Valencia reveals longterm vision as World Design Capital 2022

Valencia reveals longterm vision as World Design Capital 2022

Dezeen promotion: establishing a community design centre and creating new design training schools are some of the long-term goals set by the team behind Valencia‘s winning World Design Capital 2022 bid.

With just over a year to go before the World Design Capital title is passed from Lille Metropole to Valencia, the organising committee is finalising its year-long programme of events.

In addition, it is establishing some longer-term projects that will contribute to social wellbeing and sustainable economic development in the region.

Valencia reveals longterm vision as World Design Capital 2022
Valencia won the bid to become World Design Capital 2022 on account of its longstanding design legacy

The committee hopes that the impact of these initiatives will be felt far beyond 2022 and across fields as diverse as politics, education, urban planning, communication, tourism, innovation, culture and the economy.

“The year prior to being design capital is the time to implement projects, to give the programme an international diffusion and begin to attract the attention of the general public beyond our borders,” said the team, which is made up of a group of professionals and entrepreneurs from the Associació València Capital del Disseny.

“We believe in design as a fundamental vehicle with which to improve people’s quality of life, activate innovation in the short term and generate systemic change in societies in the long term.”

Valencia reveals longterm vision as World Design Capital 2022
Valencia boasts galleries such as the Bombas Gens art centre, which is located in a former factory

To foster these long-term changes, the World Design Capital Valencia team is planning to use the institutional support it has received and the members’ branding knowledge to create a Marca València seal, which it says will enable it to open “unique, competent and ethical export channels”.

In addition, the team has also put forward a proposal to establish a physical headquarters that would serve as a community design centre and a hub for professionals and companies.

Valencia reveals longterm vision as World Design Capital 2022
It is also home to landmark buildings such as The City of Arts and Sciences by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava

In terms of education, the team said it will make structural changes to update teaching guides for vocational education and training linked to design. It plans to create new training schools linked to the wood, ceramics and the textile industries, and establish links between schools and industry to retain talent in the Valencian community.

Other plans include setting up a design council within the Valencian Administration to act as a lobby between the administration and private enterprises to ensure that the institutions understand the “transformational power of design”.

Valencia reveals longterm vision as World Design Capital 2022
Valencia is the eighth city to hold the biennial designation

Earlier this year, in the months following Valencia’s selection as World Design Capital, the team established a digital platform called #EstoPasará, which translates as “this will pass”.

Set up in response to the health crisis caused by COVID-19, the platform is used to collect, align and broadcast relief and support initiatives by those working in design and other creative sectors. Over 500 projects, both national and international, have been collected to date.

“Our main aim as World Design Capital is to leave a legacy,” said the committee. “We do not see 2022 as a jubilee year, but rather as the foundation on which this city – and by extension, the country – will be positioned on the international design map.”

The title of World Design Capital is an honour bestowed upon a different city every two years by the World Design Organization (WDO)™. The programme recognises cities that use design to improve economic, social and cultural life. Previous WDCs include Torino, Seoul, Helsinki, Cape Town, Taipei, Mexico City and Lille Metropole, which currently holds the title.

Valencia’s programme of events will kick off in 2022 and will be aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals covering topics such as sustainability, social inclusion, sustainable growth, equality and sport.

Partnership content

This article was written by Dezeen for World Design Capital as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

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Carpenter tile collection by Argenta Cerámica

Carpenter collection by Argenta Ceramica

Dezeen Showroom: Spanish brand Argenta Cerámica has released the Carpenter collection of antibacterial tiles in natural shades that go together in any combination.

The Carpenter porcelain stoneware slabs comes in five monochromatic hues — albar, taupe, pearl, grey and dark.

Carpenter collection by Argenta Ceramica
Tiles in the Carpenter collection have an antibacterial finish

Argenta Cerámica picked the colour scheme so that the tiles would work well together no matter what options were picked, and also took inspiration from the architecture of Le Corbusier in Massachusetts.

