World Design Capital San Diego Tijuana 2024 and City of San Diego Launch Community-Driven Design Grants

Funded by the City of San Diego, the WDC 2024 Community-Driven Design Grants Program—which includes $550,000 in funds—enables nonprofit organizations and other designated businesses to deliver community-driven design activities that engage diverse communities across the City and align with the objectives and outcomes of the World Design Capital 2024.

“San Diego’s design community drives innovation in the region in ways many of us don’t realize, and we are proud to bring it to light with this new program,” said Carlos de la Mora, Chief Executive Officer of World Design Capital San Diego Tijuana 2024. “With World Design Capital 2024 upon us, we will soon have the chance to showcase the gems of our region in an entirely new way.”

“Let’s ignite San Diego’s creativity with our Community-Driven Design Grants and supercharge design-led solutions,” said Jonathon Glus, Executive Director of the City of San Diego’s Arts and Culture. “Each empowering game-changing activity will redefine our city’s landscape, designing a bold, transformative future together.”

Applications Open

Eligible applicants from all nine City Council Districts are strongly encouraged to apply for the $550,000 in funding across three categories: four grants of $75,000, eight grants of $25,000, and five grants of $10,000. Notably, at least $250,000 of the total funds will be directed towards activities that specifically benefit children and youth, support their engagement, or provide them with other positive outcomes.

The deadline for submitting application materials online is January 31, 2024, at 5 PM. A webinar will be available online in English and Spanish on Friday, January 5, 2024, guiding applicants through the application portal and process. Additionally, prospective applicants can attend an in-person Humanity-Centered Design Workshop hosted by WDC 2024 staff on Wednesday, January 10, from 2 PM to 3:30 PM. The workshop will be held at Park & Market, 1100 Market Street, San Diego, 92101.

The Grants Program

The Grants Program supports activities in various formats such as programs, projects, events, festivals, and other similar initiatives that align with the designated focus areas of the World Design Capital 2024:

  • Arts & Culture – Applications in this area should provide a lens through which we can explore diverse perspectives, fostering connections and a sense of shared humanity.
  • Climate & Sustainability – Applications in this area should address the urgent need to protect the planet’s environment, promote social equity, and ensure economic, social, environmental, and political well-being for our present and future.
  • Health & Wellbeing – Applications in this area should bring attention to various aspects of our lives, including physical activity, interaction with the natural environment, emotional resilience, social connections, access to fresh and high-quality food, healthcare, and supportive environments for all stages of life.
  • Planning & Placemaking – Applications in this area should support and encourage shaping the built environment to improve the quality of life for San Diegans, and the creation of welcoming, inclusive, vibrant places that promote culturally important spaces and places.
  • Science & Technology – Applications in this area should focus on science and technology that drive progress, innovation, and the development of new capabilities, providing us with new opportunities to shape the way we live, work, and interact with the world.
  • Youth & Education – Applications in this area should focus on recognizing the potential of young people as drivers of positive change and aim to provide them with the tools, opportunities, and support needed to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to the betterment of their communities and society at large.

Within these six focus areas, applications that address homelessness and explore innovative border design are encouraged.

To meet WDC 2024 objectives, funded activities, which must take place within the city of San Diego, should involve stakeholder audiences from both sides of the San Diego-Tijuana binational cultural and economic ecosystem. These activities should offer content tailored to this unique context.

About World Design Capital San Diego Tijuana 2024

The World Design Capital (WDC) is designated every two years by the World Design Organization 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.

The selection of the San Diego Tijuana joint bid makes it the first cross-border World Design Capital in history. While the designation is for both cities as one connected community, San Diego is the first U.S. city ever to receive the designation. Tijuana is the second city in Mexico to hold the title, following Mexico City in 2018.

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. More information about World Design Capital San Diego Tijuana 2024 is available here.

See you there, San Diego!

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