Signature Events

Throughout the course of the World Design Capital® year, the designated city identifies and develops unique events to achieve local objectives and to reach local, national, and international audiences.

As part of the WDC Calendar of Events, eight WDC signature events are also organized in partnership with Icsid as follows:


Signing Ceremony

The signing ceremony is an opportunity for the designated city to invite key stakeholders, including government officials, the design community, local media, and business to witness and celebrate the official signing of the WDC Host City Agreement.

It is the first official WDC event and is usually held in the first quarter of the year following the official announcement of the designated WDC city.

New Year's Eve of Design

The WDC New Year’s Eve of design is the kick-off celebration to the WDC calendar year. Held on the eve of the first official day of the WDC designation, this opening event engages the entire city in festivities to start the year of design off in style. Since its inception in Torino (2008), it has gained immense popularity in terms of encouraging citizen pride, as well raising awareness about the World Design Capital activities and the importance of design in improving citizens’ lives.


International Design Gala

The WDC International Design Gala pays tribute to the city’s design community and recognizes the contributions made by the local creative industries that serve as a testament to city’s WDC designation. The event is an opportunity to celebrate the city’s design success stories.

International Design House

The WDC International Design House exhibition is an international showcase of the best in design held over a period of seven days in the designated city. International exhibition hosts are invited to surround their own “house” with the best of their country’s design and its power to improve quality of life.

It is an opportunity for designers to share ideas, innovation and expertise, as well as promote design for a better world.


International Design Policy Conference

Design-led urban policies are increasingly recognized as an important means of shaping the future prosperity and wellbeing of a city and its inhabitants. The WDC International Design Policy Conference provides a global platform for the exchange of ideas, insights, and best practices from different countries, regions, and cities that are developing, launching, and maintaining effective design policy.

Network Cities Meeting

The WDC Network of Cities Meeting is a forum for municipal representatives, including but not limited to the mayors from the previous and current WDC designated cities, to maintain an active dialogue about design. The meeting aims to identify collaborative opportunities between the WDC designated and other cities, as well as with the public and private sectors.


International Design Week Forum

The WDC International Design Week Forum is a platform for Design Week leaders/directors to share best practices and lessons learned.

This event is a powerful incubator of new ideas and supports the emergence of new Design Weeks. It attracts key players on the international design stage and attracts public-private investors

Convocation Ceremony

The WDC Convocation Ceremony is a symbolic event to mark the end of the WDC year, showcase the year’s highlights, reflect on the WDC legacy, and officially hand over the WDC title from one city to the next.