­bao in Spain, Dublin in Ire­land and a num­ber of Chi­nese cities, but ac­cord­ing to re­ports the coun­cil is search­ing for a city from a de­vel­op­ing coun­try.

Cape Town has se­lected the theme: Live de­sign. Trans­form life, for its ap­pli­ca­tion, to be lodged early next year, and has man­dated the Cape Town Part­ner­ship (CTP) to co-or­di­nate the city’s bid. There has been co-op­er­a­tive sup­port be­tween a net­work of part­ners, from lo­cal and provin­cial govern­ment, creative in­dus­try or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­sti­tu­tions, as well as the me­dia and lead­ers in lo­cal de­sign.

Lorelle Bell, CTP bid co-or­di­na­tor, says: “Cape Town may not have Bil­bao’s de­sign as­sets or Dublin’s lo­cale, or for that mat­ter China’s fi­nan­cial re­sources, but what we do have as a city is a strong story to tell 20 years after democ­racy of how de­sign is be­ing used to undo the city’s his­tor­i­cal de­sign aimed at di­vid­ing peo­ple.”

The theme of the bid will fo­cus on the city’s use of de­sign to re­con­nect peo­ple through projects such as the in­te­grated rapid trans­port sys­tem, the pub­lic spa­ces pro­gramme, the dark-fi­bre net­work, re­search and de­sign at ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions, and even how our cal­en­dar of ma­jor pub­lic events draws on the tal­ents of de­sign­ers, their net­works and de­sign pro­grammes to in­cor­po­rate as wide a cit­i­zen base as pos­si­ble.

Bell says the bid will also look at how pub­lic ar­chi­tec­ture, art and memo­ri­al­i­sa­tion con­trib­uted to place-mak­ing. The bid al­lows the city, for ex­am­ple, to lever­age the gains made dur­ing the 2010 Soc­cer World Cup, which demon­strated the pos­i­tive im­pact of peo­ple­cen­tred de­sign.

Bell says that Cape Town has a thriv­ing de­sign com­mu­nity, from in­ter­na­tion­ally awarded and recog­nised in­dus­trial de­sign­ers to ar­chi­tects and SA’s own an­i­ma­tion in­dus­try.

She says this is an ideal op­por­tu­nity for all creative in­dus­tries to show­case their tal­ent to the world and achieve im­por­tant recog­ni­tion for de­sign among the Cape’s com­mu­ni­ties in terms of ed­u­ca­tional trans­for­ma­tion and de­vel­op­ment.

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

Bell says: “We are there­fore call­ing for all those in­volved in de­sign, in what­ever way, 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 world de­sign cap­i­tal 2014 logo on their prop­erty — from web­sites and blogs to pro­mo­tional ma­te­rial.”

CTP’s Carola Koblitz says: “The part­ner­ship’s strength in meet­ing the World Cup man­date lay in its abil­ity to be re­ac­tive, rather than proac­tive, and to plan so­lu­tions to prob­lems quickly as and when they arose, from deal­ing with pub­lic fears to plug­ging the gaps in the City’s own plan­ning.”

She says the city should han­dle the way for­ward in the same way it han­dled the World Cup — in bite­sized chunks.

Koblitz re­minded Capeto­ni­ans of the five-point man­date on which the city had ex­pected the Part­ner­ship to de­liver for the World Cup and that has cre­ated a tem­plate for fu­ture events:

To en­hance cit­i­zen and busi­ness par­tic­i­pa­tion;

To con­trib­ute to a unique Cape Town ex­pe­ri­ence for vis­i­tors;

To con­trib­ute to a well-or­gan­ised, safe and suc­cess­ful event;

To en­hance busi­ness brand­ing and mar­ket­ing of the city; and

To leave a last­ing eco­nomic, so­cial and cul­tural legacy.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.