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World Design Capital 2018

Previously called the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) before its official rebranding in 2017, the World Design Organization (WDO) is a collective of design associations whose aim is both to strengthen the international design community and to foment the UN’s sustainable development goals. On a two-year cycle, the WDO designates an applicant city as the World Design Capital of the given year. The designation signifies a pledge on the part of the city to draft and execute a program that showcases the cultural, social and economic value of its design industry and cements its status as a global leader in design. In becoming 2018’s World Design Capital, Mexico City has joined the ranks of Helsinki, Cape Town and Taipei as one of the major players in the global design field.

Chosen cities must provide an action plan that expresses how they will “[e]nsure the mobilization and participation of large sections of the population” and “[p]romote dialogue between the design community and other sectors of society, such as business, academia, and youth” (source). In order to adhere to these requirements, Mexico City’s Ministry of Culture has partnered with Design Week Mexico to formulate a plan that would engage local and international actors in new design-focused collaborations. Other initiatives such as the Feria Internacional de las Culturas Amigas (FICA) and the Foro Internacional de Diseno have also been included in the program, inviting the City’s prominent design circles to participate in the development of the CDMX global identity.

Espacio CDMX
Espacio CDMX

Design Week Mexico, who obtained the World Design Capital 2018 designation on behalf of Mexico City, has helped to position architects, designer and creatives at the forefront of Mexico city’s resurgence as a 21st Century city. Since it first opened its doors in 2009, Design Week Mexico has made it its mission to provide work spaces and develop professional networks for Mexican designers across the city; it makes sense then that they should act as Mexico City’s mouthpiece on the global stage. The designation from the WDO has given Mexico City the opportunity to give exposure to its creatives and will undoubtedly unlock the potential of implementing design on a city scale. Being World Design Capital 2018 has spurned numerous design initiatives, created new dialogues between public and private sector agents and mobilized several actors in the City to demonstrate Mexico’s potential as a centre of creativity and design.