Only one city has submitted a bid for World Design Capital 2016. That’s Taiwanese city Taipei as the fifth city to receive the accolade following Torino (2008), Seoul (2010), Helsinki (2012) and Cape Town (2014). The World Design Capital is an initiative of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID). Held biennially, it seeks to highlight the accomplishments of cities that are truly leveraging design as a tool to improve the social, cultural and economic life of cities, throughout a yearlong programme of design-related events.
“Taipei is a city driven by design,” stated ICSID President Soon-in Lee. “In what was a very provocative bid book, we learnt of Taipei’s plan to focus its programme 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 recognised as a true design leader through its designation as World Design Capital.”
Every city has its own unique character, and Taipei is no exception. In just 50 years, the City of Taipei has reinvigorated its urban landscape to include a sophisticated transit system, specialised 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, whether willingly or reluctantly, 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.
Taipei’s deputy mayor Hsiungwen Chen attended ICSID’s 28th General Assembly to accept the title on behalf of the Taipei city government. “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,” he said.