UNESCO CREATIVE CITIES NETWORK / DESIGN CITY CANDIDATE, ISTANBUL Founded in 2004 "to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development", the UNESCO Creative Cities Network has 116 members from 54 countries. Istanbul is one of the candidates to join this network.

The member cities which currently make up this network work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level. The Network covers seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Arts, Media Arts, Film, Design, Gastronomy, Literature and Music.

Until today, only Gaziantep (in the Gastronomy field) has been accepted to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network from Turkey. The candidacy process of Istanbul is being conducted under the auspices of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

In that regard, Task Groups and a Candidacy Committee have been formed, whose members are among the prominent representatives of Istanbul’s culture, art and design life, institutions, NGOs, and academia.

In the first four years, three main initiatives will be undertaken by The Istanbul Creative City Platform (ICCP), which will be formed after Istanbul is accepted as a member: a "Usta (master, in Turkish) & Designer" program, a "Documentation" program, and the establishment of "Istanbul Design and Innovation Center" (IDIC).

The "Usta (Master) & Designer’’ program is one of those initiatives that the city commits to undertake within the framework of its designation as the UNESCO Design City. The program, that will be coordinated by the Istanbul Creative City Platform (ICCP) aims to bring masters of traditional crafts and designers together and to create opportunities for young people interested in design to experience the master-apprentice relationship, and thus to contribute to the transfer of knowledge.

The aim of the "Documentation" program, on the other hand, is to create an open, comprehensive, and regularly updated inventory of written, audio, and visual work and data related to crafts, modern design, and creative industries in Istanbul.

ICCP will also undertake the establishment of İstanbul Design and Innovation Center’ın (IDIC). The IDIC will be a hub for the Design City programs and stakeholders. It will provide a venue, replete with the necessary technological infrastructure, for engineers and industrial designers to come together in multidisciplinary workgroups to develop projects.

For more info you can visit http://www.designcityistanbul.com/