Frankfurt RheinMain – World Design Capital 2026

Signing Ceremony, 26 April 2024

As a founding member of the World Design Organization, the German Design Council was particularly looking forward to the opening event of World Design Capital Frankfurt RheinMain 2026.

We - that means you and us together!

Democracy thrives on active participation, dialogue and exchange of great ideas. The kick-off event of the World Design Capital Frankfurt RheinMain 2026 - "Design for Democracy. Atmospheres for a better life" was therefore sending a strong signal at the signing ceremony together with numerous players from design, culture and politics.

On 16 April, all guests had the chance to engage in discussions with all organisers, participants, and supporters of World Design Capital Frankfurt RheinMain 2026 on-site, to further develop plans and projects together.

Inspiring contributions from local contributors as well as global perspectives from the World Design Organisation and previous World Design Capitals provided insights into the World Design Capital:

Programme Preview:

  • Hanna Harris, Chief Design Officer of the city of Helsinki, reported on the positive impact that the title of World Design Capital 2012 continues to have on the city.
  • Xavi Calvo, CEO of World Design Capital Valencia 2022, presented hard facts: What influence did the title have on the Spanish port city, in terms of tourism, economy, and student numbers?
  • Thomas Garvey, President of World Design Organization, offered key insights into WDO's aspirations to demonstrate the value and impact of design-led initiatives on communities across the globe.
  • Additionally, the project office for the World Design Capital Frankfurt RheinMain 2026 was on hand to answer any questions, and showed numerous ways to put “Design for Democracy” into action.

More information about the World Design Capital Frankfurt RheinMain 2026 can be found on the website

World Design Capital 2026

Frankfurt and the Rhein Main Region have been appointed as the World Design Capital 2026 by the World Design Organization™ (WDO), headquartered in Montreal, Canada.


With the thematic concept 'Design for Democracy. Atmospheres for a better life,' Frankfurt RheinMain prevailed over the finalist Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The German Design Council is a partner of the initiative and is pleased, along with the implementing organization under the leadership of Prof. Matthias Wagner K, to have been awarded the project.

Lutz Dietzold, Managing Director of the German Design Council and at the same time Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the implementation company on the WDO's decision: "The fact that Frankfurt and the region were able to secure the title of World Design Capital is a great success for the Main metropolis and will have an enormous impact far beyond the region. Frankfurt RhineMain is - also historically - one of the most important design centres in Germany. For the innovation location Frankfurt RhineMain, it is therefore an excellent opportunity to use its own design power to make visible the innovation and transformation-promoting relevance of the discipline of design. At the same time, it is an opportunity for Germany to charge the excellent image that German design has internationally with new visibility. As a founding member of the WDO, the German Design Council is pleased to make its contribution here in a targeted manner for a design-driven transformation of the economy in the direction of circular design."

The title World Design Capital® is awarded every two years by the WDO and is an internationally recognised programme initiated by the design industry in recognition of cities and regions for their effective use of design to promote cultural, economic, social and environmental development. In an extensive year-long programme of events, the designated city or region presents itself as a centre for design, creativity and innovation. It becomes part of an international network. In the past, the international award went to cities such as Helsinki, Cape Town, Lille Métropole, Seoul or Mexico City. These cities have developed into prominent design centres that still benefit from their designation as World Design Capital.

The aim of the programme, which the project office of the application has been working on for over two years, is to create a sustainable, participative international centre of design, design disciplines and design methods for people from all over the world in the RhineMain region. A hub for all existing design initiatives, grassroots initiatives, universities with a design focus, NGOs, representatives from society, business, politics, law, technology, science and culture as well as citizens on the basis of illustrative historical design upheavals, existing and new projected projects. And last but not least, design should give Frankfurt and the region a common identity. Under the common denominator of Design for Democracy, targeted work can now be done on the implementation of projects in cooperation with all cities and municipalities in the region. The title World Design Capital Year 2026 will ensure international attention.

More information at: and