Montreal (Canada), 10 November 2022 — World Design Capital® (WDC) Valencia 2022 welcomed both local and international visitors last week as part of the World Design Policy Conference™, which was one of three WDC Signature Events that took place in the city from 2-4 November. The events brought together experts in design policy from as far as Australia, Brazil and India, as well as across Europe to explore the growing trend of including design in existing and new policies. Other activities, including the launch of the bidding cycle for World Design Capital 2026 and the convocation of San Diego (USA) and Tijuana (Mexico) as the first binational WDC designation in 2024, further cemented the continuation of the WDC legacy.

Attendees at the World Design Policy Conference. Photo Credit: Brava Estudio

Under the theme Local to Global, the World Design Policy Conference gathered international design leaders and policy experts to highlight the role of design in ensuring effective policy development. In doing so, the conference highlighted contrasting experiences from around the globe and showcased how design has and continues to play a vital role in the development of economies, societies and cultures worldwide.

During his opening remarks, WDO President David Kusuma highlighted the importance of fostering collaboration between diverse stakeholders, including designers, policy makers and civil servants, in order to operationalize impactful public policy. “Stimulating a dialogue around design policy remains a key outcome of the World Design Capital legacy, as it represents an increasingly critical tool in shaping the wellbeing of a city and its citizens” stated Kusuma.

WDO President David Kusuma speaks during the World Design Policy Conference on 3 November. Photo Credit: Brava Estudio

He then went on to announce the launch of WDO’s Global Design Policy Framework™, an initiative that will dedicate strategic efforts to promote design as a catalyst for urban growth and innovation. “Led by WDO, the development of this framework will be an ongoing undertaking that will highlight leading interventions from communities that have already successfully embedded design policies to influence policy makers and encourage necessary actions for promoting design intervention at various levels of government.”

WDO Board Member (India) Pradyumna Vyas presenting during the World Design Policy Conference on 4 November. Photo Credit: Brava Estudio

The community also gathered for the World Design Convocation Ceremony to on the one hand, celebrate Valencia’s design achievements over the past year and on the other, mark the upcoming transfer of the WDC title from Valencia to the cities of San Diego (USA) and Tijuana (Mexico) that will jointly hold the designation in 2024. The event was held in the presence of key government representatives from all three regions, including Mayor Joan Ribó of Valencia, Mayor Montserrat Caballero of Tijuana and Councilmember Raul Campillo of San Diego, as well as stakeholders from WDO, WDC Valencia and past WDC cities.

“The partnership between San Diego and Tijuana on the WDC effort is indicative of the connectivity of our two cities, especially when it comes to our position in the global economy,” stated Councilmember Campillo. “When authority uses design to suppress culture and the human spirit, let us stand firm in the belief that design is a tool to enhance and not to suppress, to join and not to separate.”

As noted by Mayor Caballero of Tijuana, “it is a great honour to receive this historical designation to become the first binational World Design Capital. To speak of Tijuana and San Diego is to speak not only of the brotherhood that exists between the two cities, but also to highlight the opportunity we have to collaborate together and build more interconnected communities, where other cities around the world can be inspired.”

(from left) WDO President David Kusuma, WDC Valencia CEO Xavi Calvo, Mayor Joan Ribó of Valencia, Mayor Montserrat Caballero of Tijuana, Councilmember Raul Campillo of San Diego and WDC 2024 CEO Carlos de la Mora during the World Design Convocation Ceremony. Photo Credit: Brava Estudio

The dynamic week concluded with a meeting of WDC designated cities, where representatives from past, present and future WDCs gathered to exchange key insights around the role of design in the life of a city. Discussions centered around the impact of WDC legacy programmes, as well as future opportunities for collaboration and design-based solutions to the many civic and environmental challenges faced by cities around the globe.

Reflecting on the week’s activities, as well as Valencia’s larger design legacy, Kusuma remarked that as World Design Capital, Valencia “has been a beacon in its attempt to showcase the power of design to impact urban development and social change, effectively transforming its community for the better. We have watched and witnessed how Valencia has come together in new ways, strengthening its commitment to drive not only the city, but also the region forward through design-led policy and innovation.”

Valencia’s World Design Capital programme will continue through to the end of the year. For more details about the remaining events, please visit:

About World Design Organization

World Design Organization (WDO)® is an international non-governmental organization and the international voice for industrial design. We advocate for Design for a Better World, promoting and sharing knowledge of industrial design-driven innovation that enhances the economic, social, cultural, and environmental quality of life. Today, WDO services over 185 member organizations, representing thousands of industrial designers around the world.


About World Design Capital

Designated every two years by the World Design Organization, World Design Capital® (WDC) recognizes cities for their effective use of design to drive economic, social, cultural, and environmental development. Through a year-long programme of events, the designated city showcases best practices in sustainable design-led urban policy and innovation that have reinvented their city and improved quality of life. Previous WDCs include Torino (Italy) in 2008, followed by Seoul (South Korea) in 2010, Helsinki (Finland) in 2012, Cape Town (South Africa) in 2014, Taipei (Taiwan, Chinese Taipei) in 2016, Mexico City (Mexico) in 2018 and Lille Metropole (France) in 2020. Valencia (Spain) holds the title for 2022 and the cities San Diego (USA) and Tijuana (Mexico) will jointly hold the first binational designation in 2024.

For further information, please contact:

Natalie Dutil, WDO Communications Manager: