Lorelle presented Cape Town’s rationale in bidding for World Design Capital giving the audience a low down on this exciting initiative. One of the great strengths of the bid is that the city which wins does so on the basis of great ideas that help redesign that city rather than necessarily being similar to design cities like London or New York. This is unlike the World Cup bid, an opportunity for the city to remake itself. In the next few months a process for engaging movers and shakers in the city will happen. Organisations and individuals are asked to send us their projects via the website.
Nick Leon was our key speaker. He was brought down by The British Council and put up at the Grand Daddy Hotel. Nick has had a long and distinguished career. He worked for IBM for a number of years and now runs Design London.
As someone with degrees in design and Engineering as well as an MBA, Nick was the ideal person to run this very innovative project supported by the UK government. Nick also works as a consultant to Barcelona and to Helsinki (the 2012 World Design Capital).
He expressed strong support for Cape Town’s bid for World Design Capital as a great opportunity for the City to use its resources in a new, dynamic way.
Nick gave a compelling presentation on why design is important to our world. He recognised that today – unlike two to three decades back – almost everything we use is well designed, from our telephones, to our cars, to our gardens and our houses.
The future for design is now in “service design”, ie the design of experiences. He used the example of how a budget airline could, despite the cheapness of its flights, be a good experience but often isn’t. His work in Barcelona was in support of that city’s 22@Barecelona, an innovation district that is one of the models being drawn on by Cape Town in its East City Design Initiative.
Besides speaking at the symposium and at CT Design Network 2010, Nick met with a group of directors from the Provincial Government of Western Cape’s Economic Development and Tourism Department and with Felicity Purchase – councillor responsible for Economic and Social Development in the city.
He had a tour of the East City and the galleries in Woodstock and met with Roelf Mulder and the …XYZ team (award winning industrial designers). He was taken with the massive successes of our own Bandwidth Barn in incubating new innovation businesses, and wanted to learn more from the organisation for Design London – recognising that in South Africa we are a country of great talent and innovation.