WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE WORLD DESIGN CAPITAL INITIATIVE IN MEXICO CITY IN 2018 AND DESIGN WEEK MÉXICO, WHICH HAPPENS THIS MONTH?
As Design Week México we have been working hard for over 8 years to offer an intense program of proposals, exhibitions, conferences, round tables, installations of architecture, interiors and products, in terms of an expanding dialogue between professionals and the public. With the idea that good design (interdisciplinary, without borders, inclusive) is meaningful for our way of interacting in society, and to improve the lives of people, we have laid the groundwork for the designation as México City World Design Capital for the year 2018.
WHAT DOES THE NOMINATION OF MEXICO CITY AS WORLD DESIGN CAPITAL 2018 MEAN?
An opportunity for worldwide visibility: to demonstrate the results achieved by Mexico City, from urban renewal projects to the successes of the creative community, but also nascent proposals and objectives, potentially creating a denser space for collaboration/sharing inside and outside the country, making the foundations for strategic alliances while reinforcing our own heritage. Mexico City is the sixth city to be named WDC, a biennial initiative, based on a commitment to promote design as an effective motor of social, cultural, economic and environmental growth (2016 is the year of Taipei), and the first on the Latin American continent. It has an exceptional history accompanied by unstoppable growth as a megalopolis, with the need to deal with complex challenges of urbanization, in a long-term perspective.
Having been named as WDC means much more than organizing a series of events. We have to activate a global movement that demonstrates how design, from the micro to the macro dimension, can have (and effectively has) an impact on quality of life, as a tool to create a safer, more livable, efficient and advanced city.
HOW IS THE CITY PREPARING FOR THIS UNIQUE EVENT?
First of all, with the awareness of becoming a window on the world. Starting with in-depth study of the objective conditions, we are trying to activate reflection on the idea of responsible design, capable of providing concrete and sustainable responses, to truly improve the experience of living in the city. These are not urban face-lift exercises, but processes of regeneration. Over half the people in the world live in urban areas, which have to approach projects of restructuring, renewal and adaptation, to meet the needs of inhabitants and of economic growth. The efficacy of these projects for the development of the public and private sectors depends to a great extent on the actors involved. Our raw materials in this field are still imagination, talent, ideas.
WHAT ARE THE MOST INTERESTING PROJECTS BEING DEVELOPED? IN WHICH ZONES AND SECTORS?
All those that invest in innovative content, pursuing synergies and creative growth, to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit that is indispensable to generate jobs and to favor economies of scale. We should not forget that our community is composed of architects, designers, artists, but also theaters, cinemas, galleries, museums, parks, plazas, schools, public spaces, underpasses, pedestrian zones, bicycle paths, bus stops, transportation, networks for water, electricity and gas…
Any good production can benefit everyone. The objectives of México City WDC can thus be traced back to these firm guidelines: to create opportunity; to restore dignity; to conserve what is precious; to transform with respect; to promote the value of public things, mobility, civic participation; to think of the city as a place of knowledge; to generate long-term thinking about design.” Anyone who shares these values is welcome to take part. The space belongs to everyone. As a laboratory in which to give form to the cities of tomorrow.
Text by Antonella Boisi