The Carpenter collection comes in 90 by 90, 60 by 120, 60 by 60 and 30 by 60 centimetre formats.

Carpenter collection by Argenta Ceramica
The hues work well together in any combination

The tiles boast an antibacterial finish that make them ideal for spaces requiring good hygiene in the home as well as schools, libraries, clinics and hospitals.

“The high technical characteristics, the infinity of formats and a new bactericidal finish make Carpenter one of the most versatile and advanced series of Argenta Cerámica,” said export manager Martin Chavarría.

Product: Carpenter
Designer: Argenta Cerámica
Brand: Argenta Cerámica

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PC Portable Lamp

Designed by Pierre Charpin for Danish design brand HAY, this PC Portable Lamp features a USB-rechargeable battery and an energy-efficient LED bulb within that produces a warm white glow. The light can be dimmed or brightened thanks to touch control. Made from ABS plastic that’s finished with a scratch- and water-resistant coating, the light comes in six colorways—some of which boast several hues. Standing just under nine inches tall, these lights can be used anywhere, but should be kept indoors when not in use.

This Maserati electric concept bike is a mashup of The Alien and stylized Tron DNA!

If Maserati builds a futuristic superbike, it would undoubtedly catch eyeballs, and this concept design truly deserves the Maserati badge. This superbike design by passionate motorhead Tomáš Klečka – a student from Brno, the Czech Republic – is certainly one that’s so ride-worthy. The electric two-wheeler looks inspired by the Xenomorph XX121 alien for its mean machine character. On the flip side, the superbike is just more than its flashy Trident logo.

The air vents on the sides are so reminiscent of the Maserati brand and the cars we’ve seen all these years. Big hubless wheels lend the Maserati electric concept bike the signature Tron bike character – and one can say – the ride is a striking image of the legendary superbike. A badass-styled set of wheels with the Xenomorph XX121 and Tron bike styling. Now, that’s quite rare, to be frank. The dark magenta color with the white stripe right in the middle is so Instagrammable. Add to that the big Maserati Trident logo and the creation is destined to be a dream ride for anyone who lays their eyes on it.

The low center of gravity of the Maserati electric concept and the forward-leaning position give it a street racing vibe. Perhaps it is a true reflection of the Maserati Motorcycles build between 1953 and 1960. Unfortunately, due to intense competition from other Italian motorbike makers, the division eventually shunned. So, as a tribute to the Maserati’s stint with the two-wheelers, who won’t want to own this beauty and park it on their porch? Tomáš has managed to inculcate the rich history of Maserati into the shape of a bike that’ll make you go week in the knees!

Designer: Tomáš Klečka

A Skyscraper Made of Stacked Farmhouses, Lifted by Crane Into the Structure

Here’s a fascinating proposed solution to the displaced Hmong population in China, whose farming communities are being displaced by modern planning. Xiangshu Kong, Xiaoyong Zhang and Mingsong Sun envision tall, skeletal structures built in the countryside, with farmhouses lifted into them by crane.

Mobility between units, both vertically and laterally, would be accomplished by a system of cable-car-like, human-sized birdcages that dovetail with traditional Hmong production techniques (see bottom illustration).

“Hmong in China is an ancient nationality, mainly living in Yunnan province. Hmong has its own language, architecture, and lifestyle. However, this group of special minority cultures is being gradually swallowed by modern culture. Many Hmong cultural customs have disappeared, and even many Hmong people’s houses have been demolished or will be.

“In order to build a well-off society in an all-around way, the Chinese government has issued relocation policies to the villages to help the Hmong stay away from their dilapidated places of residence and move to the suburbs of cities to provide a modern and affluent life. Although the original intention of the government is good, more and more ethnic minorities are unable to adapt to the new places of residence. They miss their arable land, yards, streams, and so on. We try to design a skyscraper. We try our best to keep farmers’ memory and lifestyle of their original hometown, and at the same time let them enjoy the convenience of modern urbanization.

