WDC Cycle


Applications submitted are checked for completeness, prior to initial review. If the application is incomplete, cities are contacted and provided one week to submit the missing material. Late application will not be accepted.
NEW in 2018: In an effort to practice a more sustainable approach, WDO will no longer be accepting physical (hard copy) bids for review. Applicant cities should submit bids electronically only.

Evaluation and Shortlist

All completed applications are sent to the WDC Selection Committee, who convene and assess the merits of each application and ultimately determine the three shortlisted cities.

City Visits

Following the announcement of the shortlist, members of the WDC Organizing Committee conduct city visits to meet with bidding city representatives and verify the information provided in the applications. Two full days are usually spent in each city.

Final Selection

The Final WDC Selection Meeting takes places approximately six months after the close of the application period. A report on the city visits is presented during which time the WDC Selection Committee further evaluates the quality of the shortlisted cities’ projected programmes before selecting the next World Design Capital.

Announcement of Designated City

Results are kept confidential until the official announcement.

Planning and Programming

Following the announcement, the newly appointed city has a two-year period to prepare for the implementation of its programme of design-related events. An organizing entity is created to  manage various projects and develop the identity of their event in collaboration with WDO.


During the WDC year, WDO and the designated city collaborate to ensure the programme is effectively promoted and executed. Each city programme is unique, however, Signature Events are incorporated into each WDC year.