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NOV 2005
Torino 2008 World Design Capital

ICSID, the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design, has nominated Torino the first World Design Capital for the year 2008. A series of manifestations and events will create an international showcase of the excellences of design in Piemonte and Italy.

On September 30, 2005, Torino was nominated the first World Design Capital during the General Assembly of ICSID in Copenhagen and officially began to organize a series of manifestations and events for 2008 to create an international showcase of the excellences of design in Piemonte and Italy. As the first city to win this designation, Torino has become a partner of ICSID, a pilot city and the stage on which the rules of the Prize will be discussed and solutions will be experimented for other cities to adopt in the future. This title isn’t conferred on cities that are already recognized as centers of design; rather, it is granted to territories which are progressively revaluating design as an opportunity for economic and cultural development. In this field as in others, Torino now finds itself at a crossroads in which its historical role as the capital of Italian industry has been surpassed by important changes in its context, forcing the city to find and consolidate new prospects. For a series of reasons, which are partly tied to its history and in part a result of current events, Torino has all the requisites to host and stimulate design-related activity. Moreover, design is the element that best characterizes Italian products - from automobiles to fashion - and the theme of design is an important key to understanding how Torino is transforming itself from a city of production, at the service of the national community, into a city of planning that serves the international community

The project
In May 2003, Torino participated in a competition organized by ICSID and ICOGRADA - international organizations dedicated to the development of products and graphic design - as a candidate to host the joint secretariat. Torino’s dossier of candidacy highlighted the fact that Torino is a city of projects, research and experimentation; its historical roots are closely linked to industry and over the past ten years a project has been grafted onto these roots to redesign the city’s identity - a project which has been greatly accelerated by the Olympics. As the competition unfolded, the 34 initial candidates were narrowed down to a field of six and Torino found itself competing in the finals against five other cities: Brussels, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Montreal and Nagoya. Even though Montreal won the day, the charm and competence of Torino left their mark and the interest this discovery generated convinced ICSID to award Torino the designation as the first World Design Capital.

Torino in Ten Stories
Torino in Ten Stories was distributed in Copenhagen. This book is an anthology of ten exemplary stories that focus on design to illustrate the characteristics that distinguish Torino and Piemonte on a national and global level.

The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design ( was created in 1957. It has 149 members, including ADI - the Association for Industrial Design (, representing 52 countries throughout the world. Professional organizations, educational establishments, non-governmental institutions, private companies, professionals and institutes unite in a joint effort to further the development of design as a profession, a methodological process, an economic instrument and a promoter of sustainable innovation.

The steering committee
On June 27, 2005 the local institutions - the Municipality and Province of Torino, and the Piemonte Region - along with the Chamber of Commerce of Torino, the foundations Compagnia di San Paolo and Fondazione CRT, and ADI, signed a Protocol of Agreement to create a committee to promote and organize the Torino 2008 world year of design. The Associazione Torino Internazionale was named headquarters of the steering committee and organizational secretariat of the initiative and was given the responsibility of coordinating operative activities.

The first appointments
October 2005, Copenhagen - ICSID General Assembly
November 2005, Essen - ICSID Board Meeting
December 2005, Mumbai (India) - Design Summit
January 2006, Rome - Confindustria Board Meeting
February 2006, Montreal - ICSID General Secretary

Paola Zini, Francesca Marinetto
Associazione Torino Internazionale
Via Pietro Micca 21 - 10121 Torino
telefax (+39) 011 516.2006

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