World Wide Things Collection

Text by Nina Prehofer

One collection that brings together design objects from all over the world?

It sounds almost impossible, but that is exactly what the World Wide Things Collection (WWTC) is about, collecting design from the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Designers, products, manufacturers and dealers are all connected on one unique and extensive marketplace.

What does a porcelain Thermos coffee flask that looks like a little bird wearing a jumper have in common with a brutalist concrete vase and geometrical CORIAN jewellery? Answer: They are all part of the World Wide Things Collection (WWTC) and come from Mexico City, Montreal and Graz – the first cities to take part in this global collection of design objects from the Cities of Design.

UNESCO Cities of Design project

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network was set up in 2004 to promote cooperation with and between cities that have recognised creativity as a strategic factor in sustainable urban development. One hundred and eighty cities are now part of the Network, and work together internationally in seven different disciplines. The World Wide Things Collection was developed in 2017 as a new UNESCO Cities of Design project, and grew out of a collaboration between Anne Thomas (Montréal), Pierre Laramée (Montréal) and Eberhard Schrempf (Graz). It was initially launched as a pilot project as part of Design Month Graz 2018.

The vision

The curators’ vision was to create a platform from which both the creative community and business could benefit. The project is designed to showcase the wealth of good ideas and products, and harness the potential for partnership and exchange between the UNESCO Cities of Design. Designers, producers and dealers are able to present their products on a global platform, and are connected within the creative community. In short, the WWTC is a global marketplace for choice design products, and the growing selection is presented in a range of formats including exhibitions, shops, conferences, meetings and congresses. The Collection is literally a “hyperloop”: it showcases products created in UNESCO Cities of Design, and also facilitates the exchange of ideas, designs and best practice.