Selection Committee

The WDC Selection Committee assess the applications received from cities vying for the WDC designation. The group vets each bid based on a number of criteria, including the opportunities in which citizens benefit from the use of design in city planning; the city’s capacity to organize and finance a year-long programme of design events; the mobilization and participation of the wider local design community, large sectors of the population and visitors; and the city’s capacity to foster of a wider dialogue on urban revitalization strategies.

Click here to see a list of past committees.

David Kusuma
President, World Design Organization
Portland (USA)

WDO President-Elect David Kusuma is the Senior Vice President of Product Management & Innovation at Oregon Tool. Prior to this, David served as the Vice President of Research & Innovation and Vice President of Product Development Worldwide at Tupperware Brands Corporation. During his tenure, he was tasked with subverting conventional boundaries of innovation by developing new technologies and materials to create game-changing product solutions. As a result, they developed 150 to 200 new products every year, and launched them in over 100 countries around the world. David has also worked at General Electric (GE) as Global Manager, Design and Vehicle Engineering, to develop the use of polycarbonate as a viable alternative to glass in automotive window systems. Prior to GE, David worked at Bayer Material Science. David holds a PhD from Cranfield University (United Kingdom), an MBA from Tilburg University (The Netherlands), a MS in Engineering Management from Purdue University, a BS in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, and a BS in Industrial Design from Carnegie-Mellon University.

Ini Archibong
Designer, Creative Director; Founder, Design by Ini
Pasadena/Neuchâtel (USA/Switzerland)

Ini Archibong has rapidly accelerated to the forefront of his generation of designers. His work is characterised by a deep interest in master-craftsmanship and its intrinsic relationship to technology – both modern and ancient. Taking inspiration from the study of architecture, environmental and product design, as well as lifelong passions for mathematics, philosophy, storytelling, and world religions, Ini seeks to apply his vision and methods across a wide range of disciplines. He is a creative and strategic consultant in the luxury, sports, hospitality, music, and technology sectors and collaborates with diverse clients around the globe, including such venerable brands as Hermès, Knoll, de Sede, Bernhardt, Sé, and Logitech.

The son of Nigerian parents who came to the United States as academic scholars, Ini was born and raised in Pasadena, California, where he graduated from Polytechnic School and the Art Center College of Design. After a period living and working in Singapore, and travelling widely, he moved to Switzerland to pursue further studies – earning a master’s degree in luxury design and craftsmanship from the prestigious École cantonal d’art de Lausanne (écal), where he also serves as a visiting professor. Ini is a prolific public speaker and teacher, and is also the founder of L.M.N.O. Creative, a multi-disciplinary design collective.

In 2019, Ini was honoured with Distinguished Alumni awards from both ArtCenter and Polytechnic in his hometown of Pasadena. His work has been exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Museo Bagatti Valsecchi in Milan, during the prestigious Homo Faber in Venice, and is in the permanent collections of both the Dallas Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Ini has received numerous top design industry awards (NeoCon, ICFF, Milan, Elle Décor), and has been praised widely in the media for his vision and the quiet, poetic elegance of his oeuvre. He also received the Best Design Medal at the 2021 London Design Biennale for his Pavilion of the African Diaspora. Following the success of his sold-out solo exhibition at the Friedman Benda Gallery in New York, Ini is currently working on the creation of new pieces for another solo exhibition at Friedman Benda in Los Angeles. Archibong lives and works in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, where he collaborates closely with many highly skilled Swiss technicians, watchmakers, artisans and master-craftspeople, as well as a tight circle of international creative partners.

Xavi Calvo
Former CEO of World Design Capital Valencia 2022
Valencia (Spain)

Xavi is a Graphic designer, consultant and lecturer in design and co-founder and partner of Estudio Menta. He is the executive director of the Design Foundation of the Region of Valencia and liaison officer for Valencian Design Council. Xavi studied technical engineering in Industrial Design and holds a postgraduate in Graphic Design. He is an associate member of the Valencian Design Association and of the Advertising Communication Companies’ Association of the Region of Valencia (ComunitAD). He currently lectures in the Master’s Degree in Design and Graphic Communication at the Cardenal Herrera University in Valencia and is a regular guest speaker on design and jury in contests and national awards on design. Xavi collaborates with leading general and specialized newspapers and magazines critically reflecting on design. 

He is the former CEO of World Design Capital Valencia 2022 and the current Director of the Fundació del Disseny de la Comunitat Valenciana. 