“We extract the structure of the local stilt style building, extract the wooden skeleton, and then use the crane to move the original wooden house, combine the two to form the basic form of the skyscraper, and then more and more houses are moved to the skyscraper, and the skyscraper gradually lengthens laterally. To retain the local block form, we organized the scattered houses into several districts. At the same time, we used the roof as the traffic and platform to strengthen the traffic connection between the houses. Then we combine the functions needed by local residents, such as arable land, streams, dance square, forest, public spaces, etc. And constantly enrich our architectural space to preserve the lifestyle of the Hmong family.

“In the past, villages were far away from each other on different mountains. Hmong people hung cable cars on ropes to pass goods. At the same time, the Hmong people are good at making birdcages. We extract the form of birdcages, translate them into transfer boxes, and then use ropes to transfer boxes to meet the needs of traffic.”

The project won Third Place in the Evolo 2021 Skyscraper Competition.

The Convercycle: A Bicycle That Transforms to Cargo Bike Length

The last time we saw a transforming bicycle, it changed its wheelbase to alter ride height:

Rako Bikes

German bike manufacturer Convercycle, however, has designed a bicycle that can change its wheelbase for cargo functionality:

It’s a clever design, right down to the way the fender flips backwards. It’s also nice that the placement of a child seat doesn’t interfere (much) with the cargo area.

The Convercycle can carry 180kg (nearly 400 pounds) in the cargo bay, and an optional electric motor in the front hub gives you the oomph you’d need to move it.

And of course, in its compact form the Convercycle can do something a regular cargo bike can’t: It easily fits in an elevator or on the subway.

The base model runs €2,599 (USD $3,162), and the e-bike version is €3,799 (USD $4,621).

Pro-Plastic Publicity Stunt: The Museum of Plastic, With a 10-Day Lifespan

Spain-based EsPlásticos is a “plastics platform,” i.e. a sort of collective PR arm for European plastics manufacturers. “The main objective of the Platform is to publicize the sustainable solutions that plastics offer to the challenges of society,” they write, “as well as to highlight the many economic, technical, social and environmental advances that these unique materials have made and continue to make possible.” In other words, their mission is to dispel any negative connotations of the material.

Hence they’ve launched this publicity stunt: The Museum of Plastic, a temporary structure made out of you-know-what, erected outside of Spain’s National Museum in Madrid. Its projected lifespan is just ten days; opened last Saturday, it’s due to be torn down on May 17th–World Recycling Day–and recycled in its entirety, to remind the public that, yinno, plastic is recyclable.

Plastic is a wonderful material, and it’s wonderful that it’s technically recyclable. The problem is that the vast majority of plastic is never recycled. According to National Geographic, citing a global study from the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances, just 9% of plastic gets recycled.

The EPA, analyzing U.S. data, found just an 8.7% plastic recycling rate for 2018.

So both worldwide and in the U.S., the actual non-recycling rate of plastic is greater than 90%. If there was a car model that, more than 9 times out of 10, failed to safely convey its occupants to their destination, no one would call that car safe.

The Museum of Plastic will certainly be recycled, because people will be watching; hired camerapeople will be on hand to record it, and a team will be hired to edit and upload it. It’s a classic distraction technique. Unseen are the billions of people worldwide who won’t, can’t or simply don’t recycle their plastic. But plastics companies can keep their consciences clean, saying “Well, what do you want from us, we made the stuff recyclable.”

Industrial Design Student Work: Hélène Fontaine's Droplet, for Easier Dispensing of Medication

While pills are all the rage in America, in Europe “children and elderly people often get medicine prescribed in the form of drops,” writes Hélène Fontaine, “because they are easier to take than pills.” Fontaine is an Industrial Design student at Germany’s Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle, a/k/a Burg-Halle. (One of Germany’s largest art and design universities, Burg-Halle antedates the Bauhaus.) Her recent project, “Droplet,” addresses the difficulty of this dispensing method.

