Montreal (Canada) – The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) today announced that President-Elect Dr. Mugendi M’Rithaa has been appointed to the World Design Capital® (WDC) 2018 Selection Committee. Dr. M’Rithaa replaces President Dr. Brandon Gien who has decided to step down due to the positive interest from the Oceania region to submit an application for the 2018 designation.

“I believe it is in the best interest of the organisation that I do not participate in the selection process due to a potential conflict of interest,” stated Icsid President Dr. Brandon Gien in a letter notifying Icsid Secretary General Dilki de Silva of his official withdrawal. Dr. Gien is the CEO of Good Design Australia and Chair of the Australian International Design Awards (AIDA).

The WDC initiative is one of Icsid’s key international programmes established to support the organisation’s vision to create a better world through design. 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.

“Icsid today accepted Dr. Gien’s decision to step down from the WDC 2018 Selection Committee (WDCSC) in order to maintain the integrity of the WDC 2018 selection process,” said de Silva from the Montreal-based Icsid Secretariat. “We welcome the expertise that Dr. M’Rithaa brings to the WDCSC and look forward to what promises to be an exciting selection process.”

Bids for the WDC designation undergo an extensive evaluation process and are reviewed by a panel that comprises five international representatives of varied expertise from the fields of design, urban planning, social and cultural development. These experts are tasked with evaluating the bids, shortlisting the cities and ultimately making the decision of which city will be awarded the biennial title for 2018.

The WDC 2018 Selection Committee comprises (in alphabetical order):

  • Dr. Meric Gertler, President of the University of Toronto (Canada)
  • Dr. Wen-je Ko, Mayor of the City of Taipei (Taiwan, Chinese Taipei)
  • Mr. Luyanda Mpahlwa, Director, DesignSpaceAfrica (South Africa)
  • Dr. Mugendi M’Rithaa, Icsid President-Elect 2013-2015 (South Africa)
  • Ms. Abigail Posner, Head of Strategic Planning, Agency Development for Google (United States)

For more information:
Ms. Augie Van Biljouw, Icsid’s Director of Communications
t: +1 514 448 4949 ext. 228

About World Design Capital® (WDC)

While there are many awards that recognise individual accomplishments in design, the World Design Capital designation is unique as it aims to focus on the broader essence of design’s impact on urban spaces, economies and citizens. The designation provides a distinctive opportunity for cities to feature their accomplishments in attracting and promoting innovative design, as well as highlight their successes in urban revitalisation strategies. The World Design Capital is an initiative established and managed by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. Past cities to hold the title include Torino (Italy) in 2008, Seoul (South Korea) in 2010, Helsinki (Finland) in 2012 and Cape Town (South Africa) in 2014. While preparations for Taipei (Taiwan, Chinese Taipei) are currently underway for 2016, bids for the 2018 designation are currently being accepted through 31 March 2015.

About Icsid

The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) is a non-profit organisation that protects and promotes the interests of the profession of industrial design. Founded in 1957, Icsid serves as a unified voice of over 50 nations through which members can express their views and be heard on an international platform. Since its inception, Icsid has continued to develop its wide-reaching network of students and professionals devoted to the recognition, success and growth of the industrial design community. Together, professional associations, promotional societies, educational institutions, government bodies and corporations create a comprehensive and diverse system on the forefront of industrial design education and progress.