Great design requires fresh, open, responsive thinking and doing: in other words, creativity. Creativity in design feeds innovation, and innovation drives progress. Innovation is key to our economic development.
Cape Town is positioning itself as a city of innovation, inspiration and creativity.
Design in Cape Town is becoming a financially thriving industry, and developing an enabling environment for design is at the top of our priority list. Creative Cape Town studies have shown that the central city has a high level of entrepreneurship in creative industries, particularly design-led organisations, events and publications. How can this be nurtured? How can our design assets support Cape Town’s repositioning in the global economy? How do we leverage this to improve the economy, create more jobs and address high levels of inequality in the city? How does design help us become a more inclusive city? How do we make design thinking central to our city-making processes? Local creatives speak of the city as a space of inspiration and experimentation – how can this attitude be encouraged?
As a response to these questions, Creative Cape Town has incubated two significant projects to support design in the city, working closely with a range of partners in the design sector, in government and in the academy. Through the first of these, Cape Town’s winning bid for World Design Capital 2014, we are repositioning the city as a global contender in design and educating the city and country about socially responsive design. The development of The Fringe: Cape Town’s Design and Innovation District and our second significant project, is an important step in establishing a dedicated space for design innovation in the region, one that will help stimulate the local economy.
In addition to these projects, Creative Cape Town has worked to promote design by facilitating the establishment of the Cape Town Design Network, helping give those in the sector a voice. We helped attract The Loerie Awards, South Africa’s premier annual advertising and communications awards ceremony, to the city from 2009 until 2014. Linked to The Loerie Awards weekend and as a legacy project for the World Design Capital bid, we established Creative Week Cape Town as a showcase for creatives in the city. We are a regular supporter of Design Indaba, a flagship industry event both nationally and internationally, and are ardent promoters of design in its many forms.
Finally we work closely with our parent body the Cape Town Partnership to ensure that the city is designed around the key needs of its people. We want to ensure Cape Town’s vibrancy by building on a set of key design principles for Liveable Cities. In this respect we care about a dense, inclusive and sustainable city, one in which citizens are mobile and connected. We support the City of Cape Town’s plans for integrated rapid transport (IRT) and its commitment to becoming a smart city.
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs
“I’ve been amazed at how often those outside the discipline of design assume that what designers do is decoration. Good design is problem solving.” – Jeffrey Veen
“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” – Charles Mingus
“When people talk about innovation in this decade, they really mean design.” – Bruce Nussbaum