World Design Capital


Project Cycle

Project cycle

The WDC designation process spans eight months and comprises of six main stages:

  1. Application submissions
  2. Evaluation of applications
  3. Selection of shortlist
  4. City visits
  5. WDC Selection Committee deliberations and final WDC selection
  6. Announcement of designated city

Application submissions

Applications received are reviewed for completeness, prior to initial review. Cities are contacted and provided with one week from the deadline, to submit omitted material.

Evaluation of applications and selection of shortlist
All applications are sent to the WDC Selection Committee who are subsequently called upon within one month to convene and assess the merits of each application and ultimately determine the three cities to be shortlisted.

City visits
Shortly following the announcement of the shortlist, members of the WDC Organising Committee commit to a two-week period for city visits. The purpose of these visits is to meet with representatives from the bidding cities and verify the validity of the information provided in the applications. Two full days are usually spent in each city – a schedule for the stay will be determined by the host city in conjunction with Icsid.

WDC Selection Committee deliberations and final WDC selection

The Final WDC Selection Meeting takes places approximately six months after the close of the application period. A report on the city visits is presented during which time the Selection Committee Jury debate further in order to evaluate the quality of the shortlisted cities’ projected programmes before arriving at their selection of the next World Design Capital.

Announcement of designated city
Results are kept confidential until the official announcement.

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Planning and programming
Following the announcement of the designation, the planning stage provides the newly appointed city with a two-year period to prepare for the implementation of a yearlong programme of design-related vents. Early on, the city appoints key team members who will manage the various projects and develop the identity of their event.

Planning then begins for the programme in close collaboration with the WDC Organising Committee at Icsid.

Implementation: The designated WDC Year
During the implementation stage both the city and the Organising Committee at Icsid  work together to ensure the programme is promoted and executed in accordance with the high standard expected of each World Design Capital. Although each biennial is unique, there are several WDC Signature Events incorporated into each city’s programme.