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Opinion: Becoming a World Design Capital would improve life in San Diego-Tijuana

San Diego Union Tribune Op-Ed by Mayor Todd Gloria

I believe that San Diego is one of the world’s greatest cities, and together with our sister city Tijuana, we form a dynamic, multicultural area unlike anywhere else. Both as a lifelong San Diegan and the mayor of San Diego, I am proud that our city is one of two finalists in the running to be selected as the World Design Capital in 2024. Earning this designation would highlight the unique character of our binational region and show the entire world that our diversity is our strength.

Just as design has continued to address complex challenges at our border and between our cities, we continue to improve the quality of life in San Diego through thoughtful, human-centered design. The transformation of the Plaza de Panama at Balboa Park, Waterfront Park and Liberty Station are only a few examples of how we’ve begun to think about public space differently in San Diego over the last decade.
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Be on your best behavior: San Diego is being judged this week

By Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union Tribune

San Diego and Tijuana are throwing a party for just one man this week, and you’ve probably never heard his name.

Montreal native Bertrand Derome, managing director of the World Design Organization, is getting the red carpet treatment across two nations as the cities vie for the title of World Design Capital.

The award means a global spotlight on the region and lots of free advertising. Selected every two years, the Montreal-based World Design Organization picks a different city as its “capital.” Some previous winners have been Seoul, Helsinki, Cape Town and Mexico City. San Diego and Tijuana decided to apply together as a binational region.

The festivities started Sunday night with a jazz concert, light show and chic party for Derome at the Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. There were only about 200 people at the event for a venue that can hold 3,500. The $85 million shell on the San Diego Bay opened in August.

“It’s a great city and an amazing venue. I have to say I’m pretty impressed by the design communities that came together,” Derome said at the event.
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Opinion: The World Design Capital is more than an award. It’s a chance to solve problems.

San Diego Union Tribune Op-Ed by Tad Parzen and Eddie Matthews*
*Eddie Matthews is also a Designer-in-Residence with the UCSD Design Lab


Design and discovery are in our San Diego-Tijuana region’s DNA. We are risk-takers, a nimble community that has long fostered life-changing design and innovation to improve the world, save lives and sustain critical resources. San Diego-Tijuana has long been the epicenter of a binational design revolution.

In this inclusive spirit, a cross-border community of designers, activists and community leaders have joined together to submit the first binational bid to the World Design Organization to name San Diego-Tijuana the World Design Capital in 2024. This designation recognizes cities for their effective use of design to drive economic, social, cultural and environmental development, and showcases best practices in sustainable, human-centered policy and innovation.

Every member of this region has something to contribute and the World Design Capital will be the centralized place for these binational design contributions, making the border immaterial by making design visible.
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Steven Rick on Designing for Healthcare | Design Chats


Steven Rick, Graduate Student at UC San Diego, shares his approach and experiences when designing for healthcare and how design can improve doctor-patient relationships.

Design Chats is a video series where we sit down with design practitioners to answer questions about how they utilize human-centered design.

View our Design Chats playlist on the Design Lab YouTube Channel
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San Diego/Tijuana is finalist to become a World Design Capital

San Diego/Tijuana is finalist to become a World Design Capital

San Diego Union Tribune

The San Diego/Tijuana region is a finalist to become a World Design Capital that could mean a year-long promotion of the binational region.

Winners are chosen based on how each region effectively incorporates design across their economic, technological, social, cultural, political and environmental sectors . More than just having a fancy title, winning means a year of events to promote the region, including a street festival, a one-day celebration highlighting the winner’s designs and a design conference that should bring people from around the globe.

“This is an incredibly exciting opportunity to not only showcase our bi-national region as a longstanding design and innovation powerhouse,” she wrote, “but to also shape the narrative around what it means to be a 21st century metropolis, [says Michèle Morris, President of the Design Forward Alliance and Associate Director of UCSD Design Lab]."
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