World Design Capital (WDC) 2014 – Shortlist Fever
Sunday, June 5th, 2011
Anyone who has worked on the management side of awards and competitions knows that the process revolves around a series of dates – launch dates, call for entry dates, assessment dates, judging dates, announcement dates – after which there may be a short break before the process begins again. The level of tension and stress experienced by those who manage and administer awards competitions relates to getting the job done well, getting it done on time, getting it done fairly and transparently, and continuing to grow a strong, credible, respected brand. This is the side of the awards and competitions equation where having control over events is a major stress-reducing factor.
The other side of ‘awards and competitions’ is also all about dates but on this side, once the submission has been made, all control is handed over – and the stress and tension is fuelled by the process of powerlessly wanting and waiting. There will only be one winner.
The decision about which city will be designated World Design Capital 2014 will be reached in August at the final selection meeting in Montreal, Canada. The winning city will be announced at the International Design Alliance (IDA) Congress in Taiwan on 24 – 26 October 2011.
There is an earlier date that is ‘stressing’ the organisers of the bids – the announcement of which cities are shortlisted. That decision will be made this week and the organisers of the bids from the shortlisted cities will hear the good news in the next few weeks. It is nail-biting time for bidding cities – powerless to do other than wait and hope that the lifeline is cast in their direction, their bid has been shortlisted and their city is still in the race.
Each shortlisted city will be visited for two days during July and each will (naturally) try to convince their guests that their city should be designated World Design Capital 2014. If Dublin’s bid is shortlisted there will be much to do in advance (and during) the visit. In competitions of this type it is usual that there is relative equality between the quality and persuasiveness of shortlisted bids – otherwise why have a shortlist at all if there is already a clear winner. Success or failure can be based on experiences during the city visits.
Dublin’s bid faces competition from Beijing, Cape Town and (possibly) Bilbao and Istanbul whose bids are, to a greater of lesser degree, in the public domain. The WDC organisers have disclosed only that more than 50 cities have expressed their interest but have not yet said how many of those that expressed interest went on to submit bids and actively compete.