Montreal (Canada), 10 November 2021 — World Design Organization (WDO)® announced today that the cities of San Diego (USA) and Tijuana (Mexico) have been jointly named World Design Capital® (WDC) 2024 as a result of their commitment to human-centered design and legacy of cross-border collaboration to transform the region’s natural and built environments. 

The cities were awarded the designation by the WDC 2024 Selection Committee, comprising seven international experts in the fields of design, urban planning, and economic and social development. As noted by WDO President and Chairman of the Selection Committee, Srini Srinivasan, “The San Diego-Tijuana bid showcases the power of design to unite and connect us, despite geographical differences. Their culture of design innovation and unique urban landscape were well-represented throughout their bid, and the region is poised to develop a WDC programme that will serve as a model for other border cities around the world.” 

Set between mountains to the East and the Pacific Ocean to the West, San Diego and Tijuana are situated across the busiest land border in the Western Hemisphere, representing an important transit hub and future global market.

Under the theme of HOME (Human-Centred, Open, Multidisciplinary/Multicultural, Experimental), the San Diego-Tijuana bid was put forth by the Design Forward Alliance. With a particular focus on equity, access and inclusion, the region is hoping to position the transnational community as a place of design synergy and opportunity.  

With plans to leverage the WDC platform to build upon years of binational collaboration, representatives on behalf of San Diego and Tijuana hope the designation will cultivate an even more robust design-driven ecosystem across local industries, communities and governments. As noted by Michele Morris, President of the Design Forward Alliance, “this is about showing the world that we are more than just a border or two border cities. We are one regional home to 7 million people who are more alike than they are different and who partner in many incredible and groundbreaking ways.”

Moscow (Russia) was the other shortlisted city for the title of World Design Capital 2024. Their bid, put forth by the Agency of Creative Industries (ACI), highlighted the city’s rich design history as well as the ongoing achievements of the city’s design community. It was indeed a difficult decision put forward by the Selection Committee as both bids were very impressive, and WDO plans to work with Moscow to establish other design programmes in due course.

WDC is a biennial designation that recognizes cities for their effective use of design to drive economic, social, cultural, and environmental development. 2024 will mark the ninth cycle for the programme, with San Diego and Tijuana being the first binational designation in the programme’s history. 

For more information, please contact:

Jessica Hanson, WDO Programmes Manager:

Michèle Morris, President, Design Forward Alliance: 

About World Design Organization
World Design Organization (WDO)®  is an international non-governmental organization and the international voice for industrial design. We advocate for Design for a Better World, promoting and sharing knowledge of industrial design-driven innovation that enhances the economic, social, cultural, and environmental quality of life. Today, WDO services over 185 member organizations, representing thousands of industrial designers around the world.   


About World Design Capital
Designated every two years by the World Design Organization, World Design Capital® (WDC) recognizes cities for their effective use of design to drive economic, social, cultural, and environmental development. Through a year-long programme of events, the designated city showcases best practices in sustainable design-led urban policy and innovation that have reinvented their city and improved quality of life. Previous WDCs include Torino (Italy) in 2008, followed by Seoul (South Korea) in 2010, Helsinki (Finland) in 2012, Cape Town (South Africa) in 2014, Taipei (Taiwan, Chinese Taipei) in 2016, Mexico City (Mexico) in 2018 and Lille Metropole (France) in 2020. Valencia (Spain) will hold the title in 2022 and San Diego (USA) and Tijuana (Mexico) will jointly hold the designation in 2024.


About Design Forward Alliance
The Design Forward Alliance (DFA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that promotes the value of design for economic, civic, and social development, and is dedicated to building the San Diego region’s capacity and reputation as a global leader in design and innovation.

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