Becoming a WDC

Becoming a World Design Capital® (WDC)—it all begins by responding to our call for applications. In their applications, cities must clearly define what they hope to achieve if selected. They must also provide a detailed account of the city’s contribution to design from an economic, social, cultural, and environmental point of view. Particular attention should be given to the requirements for government support, prior to submitting the final application. The submission phase is then followed by evaluation, shortlist, city visits, final selection and announcement. An applicant city must specify how, during the WDC calendar year, it intends to:

  • Express the specific relevance of design for the quality of life in the city
  • Ensure the mobilization and participation of large sections of the population
  • Promote dialogue between the design community and other sectors of society, such as business, academia, and youth

The “Becoming a WDC” guide provides cities with full disclosure on what it means to be shortlisted and to win the designation. It helps cities to make a more informed decision before submitting their bid and to determine the level of resources required.

Please be sure to also read “Apply for WDC” for information on how to apply.

For more information about World Design Capital, please contact Eric Lauwers, Programmes Manager at

Download Guide (6MB – PDF)