Fireworks in Cape Town as designers meet


Cape Town has been transformed into the design destination, with events being hosted from 15 – 19 October, as part of the World Design Capital 2014 (WDC 2014) programme.
The WDC 2014 signature events are the Design House “Transforming Cities” Exhibition, the “MAKE A PLAN” Design Policy Conference and the Convocation Ceremony when the design baton will be officially handed over to Taipei as the next World Design Capital city in 2016.
The “Transforming Cities” Exhibition will see cities such as Bavaria, Paris, Dublin, Taipei, Accra, Qingdao, Seoul and Gwanju showing how design has had a positive impact on their citizens and will share stories through installations, films, lectures and conventional exhibits. These will include examples of public/private collaborations and innovations; urban planning and renewal; sustainable solutions for housing, agriculture, energy and climate change; public sector responses to urbanisation; and community building and social cohesion within burgeoning cities.
The City of Cape Town, through this year has highlighted the role of design in solving social, cultural, environmental and economic challenges, and will have a digitally interactive exhibition giving visitors different views and perspectives of the city on a giant floor exhibit.
The WDC wall is also be a must-see and will be an exhibition dedicated to telling the story of how the City earned the WDC honour for its bid promise to socially transform the city through design. It will also visually highlight many of the recognised WDC 2014 projects that use design to better the lives of Capetonians.
Also part of the Design House Exhibition is the CCDI’s ‘Make It New’ showcase, sponsored by the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sports (DCAS) and Cape Town Design NPC.
It will feature significant objects produced in the Western Cape and over 100 images from Western Cape museums’ archives together with objects from antiquity and tradition. The exhibition will take attendees on a trip through time, juxtaposing heirlooms with contemporary examples. From jewellery, furniture, interior décor items and artworks to handbags, toys, crockery and more, the exhibition will explore how today’s Cape creative producers are re-visiting the long established in a totally new way and making it new.
The “MAKE A PLAN” Design Policy Conference is a first for South Africa and will bring together municipal, provincial and national government in a joint effort to embed design within the public sector entities.
More than 30 local and international policy and design experts, ranging from designers, promoters, industrialists, academics, educators, policy makers and civil society members, will highlight the importance of having a design policy at local and national government levels. They will introduce ‘best practice’ examples of how design has played a vital role in the development of economies, societies and cultures worldwide in order to develop the policies necessary for unlocking the potential of the design industry to respond to social challenges.
According to Executive Mayor, Alderman Patricia de Lille, “During the City’s reign as World Design Capital, it is most fitting that we develop a policy that guides and encourages design, in all its facets, not only in South Africa, but on the entire continent of Africa. The conference is aptly themed, “MAKE A PLAN”, as on a daily basis we see ordinary South Africans ‘making a plan’ with what they have. Designing and developing innovative and extraordinary things from the most ordinary and often unwanted material.”
Brandon Gien, President of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design notes, “Design has the potential to become an integral part of the innovation policy in cities, countries and regions of the world. The WDC Design House Exhibition is attempting to highlight the systematic use of design as a tool for innovation. Knowledge informs action and the WDC policy conference provides a powerful platform for bringing together designers, entrepreneurs and policy makers to interact, innovate and shape the future of the South African policy landscape. This is also an opportunity for the City of Cape Town to showcase how the city, as WDC 2014, established a foundation to use design methodologies to address complex and systematic local challenges in redesigning public services and strategic decision-making processes.”
AlayneReesberg, CEO of Cape Town Design NPC says, “Through these events we’re celebrating projects that help us explain to the world why Cape Town is different and showcase what social impact can be achieved with good design. We’re celebrating the talent we have in Cape Town, to not only produce beautiful things, but to ask challenging questions and begin to find interesting solutions. And we are absolutely celebrating the exhibiting cities that help people understand what we mean by design that transforms lives.”

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