Bengaluru (India), 24 July 2023 – World Design Organization (WDO)® announced today the launch of World Design Protopolis (WDP)™, a new programme that will support the creation of solutions-based initiatives to address key development issues globally. The programme’s inaugural cycle will take place in Bengaluru (India) and will work to empower communities with the design knowledge and resources required to initiate projects that improve quality of life. 

At a time when the challenges facing the world’s cities grow increasingly more complex, World Design Protopolis represents a significant expansion of WDO’s existing programme roster and mission of design for a better world. Derived from the idea of prototyping a metropolis, the term Protopolis was first introduced  by the city of Bengaluru as part of its 2019 bid for World Design Capital®.

Unlike WDO’s other community-led programmes, World Design Protopolis will follow a highly iterative and participatory approach to implement projects that (i) use design as a driver for positive change within a community, neighbourhood or borough; (ii) align with one or many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs); and (iii) engage methods and resources to measure the increase of civic well-being. 

There is no doubt that design represents a fundamental tool to help shape more equitable, dynamic and interconnected cities. The establishment of World Design Protopolis represents an important next step for our organization as we strive to make design methodologies more accessible and translatable across a variety of social and economic contexts,” stated WDO President David Kusuma.

The WDP programme will be open to communities with both established and developing design acumen who are interested in leveraging design frameworks to solve a particular local issue. As such, each World Design Protopolis project will vary in both its duration and scope depending on the challenges identified by the host. 

With the goal of exploring both singular and multidimensional projects, Bengaluru’s World Design Protopolis project will be hosted in partnership with Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP)Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology and the Association of Designers of India over a 5-year period from 2023 to 2028. The city, which boasts a population of over 11 million and represents an important tech hub within India’s southern Karnataka state, will leverage the programme’s platform to address issues related to urban transformation, public health, mobility and the revitalization of the region’s watersheds and urban parks. 

“It is critical that design addresses the other 90% and not just the upper 10% of the socio-economic pie. World Design Protopolis Bengaluru with its inclusive, equitable, participatory and sustainability focus will ‘refuture’ the city with long term solutions that are transferable and make it a lighthouse program for the world.What is unique about WDP BLR is the coming together of the Public, Private, Plural, People and Pedagogical sectors as key stakeholders in the process,shared Jacob Mathew, President of the Association of Designers of India, Bengaluru chapter.

Looking ahead to the programme’s future legacy, WDO President David Kusuma also highlighted that “after many years of hard-work to bring this programme to life, we look forward to seeing the impacts it will inspire not only in Bengaluru, but also across other communities around the world as our network evolves and expands.” 

For more information on World Design Protopolis, please visit:

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 hundreds of thousands of industrial designers around the world.

About World Design Protopolis

Established in 2022, World Design Protopolis (WDP)™ supports the creation of solutions-based design projects to address key development issues globally. Managed by World Design Organization (WDO)®, the programme works in close collaboration with a selected city or community to empower them with the design knowledge and resources required to initiate targeted and transformational projects that improve civic quality of life. The pilot World Design Protopolis project will take place in Bengaluru (India) from 2023 to 2028.

About BBMP

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP)  — the administrative body that is responsible for all civic amenities and some infrastructural assets of the Greater Bengaluru metropolitan area is the 4th Largest Municipal Corporation in India. BBMP’s responsibilities include zoning and building regulations, health, hygiene, licensing, trade, and education. BBMP also looks at quality-of-life issues such as public open spaces, water bodies, parks, and greenery. 

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