Sydney misses out on World Design Capital

Needs government support.

Sydney might have lost its bid to become the World Design Capital in 2020 but mounting another bid in 2022 is being considered. The World Design Capital title is selected every two years by the World Design Organisation to a city that can represent design-led innovation to progress its economic, cultural, social and environmental development.

Asked by Appliance Retailer if Sydney would bid again, Good Design Australia, CEO, Dr Brandon Gien said government support was essential for any future bids.

“The bid needed the support from the City of Sydney to help underwrite the costs of the bid, and we were unable to convince them of the value of being recognised as a World Design Capital. We did receive in principle support from the Federal Government and a financial commitment towards the cost of the bid from the NSW Government but it was not enough to cover the operational costs outlined in the bid proposal.”

He believes there is still a lot of work to do in positioning the true value of design to all levels of government. “The corporate sector has a much better understanding of what design is, and what it can do at the business level, but this message is still to trickle down to government,” he said.

“We put an enormous amount of effort into the bid to position Sydney in a different light, not the predictable ’touristy’ one, but around the many challenges Sydney has and how we believe a design-led approach can help solve many of these problems with issues such as the divide between eastern and western Sydney, transport and healthcare.”  Gien said the bid addressed the new direction taken by the World Design Organization to align design to the solutions economy and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Five cities placed bids for the 2020 title, which was given to Lille, in France, beating out Sydney’s bid.

Gien said the next big event on the Good Design calendar is the 60th anniversary next year since the founding organisation, the Industrial Design Council of Australia, was established in 1958, with a number of initiatives planned to coincide with this milestone. A new TV series with Channel Ten, Australia by Design, is now showing on Channel Ten and a new website goes live in December.

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