Sydney. WDC 2020. Inclusive. Resilient.

WDC Sydney 2020

Recently announced at the Good Design Australia Awards (by Dr Brandon Gien), the city of Sydney is under consideration for the World Design Capital 2020 (WDC) by the World Design Organization™ (WDO). We are one of 5 entries from Asia, Europe and Oceania. The submission, has a significant contribution from Musuem of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS ), and the final outcome will be known in October later this year.

WDC is designated every 2 years by the WDO. There are a range of criteria that must be fulfilled to be a successful candidate to host a 12 month long design program. This represents a unique opportunity to mobilize the design community to showcase the city’s design merits to the world and to create value around the power of design to improve urban quality of life.

Ariel view of Barangaroo Point. Photo Hamilton Lund

Ariel view of Barangaroo Point. Photo Hamilton Lund

Mugendi M’Rithaa WDO President; Professor, Industrial Design, Cape Peninsula University of Technology said

“By bidding for WDC 2020, these cities have each set in motion a collaborative design-driven movement that will resonate in their communities no matter the result of the final selection.”

International House Sydney at Barangaroo

International House Sydney at Barangaroo. Image: The Guthrie Project

The WDC 2020 selection committee consists of five international experts in the field of design, urban planning, and economic, social and environmental development. They will evaluate the five bids based on a number of criteria, including the ways in which citizens benefit from the use of design in city planning, the capacity to organize and finance a year-long programme of design events, the mobilization and participation of the wider design community and general public, and the fostering of a wider dialogue on sustainable design-led urban revitalization strategies.

The view from the atrium of One Central Park directly up to the heliostat. At night it transforms into a stunning light installation by artist Yann Kersalé.

The view from the atrium of One Central Park directly up to the heliostat. At night it transforms into a stunning light installation by artist Yann Kersalé.

The WDC 2020 Selection Committee comprises (in alphabetical order):

Sydney Harbour Bridge from the air. Image by Wikimedia Commons.

Sydney Harbour Bridge from the air. Image by Wikimedia Commons.

The successful city will be recognised for effective use of design to drive economic, social, cultural, and environmental development. Through a year-long program of events, the designated city showcases best practices in sustainable design-led urban policy and innovation that have reinvented their city and improved quality of life.

Parramatta ariel view

Parramatta Ariel view

The bidding entity is Design Sydney and includes the City of Parramatta, NSW Architects Registration Board, Good Design Australia, Lendlease, Frost* Collective, and Committee for Sydney. Sydney Design Exchange is a new platform that engages, inspires, incubates and connects policies, programs and projects. It aims to accelerate the pace and pattern of design impact for cities, towns and regions across Australia and the Global community of cities in partnership with the World Design Organization.

Darling Quarter by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (fjmt) with Aspect Studios, Lend Lease, E.G.O. Group and Davenport Campbell. Image, John Gollings

Sydney is a dynamic rapidly expanding city organised for growth through planning and strategy to envision the city of the future. Through public engagement in design process across city-wide projects Sydney has activated a co-creative process to; develop district plans for livable urban spaces, green space and creative architectural design; community surveys, consultation and idea collection for betterment and well-being in communities; host design, architecture and art festivals; develop social strategy and policy that enables positive social impact through design (including labs, forums and platforms to affect change, connect with community); encourage and enable direct participation in political processes to restore trust in public decision making and strengthen the democratic process.

Design Knowledge: An Insider’s Guide event at MAAS. Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Design Festival 2015

Design Knowledge: An Insider’s Guide event at MAAS. Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Design Festival 2015

The submission also identifies the city’s unique and diverse location, its ancient ecosystems and cultural diversity that gives it an embracing design culture. The focus on future planning is promised through inclusiveness and resilience and the need to re-balance;

“The future of a resilient Sydney demands we re-balance our city – to design, plan and build in a way that expands our network of green to cool our communities; sustains our urban wildlife and provides equity and greater opportunity to every resident – not just to those in enclaves of privilege”

 A successful outcome would put a spotlight on the city’s talent, landmarks, thought leaders, governance and policy making, and the processes that have led to a multi and inter-disciplinary approach that have helped make Sydney an inclusive and resilient city at a time of exponential growth and development.

Sydney Fireworks 1a1-sydney_new_years_eve_2008

WDC is to design what the Olympics is to sport and 2020 – this could be our next ‘2000 Olympics’ moment. If Sydney was successful in the bid, events would commence at New Year’s eve and continue throughout the year including flagship events like the National Australian User Experience conference, National Australian Institute of Architects conference, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Sydney, World Design Spotlight coinciding with the Good Design Australia awards; Sydney Design Festival, and many other Cultural events reflecting the flux of city culture including Aboriginal Cultural events that describe a unique continuity.

Sydney Design Launch

MAAS, at the intersection of the arts, design, science and technology, is uniquely placed to demonstrate how technology, engineering, science and design impact Australia and the world.

Grimshaw and BVN to design Parramatta's first high-rise school

Grimshaw and BVN to design Parramatta’s first high-rise school

The Sydney submission reflects the WDC 2020 aims; to develop resilience and the values of diversity, integrate economic, social, cultural and environmental needs of Sydney’s residents and businesses; identify projects that express benefits of integrated design based approach; develop new urban precincts that successfully integrate environmental, social, cultural and economic aspirations; support Sydney-wide greening strategy promoting urban ecology and biodiversity to bring a deeper experience of the natural world to the built environment.

Our fingers are tightly crossed that Sydney will host WDC 2020 but at the same time, we are also thrilled to be considered by the WDO.

ASPECT Studios with Choi Ropiha Fighera

ASPECT Studios with Choi Ropiha Fighera

Previous WDCs include Torino (Italy) in 2008, followed by Seoul (South Korea) in 2010, Helsinki (Finland) in 2012, Cape Town (South Africa) in 2014, and Taipei (Taiwan, Chinese Taipei) in 2016. Mexico City (Mexico) holds the title for 2018.

The final announcement will be made on October 17.

Read the full submission.