1. What does this site do?

This website is for CPUT staff, students and our partners to use during and beyond our World Design Capital year 2014.It aims to:

  • Showcase and share the stories of all our projects that have been given official WDC recognition for 2014
  • Provide a platform for sharing ALL CPUT projects, events and research that relates to our status as a World Design Capital
  • Provide access to all WDC related news i.e. the programme of events, requests for volunteers and work integrated learning opportunities

 2. Background to CPUT's involvement in WDC 2014

wdc-presentation-13June-MG_7424-511x340The City of Cape Town successfully bid for the title of World Design Capital 2014 (WDC 2014). CPUT, via the Faculty of Informatics & Design (FID), actively lobbied for the title and contributed to the bid book. This prestigious status is designated biennially by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) to cities that are dedicated to using design for social, cultural and economic development.


This designation will give Cape Town a chance to showcase its achievements and aspirations through a year-long programme of design-led events and activities as past World Design Capital designees Turin (Italy), Seoul (South Korea) and Helsinki (Finland) have done.


The City of Cape Town has prioritized WDC 2014, and has allocated resources and organizational infrastructure to ensure that this event is a success. WDC 2014 is the next big city event post the 2010 world cup, and presents us as a HEI with unique strategic opportunities, across the academic project, and especially in the realm of research and innovation.


We are very proud to say that our very own Professor Mugendi M’Rithaa, industrial designer, educator and researcher has just been voted in as president-elect of ICSID during its 28th General Assembly from 18-19 November 2013 in Montreal, Canada. The announcement is extra special because M’Rithaa is the first African to hold the position and he beat competitors from Finland and Denmark for the prestigious post which represents over 150 member nations.


3. Research and Technology Innovation context

Design and innovation are closely related, sharing a focus on implementing real-world solutions and improvements. The emergence of Design Thinking over the recent years, from an academic theoretical perspective provides an important conceptual underpinning for our applied research orientation. Design Thinking has been harnessed amongst a range of its post-graduate degrees, and has been responsible for incepting and hosting a world first conference in Design Development Research at CPUT.


As CPUT, we have acknowledged the important role of Design in innovation, as it provides an important framework to foster multidisciplinary projects. Indeed the DDR conference bears testimony to this notion given the wide range of papers it has attracted from multiple disciplines, including from amongst the diverse CPUT faculties. The 2014 edition of this conference promises to attract a high quality of participation and supports the premise of WDC 2014 with its theme, Design for Participation: Connecting Disciplines, People and Ideas.


CPUT has recently adopted a RTI blue-print which provides a framework for the next phase of accelerated research and innovation outputs. The opportunities associated with WDC 2014 are supportive of the vision of the RTI blueprint. Furthermore it is an opportunity for a Design led entry into our next RTI phase, creating an impetus to consolidate our work amongst the six research focus areas listed in the blue-print, including that of Design for Sustainability. WDC 2014 also provides a basis to contribute towards our strategic goals of service and research uptake which are also ensconced in the CPUT 10 year RTI blueprint.