“Exact dosing of drops requires steady hands, good eyes, and much attention. Droplet offers a safe alternative to the regular bottles with a rim dropper or vertical dropper: By using a pump dispenser the medicine gets dosed precisely.

“The integrated spoon with a deep bowl collects the drops right away and the medicine can be taken without additional tools—even if you have a tremor, bad eyesight or can only use one hand.”

Droplet was awarded a 2021 Universal Design Prize.

"I will look for a diversity of approaches that promote novel ideas," says Dezeen Awards 2021 judge Maxwell Mutanda

Dezeen Awards 2021 judge Maxwell Mutanda

As we count down the days to enter Dezeen Awards 2021, creative director Maxwell Mutanda says he is looking forward to seeing submissions from all over the world.

Entries for Dezeen Awards closes 2 June. To help you with your finishing touches, we asked our judges to tell us what they’re hoping to see from entrants.

“I will specifically look for a diversity of approaches that promote novel ideas of everyday beauty,” says Mutanda, who will be judging this year’s entries alongside Virginia San Fratello, Ole Scheeren, Christina Seilern and Hanif Kara.

“My expectations from this year’s entries is an increase in geographic diversity, drawing from trends in South America, sub-Saharan Africa or South East Asia,” he added.

Mutanda uses multidisciplinary research combined with visual art and architecture to analyse the role of globalisation, climate and technology within the built environment.

Based in Zimbabwe, he is a creative director at Studio (D) Tale and a design fellow at returnable packaging service CupClub.

“Especially given the limitations presented by the pandemic, the awards are an excellent outreach opportunity for both established and emerging design studios,” said Mutanda.

“Since Dezeen is so well regarded and widely consumed by a well-informed audience, these awards, in particular, have a way of reaching business as well as non-professional audiences.”

Enter Dezeen Awards 2021 now

To have your work seen by our stellar lineup of judges, complete your entry today to ensure that you don’t miss the deadline on 2 June.

If you need help or have any questions, please contact our awards team at

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This sleek bookshelf-inspired air purifier finds an ingenious solution to our filter replacement problems!

COVID-19 has pretty much sealed all of us in our homes, and our attention is completely focused on maintaining a safe and clean environment inside our home. Air purifiers are now an essential appliance seen in almost every home. As the quality of air in our homes can greatly impact our lungs and respiratory system, and with the COVID-19 virus directly attacking our lungs, we need to ensure that the air we breathe is clean, breathable, and safe. And this is where air purifiers faithfully play their part! One air purifier that really caught my eye is the Bookstyle Air Purifier by Winiadimchae.

The Bookstyle Air Purifier is to purifiers as the IKEA x SONOS unveiling is to home speaker systems – it is a design made to merge with your home rather than stand out in it, creating an uninterrupted experience. The South Korean company created an air purifier whose filters not only look like books but have to be borrowed like a library book! The concept basically revolves around subscribing to a filter replacement system, wherein you receive the filter via a non-contact delivery system. We often need a variety of different filters to take care of our various air purifying needs. We may need a HEPA filter, or a filter for aroma, or even a filter that specifically caters to homes with babies. The diverse range of filters is stored in a large inventory at the logistic center, much like a large collection of books at a library! When the need for a filter replacement arrives, you place an order, and a filter is efficiently delivered to you, without any contact. The filter is even packaged like a book! The book-inspired filters can be slide and plugged into the air purifier as you would slide a book into a bookshelf. Up to 4 filters can easily fit into the air purifier, making it look like a wall-mounted bookshelf filled with books!

The Bookstyle Air Purifier is really an interesting innovation! It takes an ordinary air purifier and turns it into a product that can effortlessly merge with our home. Even the purifiers can be replaced and stored conveniently. And not to mention anyone who loves books, would love to add this book-inspired design to their home!

Designer: Winiadimchae