World Design Organization™ (WDO) (WDO) based in Montreal, Canada announced today that Frankfurt and the RheinMain region have been awarded the coveted title of World Design Capital for the year 2026.
Frankfurt and the RheinMain region applied with the concept Design for Democracy. Atmospheres for a better life and were successful in the final round against Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. For more than two years, the team of the project company led by Prof. Matthias Wagner K has been working intensively on the application on behalf of the City of Frankfurt am Main and the Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain. In addition to the German Design Council, the application’s partners include numerous representatives from the cultural and creative industries.
Lutz Dietzold, CEO of the German Design Council and at the same time Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the implementation company, is pleased about the opportunities this opens up for the region and also for Germany: “The fact that Frankfurt and the region were able to secure the title of World Design Capital is a great success for the Main metropolis and will have an enormous impact far beyond the region. Frankfurt RheinMain is – also historically – one of the most important design centres in Germany. At the same time, the title is an opportunity for Germany to boost the excellent image that German design has internationally with new visibility. As a founding member of the WDO, the German Design Council is pleased to be able to make its contribution to a design-driven transformation of the economy in the direction of Circular Design.“
The title World Design Capital® is awarded every two years by the WDO and is an internationally renowned programme initiated by the design industry. Cities and regions are honoured for their effective use of design to promote cultural, economic, social and ecological development. In an extensive one-year programme of events, the designated city or region presents itself as a centre for design, creativity and innovation. It also becomes part of an international network. In the past, the international award went to cities such as Helsinki, Cape Town, Lille Métropole, Seoul or Mexico City. These cities have deeveloped into prominent design centres that still benefit from their designation as World Design Capital today.
The aim of the programme, which the project office of the application has been working on for over two years, is to create a sustainable, participative international centre of design, design disciplines and design methods for people from all over the world in the RhineMain region. A hub for all existing design initiatives, grassroots initiatives, universities with a design focus, NGOs, representatives from society, business, politics, law, technology, science and culture as well as citizens. The foundation for this is formed by numerous illustrative historical design upheavals, already existing and newly elaborated projects. And last but not least, design shall give Frankfurt and the region a common identity. Under the common denominator Design for Democracy, targeted work can now be done on the implementation of projects in cooperation with all cities and municipalities in the region. The title World Design Capital Year 2026 will ensure international attention.
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