The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) in Canada announced the designation yesterday at its general assembly meeting in Montréal, Canada.
"Taipei is a city driven by design," stated ICSID President 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."
The city will stage events under the theme Adaptive City - Design in Motion. Taipei's deputy mayor Hsiungwen Chen attended the event to accept the title 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," he said.
"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," he continued. "This in turn will allow us to develop more human resources and establish more market opportunities for our design industry."
ICSID announced in August that it had received only one bid for the 2016 title, down from just three contenders the previous time around. When Dezeen caught up with ICSID president-elect Brandon Gien in Gwangju soon after, he told us that the cost of entering and hosting was to blame, saying it is "prohibitive for cities around the world to enter, because it is expensive."
The single qualifying bid was examined by a selection committee that included Soon-in Lee, executive mayor of Cape Town Patricia de Lille and designer Jens Martin Skibsted. Taipei is the fifth World Design Capital and will follow Cape Town, which becomes World Design Capital 2014 next year.
The World Design Capital programme was established in 2008 to "focus on the broader essence of design's impact on urban spaces, economies and citizens" and is bestowed every two years. Previous cities to hold the position are Torino (2008), Seoul (2010) and Helsinki (2012).
Taipei city image is courtesy of Shutterstock.