DISCOVER Magazine #7

Cape Town: World Design Capital 2014

Published in category: Countries

‘Live Design. Transform Life’ – a strong theme, and with good reason: it won Cape Town this year’s title ‘World Design Capital 2014’. Being the world’s design capital is a leap forward in the city’s development, which is transforming in a hub for design and creativity. The project not only incites a series of design related events; it represents a step in the process of changing how the city and its people approach development and use innovative thinking and design to transform Cape Town.

World Design Capital is an initiative of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design to acknowledge, reward and stimulate design projects and initiatives in cities worldwide. Turin, Seoul and Helsinki won the prestigious title in past years; Cape Town is 2014’s laureate, making it the first World Design Capital from a developing country and the first from Africa.


page_10The programme encompasses no less than 460 transformative design-inspired events and projects, all related to the central theme: ‘Live Design. Transform Life’. To ignite the imagination of the public, and to contribute towards a greater understanding of the multi-faceted nature of design, four sub-themes have been developed.

‘African Innovation. Global Conversation’ focusses on products or events that originated in Africa and have global relevance – unique solutions that have been exported beyond the continent. The second theme, ‘Bridging the Divide’, connects projects that use design to bridge the historical divide between communities and across borders. ‘Beautiful Space. Beautiful Things.’ picks up on aesthetics and collects inspiring and original South African architecture, interiors, fashion, craft, art and creativity. The fourth theme, ‘Today for Tomorrow’, relates to a field in which Damen is active in Capetown.

The theme is about future-oriented projects focusing on human development, skills training, education and sustainability. Although not an official part of the WDC programme, the Damen Apprentice Training Centre and many other investments in the yard, the surrounding infrastructure and its employees fit perfectly with the programmes’ goals. To build, together, a sustainable, productive African city, bridging historic divides and building social and economic inclusion and sustainable progress.

More information and the complete programme of World Design Capital 2014 can be found at

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