CAPE TOWN, A WORLD DESIGN CAPITAL?

Cape Town was awarded the World Design Capital 2014 accolade in October 2011. But what exactly is this title all about ?   “The World Design Capital designation is a city promotion project that celebrates the accomplishments of cities that have used design as a tool to reinvent themselves and improve social, cultural and economic life,” offers the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design, an administrative body that overseas the biennial award. Fair enough, but what does this shortlisting really mean for Cape Town? In the first of an ongoing series of multi-vocal and investigative engagements with a key design issue, CityScapes asked three urban-minded thinkers to offer their opinions of Cape Town’s bid. Their insights are prefaced by a journalistic enquiry into Woodstock, a dishevelled Cape Town neighbourhood where a burgeoning creative economy has prompted uncertainty amongst long-time residents. How is design—which is really just a synonym for creative thinking—improving social, cultural and economic life in Woodstock, and by implication Cape Town? Good reading.

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