WDC Cycle

Applications submitted are checked for completeness, prior to initial review. If the application is incomplete, cities are contacted and provided one week to submit the missing material. Applicant cities should submit bids electronically only and late application will not be accepted.

WDO requires all applicant cities to submit a video as part of their bid (no more than 2:30 minutes) to highlight key spaces in the city’s design heritage, information relating to the theme of the bid and what the city hopes to achieve.

All completed applications are sent to the WDC Selection Committee, who convene and assess the merits of each application and ultimately determine up to three shortlisted cities.

Following the announcement of the shortlist, members of the WDC Organizing Committee conduct city visits to meet with bidding city representatives and verify the information provided in the applications. Two full days are usually spent in each city.

The Final WDC Selection Meeting takes places approximately six months after the close of the application period. A report on the city visits is presented during which time the WDC Selection Committee further evaluates the quality of the shortlisted cities’ projected programmes before selecting the next World Design Capital.

Results are kept confidential until the official announcement.

Following the announcement, the newly designated city has a two-year period to prepare for the implementation of its programme of design-related events. An organizing entity is created to manage various projects and develop the identity of their event in collaboration with WDO.

During the WDC year, WDO and the designated city collaborate to ensure the programme is effectively promoted and executed. Each city programme is unique, however, Signature Events are incorporated into each WDC year.