Cape Town has been awarded the title of World Design Capital 2014. The announcement was made on the final day of the International Design Alliance Congress in Taiwan. The Mother City beat Dublin in Ireland and Bilbao in Spain. It's the first African city to be awarded the title.
The Mother City's bid outlined a vision to create an inclusive city by embedding design ideas in its urban development plans. The status is awarded biennially to cities dedicated to using design for social, cultural and economic development. Cape Town will now have a chance to showcase its achievements through a year-long programme of design events and activities.
Architects say the accolade will create opportunities
About 200 people gathered in the Central Business District for the announcement via video link up. Local architects say the accolade will create opportunities.
According to one architect, Cape Town being recognised as the world design capital is not about South Africa, it's about Africa as a whole. The architect further says there is an opportunity for the City to really be transformative, which is what design does. The architect adds that design explores people's thinking and looks for alternatives and that hopefully it will present an opportunity to make our democracy what it is meant to be.
Another architect had this to say: “It’s been a very difficult thing to work in our own bubble in Cape Town where we have been scene as a creative town but the creatives have kind of been left to their own devices."