At the WDO’s annual general meeting World Design Assembly in Tokyo, Japan from October 27 to 29, 2023, the title will be ceremoniously awarded to Frankfurt RheinMain. In the first quarter of 2024, the World Design Capital Signing Ceremony will take place, at which the Host City Agreement will be officially signed. This is the starting point for the World Design Capital year 2026.
The jury was also particularly impressed by the collaboration between culture, design, business and society, which conveyed a great sense of community in the Frankfurt RhineMain region and stood behind the application with drive. Bertrand Derome was already in July 2023 together with Eunjoo Maing from the WDO for a three-day visit to the Frankfurt RhineMain Region and was able to convince himself in numerous discussions.
For more than two years, the team of the project company under the leadership of Prof. Matthias Wagner K, Director of the Museum Angewandte Kunst, has been working on the application on behalf of the City of Frankfurt am Main and the Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain and has been pushing it forward intensively. The period was used to start a joint movement with various cooperation partners and participatory formats as well as actors, initiatives and supporters.
The goal of the conceived 2026 program of Design for Democracy. Atmospheres for a better life is to create a sustainable, participatory international center of design, design disciplines and design methods for people from all over the world here in the RhineMain region. A hub for all existing design initiatives, grassroots initiatives, universities with a design focus, NGOs, representatives from society, business, politics, law, technology, science and culture, as well as citizens on the basis of illustrative historical design upheavals, existing and new projected projects.
And last but not least, design should give Frankfurt and the region a common identity. Under the common denominator Design for Democracy, targeted work can now be done on the implementation of projects in cooperation with all cities and municipalities in the region. The title World Design Capital Year 2026 will ensure international attention.
In the spirit of Design for Democracy. Amospheres for a better life, the application defined twelve fields of action that are most pressing in shaping social interaction. They determine and structure the basic work as a platform provider for the development of the program for the World Design Capital 2026: Working, Building, Education, Energy, Health, Industry, Consumption, Culture, Mobility, Public Space, Sports and Living.
More than 100 projects were submitted from across the Frankfurt RhineMain region for the fields of action, and they now represent impressive value for the city and its surrounding region. These include as major projects: Designkioske Frankfurt RheinMain, A Step Ahead – Mathildenhöhe, Darmstadt New Campus University of Design (HfG), Offenbach am Main, House of Democracy, Frankfurt am Main, Life Science Hub – biomindz, Mainz, Ropeway High*Line, Offenbach-Frankfurt, Station Mitte, Offenbach am Main, Cultural Campus, Wiesbaden. In addition, more than 60 projects from the entire region found their way into the application.