The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) today announced the launch of the World Design Capital® (WDC) bid process for the 2020 designation, during the opening ceremony of the WDC Taipei 2016 International Design House Exhibition.

During a packed October of international signature events in WDC Taipei 2016, Icsid officially opened the call for bids, inviting design effective cities from around the globe to apply for its 7th WDC designation, demonstrating the ways in which they are using design to revitalize and reinvent their urban environment and improve the lives of their citizens.

The WDC programme is one of Icsid’s key international programmes, and supports the organization’s vision to create a better world through design. As Icsid President Professor Mugendi M’Rithaa revealed to the nearly 600 strong in attendance at Taipei’s Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, “As we transition to become the World Design Organization on January 1st, WDC 2020 will be an exciting new milestone. We look to the next WDC to position design as a catalyst for change, showcasing design-led innovation that addresses some of the world’s biggest challenges, as outlined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

Previous designated cities have leveraged the WDC platform to gain visibility as a leading centre of design and innovation; to attract investment, tourism and creative industries; to strengthen and diversify economic development; and to increase public awareness of the ways in which they have used design to improve citizens’ lives.

The bid process in itself has also provided WDC cities with numerous benefits, such as increasing engagement with their design community, raising awareness of design in urban renewal, and taking stock of existing design assets.

Bids for the designation undergo an extensive evaluation process and are reviewed by a panel that comprises five international experts from the fields of design, urban planning, media, and economic and social development from the fields of design, sustainable urban planning, and social entrepreneurship. These experts are tasked with evaluating the bids, shortlisting the cities and ultimately deciding which city will be awarded the biennial title.

The WDC 2020 Selection Committee includes:

  • Kate Brown, Sustainability Director at the Grosvenor Group, who drives the Living Cities initiative to help create attractive and sustainable cities.
  • Emilio Cabrero, cofounder of the multidisciplinary firm C Cúbica Arquitectos and of Design Week Mexico, who promotes design as a key change maker for economic, social and cultural development. Emilio also heads up the WDC 2018 Office.
  • Zach Caceres, Executive Director of the Startup Cities Institute, who promotes a new approach to urban rehabilitation, governance, and development.
  • Mugendi M’Rithaa, Icsid President and Professor of Industrial Design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town, who has a keen interest in socially responsible design.
  • Andrew Tuck, founding editor of Monocle in the UK and host of the radio show The Urbanist, who is dedicated to making better cities.

If you are interested in bidding for the WDC 2020 title, visit and download the new Becoming a WDC guide, which explains the process from bid submission through designation. The deadline for applications is 31 March 2017. The designated city will be announced at the 30th Icsid General Assembly in October 2017.


About International Council of Societies of Industrial Design

Founded in 1957, Icsid (to be known as the World Design Organization, effective 1 January 2017) is an international non-governmental organization that promotes the profession of industrial design. Icsid advocates industrial design driven innovation that creates a better world, engaging more than 140 member organizations in collaborative efforts and international programming, such as World Design Capital®, World Design Talks, World Design Impact Prize, World Industrial Design Day, and Interdesign. Icsid has United Nations Special Consultative Status. Visit

About World Design Capital®
Icsid designates the World Design Capital (WDC) every two years to recognize a city’s innovative use of design to strengthen economic, social, cultural and environmental development. Through a year-long programme of design-related events, WDC provides a platform to showcase best practices in design-led urban policy and innovation, increase civic engagement, as well as attract business and tourism. First launched in Torino (Italy) in 2008, WDC has also been awarded to Seoul (South Korea) in 2010, Helsinki (Finland) in 2012, and Cape Town (South Africa) in 2014. Taipei is WDC 2016 and Mexico City will be WDC 2018.

For more information, please contact:

Augie Van Biljouw, Director of Communications
t: +1 514 448 4949 ext. 228


Jessica Hanson, WDC Programme Manager
t: +1 514 448 4949 ext. 224