Montreal (Canada) – The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) today announced that the design-effective cities of Curitiba (Brazil) and Mexico City (Mexico) have been shortlisted to become World Design Capital® 2018.

Evaluated by the WDC Selection Committee, comprised of international experts in the fields of design, urban planning, and economic and social development, Curitiba (Brazil) and Mexico City (Mexico) have distinguished themselves by illustrating the ways in which their citizens have benefitted and will continue to benefit from their city’s achievements in using design for city development.

“The WDC designation showcases design’s inextricable role in the solutions economy,” said Icsid President-elect and member of the WDC Selection Committee, Mugendi M’Rithaa. “Both Curitiba and Mexico City have demonstrated innovative, design-led city development plans to address urban challenges and create a better world for their citizens.”

Curitiba aims to build on its legacy in design and urban planning, developing multidisciplinary and innovative projects that continue to effect positive change. “For 50 years, Curitiba has been leading distinct projects in areas of urban planning, mobility, and design, as well as environmental preservation, sustainability, and quality of life,” said Gustavo Fruet, Mayor of Curitiba. “It is time for Curitiba to consolidate itself as a design pole, connecting the various segments related to design in order to reward innovative projects, which improve the quality of the urban environment and people’s lives.”

For Mexico City, becoming World Design Capital® 2018 would help to build bridges from Latin America to the world, promoting international exchanges on design and urban planning. “Mexico City is a flourishing ground for designers, since it is only through design that we can achieve real change,” said Emilio Cabrero of Design Week Mexico. “We envision… making design permeate across all aspects of our megalopolis to offer a wide perspective; as well as aesthetic and cultural exchanges, which determine the development and purpose of design… to make a better future.”

A series of city visits will now be conducted by the World Design Capital® Organising Committee to better assess the capacity of each of these cities to successfully develop and implement a year-long programme of international design-led events. These visits will ensure the WDC Selection Committee gains a thorough understanding of the proposed programmes and contract compliance issues prior to their final selection in September 2015. The winning city will be announced on 18 October 2015 in Gwangju (South Korea) during Icsid’s 29th General Assembly.

World Design Capital® is a biennial designation celebrating cities that use design to improve economic, social and cultural life. Previous designations include Torino (Italy) in 2008, Seoul (South Korea) in 2010, Helsinki (Finland) in 2012 and Cape Town (South Africa) in 2014. Taipei will be World Design Capital 2016.

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Augie Van Biljouw
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. Preparations for Taipei (Taiwan, Chinese Taipei) are currently underway for 2016.

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.