Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cities Vie to Become Design Centers

One indication of the growing recognition of the power of design is the number of cities branding themselves as design centers. From Cleveland to Dubai more and more cities are recognizing that a major factor in their future economic success will depend on their ability to identify themselves through leading edge design.

The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) has taken on the challenge of officially picking a major design city somewhere in the world to designate as World Design Capital. Helsinki, Finland (left) was designated the World Design Capital for 2012 by ICSID at the World Design Congress held in Singapore.

The title is a biennial designation given to one city at a time; Helsinki is the third city to be named World Design Capital, following Torino, Italy, in 2008 and Seoul in 2010. A total of 46 cities from 27 countries applied for the title.

The idea behind Helsinki’s proposal for the designation was Open Helsinki – Embedding Design in Life, a concept that will provide the framework of Helsinki’s design events for 2012. Helsinki Design includes well-known global brands, such as Nokia, Kone and Marimekko, popular events, like the annual Helsinki Design Week (right), outstanding education and research institutions, such as the University of Art and Design Helsinki, and exemplary architects and designers such as Eliel Saarinen and Alvar Aalto.

Click on the heading above to see a short video about Open Helsinki – Embedding Design in Life.

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