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Eindhoven bids for World Design Capital 2012

Two great international design cities Eindhoven and Helsinki will compete with each other for the title of World Design Capital in 2012.

By Editor Design.nl /asdf 04-08-2009

The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) has announced that the City of Eindhoven (The Netherlands) and the City of Helsinki (Finland) have been selected for the shortlist to become World Design Capital (WDC) in 2012. Torino (Italy) and Seoul (South Korea) hosted the title previously.

The World Design Capital is a biennial designation appointed to cities based on their accomplishments and commitment to design as an effective tool for social, cultural and economic development. Upon careful consideration, these two applications were retained based on their ability to demonstrate their relevancy to the WDC mission and vision.

The evaluation for the WDC designation is founded on a comprehensive assessment process spanning a five-month review and deliberation period, during which time, applicants were requested to demonstrate evidence of their strengths in the following areas: Design, Programming, Infrastructure and Financing.

Within the context of design, cities are evaluated on a multidisciplinary representation of design industries, the establishment of educational institutions where design programmes are available, as well as the existence of professional designers working within the city. In addition, applicants were asked to describe any areas in the city that have been directly impacted by design in a manner that has improved either the cultural and social standards of its citizens. Other areas for consideration included architectural interest points, urban reconditioning projects that may have transformed certain neighbourhoods, as well as an appreciation for communication design, industrial, interior and sustainable design initiatives. Under programming, cities proposals for a cohesive and inspiring theme were reviewed, which if selected, would be further developed and implemented in 2012. The infrastructure and financing segments of the application process provided necessary background information on existing installations within the city, as well as provided details relating to the financial support for the yearlong project.

Eindhoven Deputy Mayor and design councillor Marriët Mittendorff is extremely pleased with this place in the final. “I am very proud that we have been selected amongst the final two cities.” With the title ‘World Design Capital’, Eindhoven reinforces the city’s social-economic development through design to resolve social problems, as well as advance technological innovation and urban development. “Eindhoven’s place in the final offers even more opportunities for the Netherlands to highlight Dutch Design’s place on the international map,” stated Mittendorff.

In August 2009, representatives from Icsid will visit the shortlisted cities to further discuss their applications. These evaluation visits and briefings will present both cities with an equal opportunity to provide additional clarity and will be shared with the jury in support of their final decision.

WDC Founding Chair and Icsid Senator Prof. Dr. Peter Zec said, “As per the jury’s decision, the WDC 2012 shortlist is represented by two very qualified cities that have presented strong bids. They are already a testament to design effective cities that understand the value of the WDC designation as it relates to city development projects.”

The final jury deliberation will take place in September 2009 in Montreal, Canada. The official announcement of the WDC 2012 designated city will occur during the Icsid World Design Congress in Singapore on 25 November 2009.

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