13 February 2006

Torino 2008 World Design Capital

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The Olympics have barely started, but Torino is already looking ahead to its next venture: in 2008 it will become the first World Design Capital.

At a prestigious and well-attended press conference today, an illustrous panel, consisting of Sergio Chiamparino, mayor of the City of Torino, Peter Zec, president of ICSID, Andrea Pininfarina, ceo of Pininfarina and vice-president of the Confindustria industry confederation, and Giorgetto Giugiaro, president of Italdesign Giugiaro, presented the project to the international press.

During the XXIV General Assembly of ICSID (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design) in Copenhagen on September 30, 2005, the City of Torino was nominated “World Design Capital” (WDC) for the year 2008. The actual agreement between the City and ICSID was signed today.

This nomination and the signing today came at the end of a long process that began in May 2003, when Torino participated in the competition held by ICSID and Icograda and became a candidate to host the joint secretariat (a competition which was finally won by Montreal, Canada).

Right from this early phase, Torino proved it was a city of projects, research and experimentation. The city’s historical roots are closely tied to industry and over the past ten years a project has been grafted onto those roots to redesign the city’s identity, receiving further impetus from the Olympics.

Torino’s charm and competence made an impression, and this interest and discovery convinced ICSID to assign the first World Design Capital award to Torino.

The World Design Capital Award

Starting in 2008, the new World Design Capital project will pinpoint cities in recognition of their excellence in the field of design and promote them to an international level as areas that focus on design as a driving force for economic, social and cultural development.

From the point of view of the cities that are selected, this nomination can help increase their visibility as a creative city, attract economic and professional resources, and strengthen their process of economic development. In short, it can put them on the world map of design and position them within an international network.

The Pilot Project

The nomination fo the cities will take place through a selection process conducted by a worldwide Bid. Nevertheless, the first mandate for the year 2008 — a true Pilot Project — was directly assigned to Torino because it has the right characteristics for becoming a partner of ICSID through this award.

The experiences of the pilot project city will help draw up the rules and guidelines for the promotion and management of the event, which future winners will have to apply for.

The choice of Torino

Many factors convinced ICSID that Torino is able to carry out the first WDC mandate. First of all, the city’s tradition in the fields of design and engineering. Then, the many research centres, style centres, and model and prototype laboratories.

Another factor was the ongoing mission of internationalisation, which has lead to the city being awarded the XX Olympic Winter Games in 2006 (IOC), the World Book Capital in 2006 (UNESCO), the Winter Universiade in 2007, and the headquarters of the World Congress of Architects in 2008 (UIA).

The event

For the entire duration of 2008, Torino will be a national and international showcase of design. Besides proposing the local excellences of Piemonte, Torino 2008 will also be a vehicle for illustrating Italian design, involving other cities and companies.

The city will also be a pole of reference for international design, encouraging exchanges and relations with other world capitals.

The organisational secretariat and the headquarters of the Steering Committee are located at the Torino Internazionale association.

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