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Taipei is the second Asian city to win the appointment, following Seoul in 2010.

Taipei is the second Asian city to win the appointment, following Seoul in 2010.

The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) has announced the appointment of the World Design Capital® (WDC) 2016 designation to the City of Taipei (Taiwan, Chinese Taipei) – the fifth city to receive the accolade following Torino (2008), Seoul (2010), Helsinki (2012) and Cape Town (2014).

The event was attended by Deputy Mayor Mr. Hsiungwen Chen who accepted the designation on behalf of the Taipei City Government.

“In the process of bidding for WDC, we have discovered that embedding design into our city’s governance is gradually changing the face and the thinking of Taipei, and enhancing the quality of our service to our citizens,” stated Mr. Chen.

Every city has its own unique character, and Taipei is no exception. In just 50 years, the City of Taipei has reinvigorated its urban landscape to include a sophisticated transit system, specialised medical care and a bustling cultural infrastructure. Under the theme ‘Adaptive City – Design in Motion’, Taipei will demonstrate why cities must be able to adapt to meet citizen’s demands. Throughout its history, whether willingly or reluctantly, Taipei has constantly been in a state of change, which can be attributed to its success as the political, economic, cultural, and technological center of Taiwan.

The merits of Taipei’s bid were carefully examined by a selection committee of experts including, Prof. Soon-in Lee, Icsid President; Patricia de Lille, Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town; Ayse Birsel, Co-founder and Creative Director, Birsel + Seck; Dr. Beatriz Garcia, Head of Research in Cultural Policy & Impact, Institute of Cultural Capital and Senior Research Fellow in Sociology, University of Liverpool; and Jens Martin Skibsted, Creative Director and Founder, KiBiSi/Skibsted Ideation.

Icsid plans to work closely with the implementation organisation in Taipei over the course of the next two years, to help bring their proposed programme in 2016 to fruition. “Taipei is a city driven by design,” stated Icsid President Prof. Soon-in Lee. “In what was a very provocative bid book, we learnt of Taipei’s plan to focus its programme on issues of sustainability and the responsibility of preserving the environment for future generations. The balance between innovation and a respect for nature is what will allow Taipei to be recognised as a true design leader through its designation as World Design Capital.”

“Our next step will be to fulfil the vision of the WDC and Taipei’s programme will act as a catalyst for our existing industrial ecology, leading to the creation of more investment opportunities and job openings,” concluded Deputy Mayor Chen. “This in turn will allow us to develop more human resources and establish more market opportunities for our design industry.”

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