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World Design Capital Cape Town 2014 – are we ceasing the moment ?



Cape Town has become the World Design Capital 2014 (WDC2014) on 1st January 2014 and has been given the opportunity to impact as the leading international design city for the coming year.


The theme for WDC 2014 is “Live Design. Transform Life”. As the winning city, Cape Town has planned, developed and promoted a programme of events to run throughout 2014 focusing on using design as a development tool. Residents of Cape Town have been asked to support and to engage with the WDC 2014 programme through submitting ideas for design-driven projects that will help to transform the city.


This is such an opportunity to tap into and take part in, particular for the accommodation providers in the Cape who face the ongoing challenge of seasonality.  The World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 Final Report indicates that they had 2.5 million guests over the year long program. It is certain that such numbers will not hit Cape Town as a long haul destination, but the city can be sure of an additional influx of visitors, in particular the non-seasonal ones.


This will mean that accommodation providers and also restaurants would need to improve on offers to events visitors in general and get the travel operators involved to market suitable travel packages to WDC visitors during this coming year. It would also entail to include the program in various sales & marketing communications and activities.


There are hundreds of projects already launched last year in build up for this years’ WDC status for Cape Town. These projects highlight that Cape Town is not only a great place to visit but a greater place to live !


The Themes explored are about African ideas that speak to the world, design that reconnects our city and reconciles our communities, sustainable solutions for people and planet and finally about inspiring architecture interiors, food craft and art.


Also here are many opportunities for hospitality providers to get involved in – the following projects fit the brief of ‘today for tomorrow’:  Green, brown and blue sustainability projects,

projects that focus on human development, skills training and entrepreneurship as well as education and job creation initiatives


Just some of the great ideas that have been accepted as recognised projects for WDC 2014 as they promote design thinking as an innovative and effective means to solve the various issues faced by modern society:


2014 Food  2014 Food curates a full year of food design events (food is specified in this theme). Building on the WDC2012 Helsinki example, the project owners will coordinate and promote existing food design events and propose core initiatives that activate the public, transform lives and create a legacy host city project.


Cape Town – A Creative Journey  Their travel programme offers a unique opportunity to be part of this worldwide celebration with an exciting and authentic Cape Town tour based on the four themes for WDC 2014, while showcasing Cape Town’s beauty and cultural diversity.


Cape Town Buses and Trains  A smartphone application which displays MyCiTi bus and Metrorail train schedules in a user-friendly format. Departure times are calculated from a user’s location and the time of day, without connecting to the internet.



Cape Town Street Food Festival    The Cape Town Street Food Festival will introduce people to the City’s most loved street food, celebrating and supporting the talents of culinary entrepreneurs and introducing a food mentoring initiative presented by Studio HV and King Adz.


Connecting Creative Cape Town “Art and Design Tours” This project has created bespoke tours to promote art, design and the creative culture within Cape Town, highlighting the diverse styles and themes South African artists utilise and explore. Whether it’s into the heart of the city’s art world to see major contemporary art galleries, to personal tours to see artists at work in their studios, these tours can cover anything from the hub of established and emerging artists that have studios in the once run-down suburb of Woodstock and the newly opened Foundry.


Hotel Verde, Africa’s “greenest” hotel is located adjacent to Cape Town International Airport. Dedicated and passionate about sustainability, it has transformed what was initially a business proposition into a showcase for some of the most advanced environmentally conscious technological installations as well as construction and operation practices in the world. email roxanne[at]


Kitchen 101    A restaurant space offering space to those keen on showcasing their culinary flair. It will provide the perfect environment for budding food entrepreneurs, innovators and aspiring restaurateurs to test their skills and present their fare to food lovers of Cape Town.


Stations For Love Of Water  The FLOW Movement raises awareness by inspiring action in order to drive lasting behaviour change encompassing habits, actions, lifestyle, operations and consumer choice. FLOW was innovated in South Africa but addresses a global issue.


Lastly the CAPE TOWN DESIGN CITY GUIDE is set out as a design city guide is a proposal set out to help navigate local and foreign design enthusiasts to various contemporary local design experiences in Cape Town, and connect people to the dynamic design hubs – large or small – in and around the city.