World Design Capital Cape Town 2014 launches 450 recognised projects

Almost exactly two years ago, Cape Town was designated with the title World Design Capital® 2014 (WDC 2014) by ICSID, beating out Bilbao and Dublin after an intense bidding process and inspection by the ICSID judges (View Day 1 here and Day 2 here). On 29 June 2012, the official Host City Agreement was signed by the Mayor, Patricia de Lille. (Watch it here)

Today, Cape Town Design NPC (the organisation tasked with running WDC2014), together with Executive Mayor Alderman Patricia de Lille, announced the much-anticipated Programme for World Design Capital® Cape Town 2014 at a joint press conference, celebrating and lauding local design thinking.

  • 10-month long period
  • 2 calls for public submissions
  • 572 responses with 230 shortlisted projects in the first call for submissions
  • 681  submissions from the second call for submission  which saw 380 projects emerge from in-depth evaluation
  • 1253 projects curated
  • 450 projects have been officially recognized and which will form part of the Programme next year

In addition to the 450 projects, the overall Programme for the World Design Capital 2014 will also include a design project initiated by the community in each of the City’s 111 wards.

Read more on the themes for the submission of projects here

“The central thesis of the City of Cape Town’s approach to the World Design Capital 2014 is to use excellence in design,  to design the change we want to see in our city, using the very building blocks of which our city is comprised. All of these  projects are united by their use of design and design-led thinking to help us drive the social and economic change we want and need,” – Patricia de Lille, Mayor of Cape Town


The final recognized projects were then re-organised into six clusters to act as navigational beacons for various audiences. The clusters are:

  • LIFESTYLE ENHANCERS: Design that gives meaning through fashion, arts, culture, sports and recreation.
  • BUSINESS THAT BUILDS: Design that adds value to the economy through innovation, finance, systems and social entrepreneurship.
  • SUSTAINABILITY SOLUTIONS: Design that focuses on efficiency and resilience related to food, energy, water and the natural environment.
  • CONNECTIONS THAT UNITE: Design that elevates communication, transportation and social cohesion.
  • EDUCATION THAT ELEVATES: Design that shares knowledge through schools, exhibitions and skills development.
  • COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT: Design that improves health, wellness, housing and urban development.


Some of the projects include:

  • Future Tyger
  • Design Indaba
  • PRASA Station Modernisation
  • Learning Innovation Design Lab
  • MyCiTi
  • Cape Town’s Future Foreshore
  • Common Methods in Production
  • SKA SA
  • Better Living Challenge
  • Co-creating the Cape Town of the Future

The launch of WDC 2014 takes place on 31 December with the New Year’s Eve of Design signature event, which will see  Cape Town placed “on top of the world” for one night only. The countdown to 2014 heralds the biggest NYE party the City has hosted.

The recognized projects will be available to view online at from 1 November 2013.