Above: Prof. Carlos Hinrichsen and Mayor Oh Se-hoon at WDC 2010 Official Signing Ceremony in Seoul.
1 January - 31 December 2010


On 20 October 2007, during the closing ceremony of the Icsid Congress in San Francisco, the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) announced the appointment of the City of Seoul, South Korea as the World Design Capital (WDC)  title holder for 2010.

In his acceptance speech, Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon declared "Design is a growth driver of the Seoul economy. We have surprised the world with the Miracle of the Han River and advancements in the IT sector. Now we would like to bring global attention to Seoul with strong design."

He expressed high hopes for the city's future and added, "With Seoul's designation as WDC 2010, the city will be able to breath creative energy into the design industry and reinvent itself into a globally recognised city of design and collaborate with other cities in the world to communicate with design. Seoul will send out the message that design is the power to change the world for the better."

View promotional video on YouTube

Looking towards 2010

Major projects currently in development for WDC Seoul 2010 include the Seoul Design Olympiad, U-Design International Competition, construction of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, the city's participation in the IDA World Design Report, a Youth Design Creative Camp, as well as initiatives to encourage citizen participation in WDC projects.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government has set three phases for the implementation of the WDC 2010 Seoul projects. The first phase in 2008 will lay the foundation for the project; 2009 will be assigned as the preparation phase; and 2010 will be the WDC phase.

Immediately following the signing ceremony, Mayor Oh Se-hoon and Icsid Board Members visited the Dongdaemun Plaza & Park construction site (tentatively named Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), the symbol of Seoul’s design vision, as well as the centrepiece of WDC 2010. The DDP will be established at the current location of Dongdaemun stadium and will be designed and constructed by International Design Competition winner Zaha Hadid (Metonymic Landscape) and Samwoo in Korea (President Han Jong-ryul).

In addition to DDP development, the city government will create a park and get the nearby ancient castle restored by 2010, all of which are expected to contribute to the city’s transformation.

The city government will set up WDC Seoul 2010 promotion booths at Hannover Messe in April, New York International Contemporary Furniture Fair, London Contemporary Design Show and other design shows worldwide. In addition, the city government is looking for ways to create synergy effect, linking its promotion efforts with overseas marketing activities with enterprises in Seoul.

WDC Seoul project implementation procedure

To ensure successful implementation of projects, the city government has set up a WDC Seoul Organising Committee consisting of representatives from the municipal government, as well as experts from design, architectural, academic, cultural, economic and media establishments.

The city government will also form an International Advisory Board comprising of world-renowned design and promotion/marketing experts later this year. This advisory board will provide creative advice on setting a direction for WDC 2010 programmes, promote related projects around the globe, and support WDC 2010 programmes of international design community.

The Seoul city government has also set up WDC Division within Seoul Design Headquarters, in order to coordinate WDC 2010 programmes with urban development strategies based on design. The office is charged with the planning, implementation and the global promotion of WDC projects, as well act as the liaison with international design organisations.

The role of WDC designated city

World Design Capital (WDC) is a biennial global competition open to all cities in the world. The title is conferred on cities that have demonstrated exceptional progress using the varied tools design offers. A city is appointed as WDC every other year to celebrate its achievements and to share them with other cities. Designated cities are different but the same in that design plays an essential role in reinventing the cities to meet evolving needs in the world.

The WDC competition will attract cities, which aim to make progress through design. Moreover, the project will motivate other cities to learn from WDC titleholders and to aspire to a designation of their own.

Find out more

  • View our photo archive for images from the WDC World Design Cities Summit 2010

For more information, please contact:
Natalie Dutil
Icsid Communications Officer
t: + 1 514 448 4949 ext. 223

Eduardo Caldera Petit
Icsid Project Manager
t: +1 514 448 4949 ext. 224
e: ecaldera@icsid.org

About World Design Capital (WDC)

While there are many awards that recognise individual accomplishments in design, the World Design Capital™ (WDC) designation is unique as it aims to focus on the broader essence of design’s impact on urban spaces, economies and citizens. The designation provides a distinctive opportunity for cities to feature their accomplishments in attracting and promoting innovative design, as well as highlight their successes in urban revitalisation strategies.

About the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid)

The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) is an international non-governmental organisation for professional industrial design. Founded in 1957, Icsid currently counts over 150 members in more than 50 countries, representing an estimated 150,000 designers worldwide. Icsid members are professional associations, promotional societies, educational institutions, government bodies, corporations and institutions – all of which contribute to the development of the profession of industrial design.
Icsid facilitates co-operation and interaction among these societies and supports a global network through which design institutions worldwide can collaborate. Through shared interests, experiences, and resources, Icsid provides an international platform for its members to be heard as a powerful voice.

Icsid also holds consultative status with UNESCO, UNIDO, ISO and WIPO to support and highlight design in international forums.
WDC Seoul 2010 logo
The WDC logo is being displayed at major locations within Seoul to promote the upcoming 2010 events.

Event updates

WDC Seoul comes to a successful end [read more]

WDC Seoul to host International Conference & Convocation Ceremony [read more]

Seoul Design Fair Celebrates City's Wide-Ranging Creative Achievements [read more]

Seoul designated as UNESCO Creative City for design [read more]

Seoul Design Declaration signed at WDC World Design Cities Summit [read more]

Italian Style and the Seoul of design [read more]

World Design Capital Seoul 2010 kicks off [read more]

WDC 2010 Seoul hosts New Year's Eve and Seoulite Festival
[read more]

WDC 2010 website launched
[read more]

City opens Seoul Design Foundation [read more]

Icsid President, Carlos Hinrichsen and Deputy Mayor of Seoul, Kwon Young-Gull at the Convocation Ceremony in Torino, November 2008.

Seoul City Government hosts official WDC signing ceremony
[read more]

more images from the WDC 2010 signing ceremony.

Seoul appointed World Design Capital 2010 [read more]