Signature Events

Throughout the course of the World Design Capital® year, the designated city identifies and develops unique events to achieve local objectives and to reach local, national, and international audiences.

As part of the WDC Calendar of Events, eight WDC signature events are also organized in partnership with WDO as follows:


WDC Signing Ceremony

The WDC Signing Ceremony is an opportunity for the designated city to invite key stakeholders, including government officials, the design community, local media, and business to witness and celebrate the official signing of the WDC Host City Agreement. It is the first official WDC event and the only WDC signature event held outside the designated year, usually in the first quarter of the year following the official announcement of the designated WDC City. The WDC Signing Ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate those who developed the bid, as well as to shine a spotlight on the best and the brightest of the incoming WDC Host City’s design community. The event also helps build citizen pride in the accomplishment of the city.

World Design Street Festival

The World Design Street Festival is the kick-off celebration to the WDC Calendar Year. Festivities are experience-driven and focus on building citizen excitement and engagement for the year to come, fostering civic pride in achieving the WDC designation and increasing public awareness of the importance of design in improving citizens’ lives. This is an opportunity to engage as many people as possible, including international visitors, to experience design activities in person through concerts, public design workshops, exhibitions, or design studio open houses.


World Design Spotlight

The World Design Spotlight is a one-day celebratory event conceptualized to highlight design as an impactful tool for city development and to showcase why the WDC Host City was awarded the designation. Speaking to the designated city’s unique identity, this event pays tribute to the city’s design community, recognizing those local contributions that led to the city’s WDC designation. It also recognizes best practices in impact design at the international level.

World Design Experience

The World Design Experience is an interactive showcase of design from around the world held over seven days. With an emphasis on user experience, this WDC Signature Event features exhibitors sharing their unique design stories as interpreted through the theme of the WDC year. Design effective communities are invited to present the best of their country’s design and its power to improve quality of life, creating an opportunity for designers to share ideas, innovation and expertise. This WDC Signature Event can raise significant media attention and is a prime draw for international visitors.


World Design Policy Conference

Design-led urban policies are increasingly recognized as critical to shaping the future prosperity and wellbeing of a city and its inhabitants. The World Design Policy Conference provides a global platform for the exchange of ideas, insights, and best practices from different countries, regions, and cities that are developing, launching, and maintaining effective design policy. The most content rich of the WDC Signature Events, its findings have the potential to set the foundation for a design-led legacy programme that benefits the design community and citizens and that resonates far beyond the designated WDC year.

World Design Network Cities Meeting

The World Design Network of Cities Meeting is a forum for municipal representatives, including but not limited to the mayors of WDC designated cities. Led by WDO, this Signature Event provides an opportunity for this unique cluster of cities to maintain an active dialogue about design in the life of a city since the WDC designated year. The meeting aims to highlight successes in WDC legacy programmes and to identify collaborative opportunities between the WDC designated and other design effective cities.

network of city

WDC Convocation Ceremony

The WDC Convocation Ceremony is a symbolic event to mark the successes of the WDC year, showcase the year’s highlights, recognize those who contributed to the year’s success, share the preliminary findings of the impact study, reflect on the WDC legacy, and officially hand over the WDC title to the incoming city. The Convocation Ceremony includes city officials, local WDC leadership, the design community, media and the incoming WDC’s political leadership and planning team.