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Taipei, Taiwan named World Design Capital for 2016

Posted on Wednesday, December 11, 2013.

"In the process of bidding for WDC, we have discovered that embedding design into our city’s governance is gradually changing the face and the thinking of Taipei, and enhancing the quality of our service to our citizens," said Deputy Mayor Hsiungwen Chen who attended the event and accepted the designation on behalf of the Taipei city government.

Taipei, Taiwan, is the fifth city to be given the World Design Capital (WDC) distinction following Torino, Seoul, Helsinki and Cape Town.



In just 50 years, Taipei has reinvigorated its urban landscape to include a sophisticated transit system, specialized medical care and a bustling cultural infrastructure. Under the theme “Adaptive City—Design in Motion,” Taipei will demonstrate why cities must be able to adapt to meet citizen’s demands.

Throughout its history Taipei has constantly been in a state of change, which can be attributed to its success as the political, economic, cultural and technological center of Taiwan.

The merits of Taipei’s bid were carefully examined by a selection committee of experts including: Prof. Soon-in Lee, International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) president; Patricia de Lille, executive mayor of the city of Cape Town; Ayse Birsel, co-founder and creative director, Birsel + Seck; Dr. Beatriz Garcia, head of research in cultural policy & impact, Institute of Cultural Capital and senior research fellow in sociology, University of Liverpool; and Jens Martin Skibsted, creative director and founder, KiBiSi/Skibsted Ideation.

The ICSID plans to work closely with the implementation organization in Taipei over the course of the next two years to help bring their proposed program in 2016 to fruition.

“Taipei is a city driven by design,” said Lee. “In what was a very provocative bid book, we learned of Taipei’s plan to focus its program on issues of sustainability and the responsibility of preserving the environment for future generations. The balance between innovation and a respect for nature is what will allow Taipei to be recognized as a true design leader through its designation as World Design Capital."

"Our next step will be to fulfill the vision of the WDC and Taipei’s program will act as a catalyst for our existing industrial ecology, leading to the creation of more investment opportunities and job openings," added Chen. “This in turn will allow us to develop more human resources and establish more market opportunities for our design industry.”