Cape Town World Design Capital 2014

31 December sees the opening of Cape Town’s year as design capital of the world with a special New Year’s Eve inauguration event in what has been described as the biggest free NYE’s party ever hosted by the city.

Festivities start on the Grand Parade at 18.00 and go on until the small hours. New Year’s Eve in Cape Town this year promises be on a level with celebrations in London, New York, Paris and Sydney.

One of the evening’s planned events is a video tribute to Nelson Mandela to be screen on the City Hall building. The centre of the event will be a triangular stage for music and dancing and there will also be big screens and relay music towers throughout the city.

For its year as design capital Cape Town has chosen the theme Live Design. Transform Life. 450 projects have been chosen out of 1,253 submitted as part of the programme.

These were loosely organised into four categories: African innovation, global conversation; bridging the divide; today for tomorrow; beautiful spaces, beautiful things.

The ideas then reorganised into six clusters that represent life style enhancers, business that builds, sustainability solutions, connections that unite, education that elevates and community improvement.

The programme also includes a design programme initiated in each of the city’s 111 wards.

An important part of the theme for the year is to look at design as a means of finding solutions to social, economic and business problems applicable to communities worldwide.

Three of the ideas already shared on its facebook page are fish farming containers (South Africa), origami-inspired cardboard pop-up shelters for the homeless (USA), solutions for the problems of internet connectivity in the developing world and natural disaster areas with the BRCK (Kenya).