A year-long program of design events could be headed Sydney's way, and a two years' worth of bragging rights as well. The New South Wales capital is currently in the running to be crowned the World Design Capital, making the shortlist for the 2020 title alongside Lille in Northern France.
If successful, Sydney will play host to six signature events between January and October, with an opening ceremony at the Sydney Opera House, a World Design Street Festival throughout the CBD, an array of exhibitions and conferences in the lead up to Vivid, and a forum coinciding with Sydney Fringe Festival all currently outlined in the city's bid. Masterclasses, a new Festival of the Front Yard that focuses on post-war design and a design camp on Cockatoo Island are also mooted, in a proposal that seeks to "engage, collaborate and design a new model of social impact for an increasingly urbanised world."
Beyond the showcase events, much of the suggested program focuses on Parramatta and its surrounding suburbs — and if you're wondering why, there's a good reason. The bid hasn't been put together by the City of Sydney, with the Parramatta council helping to lead the charge as part of a not-for-profit organisation backed by 40 other outfits, institutions and agencies. Still, "Sydney, World Design Capital" has quite the nice ring to it.
As for that moniker and how it comes about, the World Design Capital is designated by the World Design Organisation, highlighting cities that use of design to drive economic, social, cultural and environmental development. The 2020 choice will be announced in October, with Sydney potentially joining previous picks Torino (2008), Seoul (2010), Helsinki (2012), Cape Town (2014), Taipei (2016) and Mexico City (2018).