Lille Métropole will be the world capital of design in 2020. - M.Libert / 20 Minutes

  • Designated world capital of design in 2020, the Lille metropolis had seen big things.
  • But the health crisis has passed by and the event will be less important than expected.

It was to be the cultural event of the year in the Lille metropolis. Three years ago, to everyone's surprise, Lille had been preferred to Sydney to become the world capital of design in 2020. A big spotlight that had pushed the metropolis to think big.

A budget of eight million euros, animations and exhibitions almost everywhere in different cities of the MEL. All that for ... almost nothing. The blame again for this damned Covid who totally upset the plans of the organizers. Instead of starting in April, the event will finally start on September 9 and will be concentrated on three short months with adaptations linked to the health context.

“We tried to design a different design world capital”

“The event should have been very face-to-face. For once, it will be more digital. We managed to maintain the four major exhibitions at the Tri Postal and Saint-Sauveur. There will also be five POC houses, namely places that promote innovation projects through design. Some of our cultural partners have also postponed events in 2021. We tried to design a different design world capital, ”recognizes Denis Tersen, director of the event's organizing committee. On the other hand, street events like fortnights of design planned in municipalities of the metropolis are definitely gone by the wayside.

A flop to fear?

If the cancellation was never considered, the hypothesis of postponing the event in 2021 has been studied for a while. In the end, everything will be fine this year but with fewer foreign visitors than expected and much more sobriety than announced. From there to talk about the flop to come, there is a step that Denis Tersen does not take.

"It won't be a flop. The design capital of the world is not only based on three months of exhibition. Designers have been working with metropolitan stakeholders in companies, communities or associations for two years to transform the territory. All that will remain and will leave a trace no matter what, ”says the director of the organizing committee. All that remains is to highlight this work to allow the design capital of the world to save face in this very particular context.


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  • Culture
  • Design
  • Exposure
  • Lille