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World Design Capital 2024 Brings 366 days of Design to the San Diego Tijuana Region

In partnership with the World Design Organization, WDC 2024 features hundreds of interactive design experiences for all — from multi-disciplinary performances, to innovative art exhibitions, to thought-provoking conferences and beyond.
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San Diego is a mecca for design, and as San Diegans, we’ve all known that for a while. But now, we’ve received worldly design recognition as San Diego and our southern neighbor, Tijuana, were selected in a joint bid as the World Design Capital 2024 (WDC 2024). This is the first cross-border World Design Capital in history and while the designation is for both cities as one connected community, San Diego is the first U.S. city ever to receive the designation and Tijuana is the second city in Mexico to hold the title. The region’s winning bid reflects the collective efforts of founding partners UC San Diego Design LabDesign Forward AllianceBurnham Center for Community Advancement, City of San Diego and City of Tijuana, and numerous community supporters.

Let’s rewind for a moment and answer the question: What is WDC? The World Design Capital is designated every two years by the World Design Organization® (WDO) to recognize a city’s innovative and effective use of design to strengthen economic, social, cultural and environmental development. Through a year-long program of design-related events, WDC provides a platform to showcase best practices in design-led policy and innovation, increase civic engagement and attract business and tourism. 

To represent the significance of WDC 2024 to the region, a temporary art installation has been commissioned and will be installed in Tijuana by May and relocated to San Diego in July. WDC 2024 selected internationally recognized visual artists, Daniel Ruanova from Tijuana and full-service architecture and design agency Heleo, to create the temporary art installation titled “EXCHANGE Pavilion.” The art piece invites us to immerse ourselves in its physical and conceptual presence, contribute to its public memory, and coexist with others who arrived along the way. “EXCHANGE Pavilion” will serve as a bridge, connecting people from various backgrounds, inspiring conversations, and fostering a sense of unity. 

Buckle up for a year full of design as WDC 2024 will host a series of signature events, exhibitions and summits as well as support over 300 public events and initiatives that address the region’s most pressing challenges through design and create a unified force for regional transformation. Events will take place across the San Diego Tijuana region featuring interactive design experiences for all – from dazzling performances to innovative art exhibitions to thought-provoking conferences and beyond. 

Community Celebration, February 28 (Tijuana)

  • Our San Diego Tijuana communities will celebrate receiving the World Design designations for 2024 in a program that includes multidisciplinary community performances and the launch of the World Design Spotlight videos featuring stories from Taylor Guitars, CBX and CECUT. 

World Design Festival, May 1-5 (Tijuana)

  • Powered by Tijuana Design Week and organized in partnership with Enigma Creative, the World Design Festival is a five-day event, and will engage the cross-border community and international visitors to experience design in Tijuana through multiple programmatic activities, which include lectures, design exhibitions, public design workshops, and design studio open houses.

World Design Experience, September 18-25 (San Diego)

  • Powered by San Diego Design Week and organized in partnership with the Design Forward Alliance (DFA), World Design Experience is a seven-day event celebrating design across the San Diego Tijuana region. A community-led event that features programs such as live community discussions, design studio tours, workshops, lectures, exhibitions, films and podcasts from all disciplines of design.

World Design Policy Conference, November 12-13 (San Diego)

  • Powered by UC San Diego Design Lab and the City of San Diego, this event provides a global platform for the evolution and exchange of ideas, insights and best practices from different countries, regions, and cities actively involved in developing, launching, and maintaining effective design-led urban policies. Join us for a medley of panels, workshops and a signal speaker series.

World Design Network of Cities Meeting, November 15 (Tijuana)

  • The World Design Network of Cities Meeting is a forum for public administrators. Led by the WDO, the meeting provides an opportunity for this unique cluster of WDC 2024 designated cities to maintain an active dialogue about the effective use of design.

World Design Convocation Ceremony, November 16 (San Diego)

  • The World Design Capital Convocation Ceremony is a symbolic event highlighting the official “handover” of the WDC title from WDC San Diego Tijuana 2024 to the next host city. 

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