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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.
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.
*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.