Design for Democracy. Atmospheres for a better life: Application for the Titel of World Design Capital 2026

The living, economic and cultural area of Frankfurt RhineMain has often been a model region for comprehensive social transformation through design and applied science. With “Design for Democracy. Atmospheres for a better life”, the city of Frankfurt am Main and the RhineMain region are applying for the title of “World Design Capital” in 2026.

Design – many people think of fashion, furniture, pretty things. But the purely aesthetic design, the beautification, is only a small part of what design can do. Rather, design is characterised by the spirit of questioning conditions, thinking towards the future and changing matters. And we need all this today more than ever. Design can contribute positively to many social issues. For example, by designing recyclable products and resource-efficient solutions. But also by designing democratic processes that strengthen our togetherness. So ultimately, no less than the improvement of our lives.

Real change does not need anyone to lead the way. It is much more important that everyone moves.

We are not applying for this title to decorate ourselves with it. Rather, we want to use the application as an opportunity to organise our movement for a democratic culture of freedom and a better life. Through it, we want to bring people together and share our optimism to create a better life – not only for ourselves, but also for future generations.

Be part of it!


House of Creativity and Innovation – HOCI

The House of Creativity and Innovation - HOCI embodies the industry’s importance as an economic factor and is a creative stimulus for the whole economy. The HOCI invigorates all industries with new ideas, drives change and development. The HOCI is a physical location in Frankfurt where creative minds work together with business, universities and start-ups in an interdisciplinary way on the future of the business location.

In an initial pilot phase, the Bethmannhof, a central downtown location, was selected for a first interim use for Frankfurt's creative industries and the HOCI idea. Beginning with the 'Creative Week' in September 2022, Frankfurt's creative professionals were able to try out and use the space. The temporary use of the space was made possible by a Hessian city development program "Zukunft Innenstadt" to which the city of Frankfurt am Main successfully applied.


The CreativeTechAccelerator Programme is specifically aimed at start-ups from the creative industries that have a technological and digital focus. Analogous to existing programmes in the TechQuartier, it is a structured and solution-oriented growth programme targeted at strengthening the creative start-up scene and getting innovative solutions off the ground. The vision is to work with creative industry start-ups to build a dynamic cross-industry community of corporates, academic and government actors – in addition to developing a Creative Innovation Hub. The CreativeTechAccelerator marks the start and the first important milestone in the realisation of this vision. Growth support for founders, matchmaking with investors and networking with experts, industry representatives and other founders from the FrankfurtRhineMain ecosystem are the accelerator’s central components. The accelerator aims to bring together actors from the cultural and creative industries submarkets with innovative solutions and new technologies to strengthen the sector’s competitiveness and the region as a whole by activating existing potentials. To this end, several creative tech start-ups are to be brought to market maturity and supported in growth each year in regular programmes run by the accelerator.



In the week from 20 to 26 June 2022, the city of Frankfurt am Main was all about sustainable fashion, design and art. Under the umbrella brand Frankfurt Fashion Week, numerous events were held at venues throughout the city - exhibitions, fashion shows, lectures, presentations and open studios. The fashion week was coordinated by the Frankfurt Economic Development GmbH on behalf of the City of Frankfurt am Main. Parallel to the city's fashion festival, Messe Frankfurt organized the Neonyt Lab, which was aimed at consumers interested in sustainability.