Dublin on shortlist to be 'World Design Capital'

 

DUBLIN IS one of just three cities worldwide to be shortlisted for the title of World Design Capital in 2014, it was announced yesterday. The others are Bilbao, in Spain, and Cape Town in South Africa.

Along with Dublin, they were selected for this coveted title by the Montreal-based International Council of Societies of Industrial Design from bids by 56 cities worldwide, including Beijing.

The council said the three finalists had “distinguished themselves not only by demonstrating their individual approaches towards design in their cities, but also managed to convey the impact of these on the various aspects of social, cultural and economic life”.

It said Dublin, Bilbao and Cape Town had also “provided three very unique visions for how design will continue to reinvent their urban landscape [and] demonstrated that they possessed the expertise, infrastructure and financial capabilities”. They had shown that they could “successfully develop and implement an inspiring year-long programme of international design-related events, promoting design as well as their city on an international stage”, according to the council jury.

According to Martin Darbyshire, a member of the organising committee, the three finalists had all submitted “incredibly well thought-out and altogether remarkable bids”.

The Pivot Dublin bid, which aims to “turn design inside out”, is a collaboration between the city’s four local authorities and includes proposals to improve the quality of life in cities, using Dublin as a test bed, under a series of different themes.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Gerry Breen welcomed the opportunities presented by its selection: “The project will be beneficial in economic, environmental, social and political terms. These are difficult times and this bid will challenge us to adapt, recover and grow.”

Dublin city architect Ali Grehan, who played a leading role in developing the bid, said: “We’re all thrilled. It’s been very tough sitting on this news for a week and not being able to tell anyone. So now we can start celebrating, and preparing for the jury’s visit.”

The jury will spend two full days in Dublin towards the end of July, and Ms Grehan said this would involve showing them the city, “putting together an experience faithful to our bid document and hitting as many right notes as possible in a relaxed, informal way”.

The tentative €14 million budget for Dublin’s bid would also be discussed and how this could be “grown” in the way Helsinki had done for its designation as next year’s World Design Capital – from an initial €15 million to €100 million, with private sponsorship. Ms Grehan said she hoped Dublin’s success in making the shortlist would “encourage central government to believe in what it says about the importance of our creative industries” to economic recovery.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he was delighted with the news and Dublin “would be an ideal candidate to host the World Design Capital in 2014”.