The Urbanist

Should a city host a design week?

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5 January 2017

Episode 273

30 minutes


Photo: Alamy

With more than 100 design weeks around the world, design worshippers are hard-pressed to visit them all. Yet new cities are always being added. So why are so many municipalities trying to link their names with ‘Design’ and what can being a host bring to a city?

5 January 2017

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Chapter 1

7 minutes


Photo: Alamy

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Chapter 1

Barcelona Design Week

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Set to celebrate its 12th edition this year, Barcelona’s is one of Europe’s most established design weeks. Benefiting from government support, it capitalises on the city’s long tradition of production and craft, industrial production and, of course, design.

7 minutes

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Chapter 2

6 minutes


Photo: rabiem22

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Chapter 2

Beirut Design Week

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Compared even to secondary design capitals such as Toronto or Vienna, Beirut’s design scene is small and lacks a sense of community. For this reason Beirut Design Week takes on a particularly urban character, taking over neighbourhoods in ways that the city rarely sees.

6 minutes

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Chapter 3

6 minutes


Photo: Helgi Halldórsson

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Chapter 3

Reykjavik Design March

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With its design scene concentrated almost entirely in the centre of Reykjavik, Design March is doing its best to raise the city’s profile. But, as Iceland gets back on its feet, it also wants to force its designers to raise the bar.

6 minutes

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Chapter 4

5 minutes


Photo: Alamy

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Chapter 4

Design Week Addis Ababa

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Launched in 2015, Design Week Addis Ababa was founded by creative director Metasebia Yoseph, who hoped to bring design thinking to the rapidly expanding and developing capital.

5 minutes

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