Dan Hill
Director, Melbourne School of Design
Victoria (Australia)

Professor Dan Hill is Director of Melbourne School of Design, the graduate school in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He is also an architectural design juror.  A designer and urbanist, Dan’s previous design leadership roles include the Swedish Government’s innovation agency Vinnova in Stockholm, Arup in London and Sydney, Fabrica in Treviso, the Finnish Innovation Fund SITRA in Helsinki, and the UK’s Future Cities Catapult and BBC in London.Dan is also a Visiting Professor at UCL’s Institute for Innovation and Public Practice and a founder member of the Council on Urban Initiatives, a joint venture between UN HABITAT, LSE and UCL.

Dan was one of the inaugural Design Advocates for the Mayor of London and a Trustee of Participatory City Foundation, and is the author of the books ‘Dark Matter & Trojan Horses: A strategic design playbook’ (Strelka Press, 2012) and ‘Designing Missions: Mission-oriented Innovation in Sweden’ (Vinnova, 2022).

Richard Hsu
Cultural strategist, Adjunct Professor at Tongji University, School of Design and Innovation
Hong Kong/Shanghai (China)

Richard Hsu was born in Shanghai, spent his teenage years in Paris and Luxembourg, and professionally trained in New York, Japan, China and SouthEast Asia. He is an interdisciplinary design researcher and practitioner. He is not only a dedicated educator, but also a long-time international brand management expert. Since 2009, he has been Adjunct Professor at the School of Design and Innovation of Tongji University, he has lectured at Strelka University in Moscow, Yale University School of Design, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, HDK Berlin, and other institutions for the past 26 years.

In 2009, he introduced TED and TEDx conferences to China, and since then hundreds of technology, creativity and public education platforms have been launched and grown. Starting in 2016, he has been a jury member and ambassador for the Danish National Design Award. Advisory Committee of China Europe Design since 2022. He has served as the Foreign Trade

Counsellor of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in Shanghai as of 2019. Richard’s primary focus is on mindful cultural strategy and content development for humanistic, balanced cities.

Anna Kirah
Design Anthropologist and Psychologist
Oslo (Norway)

Anna Kirah is an internationally respected Design Anthropologist and Psychologist known for pioneering the people-centric approach to innovation and change management. Anna is a proponent of transdisciplinary thinking and doing in order to create meaningful, relevant, useful and desirable products, services and organisational changes.   

Anna has worked at Boeing and at Microsoft. In addition, she has broad experience working and leading projects across sectors including software development, travel, transport, retail, finance, health, the public sector and policy design. She was Contributor of the year in 2004 at Microsoft for her work on transnational understanding between Microsoft subsidiaries and Microsoft Headquarters. Anna was headhunted in 2007 to develop and implement a Radical Innovation school for leaders in Denmark and to sit on the board of the government sponsored User-driven Innovation initiative. She returned to Norway in 2010 where she is now Assistant Professor in Service Design at Kristiania University College.  She teaches courses in Design Anthropology, Service/Systems Design, Psychology and Designing for Activism. She also has her own consultancy and is the Managing Director of Design without Borders Foundation. 

Mary W. Rowe
President and CEO, Canadian Urban Institute
Toronto (Canada)

Mary W. Rowe is a leading urban advocate and civil society trailblazer who has worked in cities and with communities across Canada and the United States. Mary was President of the Canadian platform Ideas That Matter, a convening and publishing program based on the work of renowned urbanist Jane Jacobs, when a mid-career fellowship with the US-based blue moon fund led her to New Orleans. There she worked with national philanthropy, governments and community activists to support rebuilding through micro-investments in neighbourhood projects for seven years in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Prior to joining CUI as President and Chief Executive Officer, Mary lived in New York City and served as Executive Vice President of the Municipal Art Society (MASNYC), one of America’s oldest civic advocacy organizations focused on the built environment.

Mary is a frequent contributor to national and international city-building programs, including UN Habitat, the Massey City Summit, The Art of City Building and the World Urban Forum. She is a frequent media commentator and writer. Under Mary’s leadership, CUI has expanded its work to include an international network from government, industry, community and city-building professions to advance research and collaborate on solutions to some of our greatest urban challenges. This includes Bring Back Main Street, COVID Signposts, CityWatch and CityShare, the engagement of several senior fellows to incubate ground-breaking projects in Canada, and the development of CUI x Local, a series of virtual residencies in cities across Canada, to learn from on-the-ground practitioners about what’s working and what’s not, and to share learnings and build opportunities for collaboration between cities. Mary is also the facilitator of BiCEP—an alliance of senior executives leading some of Canada’s most significant urban regions, for which CUI is the secretariat. Mary is a Senior Fellow with Shorefast, a national charity focussed on building community economies, and the creator, executive producer and host of CityTalk, a regular virtual discussion featuring a diverse line-up of leading and emerging voices on the most pressing issues of the day.