Through its four iterations to date, the World Design Capital initiative has accumulated many success stories and achievements. In 2016, as part of our contribution to the WDC legacy, Taipei will stage a series of WDC signature events, including the New Year’s Eve of Design, the Design Gala, the International Design House Exhibition, the International Design Policy Conference, the International Design Week Forum, the Network of Cities Meeting, and finally the Convocation Ceremony. (The first signature event, the WDC Signing Ceremony, was held on 28 March 2014.) A major theme of all of these international events will be Taipei’s local character and design power, which will be presented to the world in a refined and cosmopolitan style, showcasing Taipei’s characteristics and aspirations as an “Adaptive City.” We will also join with private-sector design organizations, design schools, enterprises, NPOs, NGOs and the international design community to put on events such as exhibitions, workshops, lectures, design tours, open studio programs and more. Throughout 2016 a succession of activities large and small will be happening all over Taipei, like little sparks of experimentation, not only in formal venues but also in places such as coffee shops, MRT stations or any street corner, turning Taipei into a garden of design for the delight of visitors and residents alike.

WDC Signing Ceremony

Date: 28 March 2014
Venue: Taipei Guest House

The historic moment when the designation of World Design Capital 2016 was formally bestowed on Taipei City took place at the Taipei Guest House, when Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-pin and Icsid President Dr. Brandon Gien signed the Host City Agreement for WDC 2016 in the presence of Taiwan’s Vice President, Wu Den-yih. They also unveiled Taipei’s WDC signature color, and formally announced Taipei City as World Design Capital 2016. Taipei design has leapt onto the international stage, and the innovative power of design will drive the city’s progress!

The New Year’s fireworks display at the Taipei 101 building has long been a focus of world attention. It has been selected by CNN as one of the top ten events worldwide for seeing in the New Year, with more than 850,000 people attending each year. Building on the festive atmosphere of previous years, as Taipei enters 2016 as World Design Capital an even richer and more diverse design effort will be injected into the New Year’s fireworks show. The stage show, featuring live performances by local and international singing stars, will break the mold of traditional show design. The stage, lighting and audiovisual effects will all be joint works of multidisciplinary design combining graphic design, industrial design and visual communication design to produce dazzling effects not seen in past years. Taipei also plans to use the Taipei 101 building as a billboard to display Taiwan’s expectations for WDC 2016, and will broadcast the event to the world in real time over the Internet, to celebrate the beginning of Taipei’s tenure as World Design Capital 2016.

The Design Gala is an awards presentation gala to honor designers from Taiwan and around the world. The awards to be presented include two major Taiwanese design awards— the Golden Pin Design Award and Icsid’s World Design Impact Prize. The gala will also include a Designers’ Avenue of Stars, a banquet of Taiwanese cuisine, and a stage show. From the costumes and visual design to the taste of the food and the sound experience, the gala will present the special character and abundant power of Taiwanese design.

WDC Network of Cities Meeting

Date: 13 October & 14 October, 2016

Mayors or their representatives from cities worldwide will be invited to explore the issues they face in urban development, how they use design-based methods to resolve such issues, and their visions for the future development of their cities. The meeting will provide a platform for urban development policymakers to exchange views, and will connect cities together in an urban development design network.

WDC International Design Policy Conference

Date: 15 October &16 October, 2016

Conference invitees are expected to include policymakers from the former World Design Capitals, and policy leaders and design experts from emerging economies in Asia, Africa, and South America, as well as representatives of NPOs and NGOs. With the theme of “2026: The Next Decade,” the conference will aim to map out the progression of design from past to future, and explore how to use design to address issues such as future urban development and environmental sustainability.

WDC International Design House Exhibition

Date: 13 October-30 October, 2016

Through meticulous planning and curatorship, Taipei will transform itself into a huge exhibition ground. The event will be organized on a far larger scale than the IDA Congress and Taipei World Design Expo of 2011. We will invite the previous World Design Capitals to join in the event, in order to broaden the overall benefits of the WDC project and enhance its international publicity impact. Focusing on the theme of Taipei as an Adaptive City, we will also present the story and experience of Taipei’s development, and communicate the intellectual substance and design vision of the “Adaptive City” theme to the international community.

WDC International Design Week Forum

Date: 17 October & 18 October, 2016

In recent years, design week events have been organized in major cities around the world. Such gatherings of designers can enable more members of the public to recognize the impact of design on their lives, and are also an important means for these cities to showcase their design capabilities to the outside world. Each design week has its own regional character. Taipei will invite the organizers of major design weeks worldwide to come together in one venue to discuss their experiences and insights, to help move the global design movement to a new level.

WDC Convocation Ceremony

Date: 9 December, 2016

Each World Design Capital city showcases not only its achievements at the time of hosting WDC, but also its expectations for a sustainable, better life in the future. Accordingly, Taipei City’s WDC Convocation Ceremony will emphasize the significance of continuing the WDC legacy as the baton passes from the current World Design Capital to the next.