The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) announced on October 20, on behalf of the International Design Alliance (IDA), Seoul as the winner of the World Design Capital (WDC) 2010 competition at the closing session of the Icsid Congress held at Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco.

Seoul received wide praise from the five-member expert jury, which consisted of internationally acclaimed designers Marc Newson and Patricia Urquiola; Sergio Chiamparino, Mayor of Torino (Italy), World Design Capital 2008; Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, President of Icsid; and Jacques Lange, President of the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (Icograda).

The jury unanimously endorsed Seoul’s bid to become the World Design Capital 2010. “The jury was highly impressed by Seoul’s application,” confirmed Prof Dr. Peter Zec, Icsid President, WDC Founding Chair and WDC 2010 jury member. “Seoul’s remarkable achievements in design-led development – particularly in the past decade – exemplify the spirit of the WDC designation.”

Icsid went on to explain that Seoul’s application detailed the far-reaching impact of design on the social, cultural and economic development of the city, and with the recent profusion of high-tech Korean consumer products around the globe—from brands such as LG Electronics Inc., Samsung, Hyundai, Daewoo, Helio and Kia—Seoul has been defining its international image in terms of its design capabilities.

Marc Newson, award-winning designer and WDC 2010 jury member stated “Seoul’s economic figures and its position as the center of South Korea’s rapid development speaks for Seoul’s enhanced global status as design city. “Moreover, the interest in design is very high in Seoul,” noted Patricia Urquiola, also an award-winning designer and jury member. She emphasised Seoul’s newly found image as city of design and added, “It is telling, for example, that the W hotel chose Seoul as its first location outside of North America.”

The announcement of Seoul’s selection as World Design Capital 2010 comes during the lead-up to the first-ever WDC celebration in Torino, Italy in 2008. “The government of Seoul, like Torino, has pursued strategies of growth through design with great determination and dedication,” stated Torino’s Mayor, Sergio Chiamparino. “We congratulate Seoul for its achievements, and are looking forward sharing our experiences as part of the World Design Capital network.”

Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon in his acceptance speech declared “Design is a growth driver of the Seoul economy. We have surprised the world with the Miracle of the Han River and advancements in the IT sector. Now we would like to bring global attention to Seoul with strong design.” He expressed high hopes for the city’s future and added, “With Seoul’s designation as WDC 2010, the city will be able to breath creative energy into the design industry and reinvent itself into a globally recognised city of design and collaborate with other cities in the world to communicate with design. Seoul will send out the message that design is the power to change the world for the better.”

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About Icsid

The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) is an international non-governmental organisation for professional industrial design. Founded in 1957, Icsid currently counts over 150 members in more than 50 countries, representing an estimated 150,000 designers worldwide. Icsid members are professional associations, promotional societies, educational institutions, government bodies, corporations and institutions — all of which contribute to the development of the profession of industrial design.

Icsid facilitates co-operation and interaction among these societies and supports a global network through which design institutions worldwide can collaborate. Through shared interests, experiences, and resources, Icsid provides an international platform for its members to be heard as a powerful voice.

Icsid also holds consultative status with UNESCO, UNIDO, ISO and WIPO to support and highlight design in international forums.

About the IDA
In a major step for the global design community, Icsid and the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (Icograda) have committed themselves to forming the collective voice for all disciplines of design through the creation of the International Design Alliance (IDA). The IDA is positioned as the design advocate working with international organisations, governments and industry.

For more information, please contact:
Ms. Dilki de Silva
Icsid Secretary General
t: +1-514-448-4949 ext. 227

Ms. Andrea Springer
Icsid Communications Manager
t: +1-514-448-4949 ext. 232