Welcome to Open Design Cape Town Festival 2016


Design is the unifying thread that links innovation, education and community as the building blocks of a sustainable, inclusive, prosperous society. The Open Design Cape Town Festival brings these concepts together in a 12-day programme of inspiration, discussion and discovery. It’s a platform for showcasing ideas, sharing experiences and building relationships.


Join us at the main event hub at Cape Town City Hall from 10-16 August 2016; and at various venues across Cape Town from 17 to 21 August 2016.


10 – 16 August: Open Design Cape Town Festival City Hall programme, City Hall, Darling Street, Cape Town


17 – 21 August: Open Design Wide Open programme, taking place at venues across the city


Join the programme for the fourth Open Design Cape Town Festival. We’d love you to participate, and here’s how:


  1. Decide WHAT you want to do between 16 and 21 August
    1. Community: Activate your community. Host an event that will shine a spotlight on the many unique talents and ideas from your neighbourhood or business.
    2. Storytelling: Host an interesting talk. Share your unique stories about how you’ve used design and innovation to shape a better (or different) world
    3. Educate: Offer a workshop. Teach new skills, music, dance, design, craft or simply share your ideas
    4. Innovate: Set up a maker space for young and old to play, design, make and use. Showcase new ideas. Inspire others to do the same.
    5. Tours: Lead a design, city, community or cultural tour. Calling all bloggers, fashionistas, urbanists, antique freaks, design lovers and collectors: take the public on a unique and personal tour and share your best shops and inspirational stops and spots.
    6. Open your studio to the public. Show people what you do and how you do it, whether you’re making games or making shoes, designing buildings or designing new ways of thinking.
    7. Business: host a talk, a conversation, a conference, workshop or presentation to tell your clients, customers and the general public about how you’re using design thinking in your business.
  1. Decide WHEN you want to host your event, whether morning, afternoon or evening. 
    1. TOP TIPS: 
      1. The Official Open Design Cape Town 2016 opening event is on 10 August at City Hall. We want to see you there, so try to schedule your event around that.
      2. Open Design anchor events are scheduled between 10 – 16 August at the festival hub at Cape Town City Hall. You’re welcome to talk to us about running an event on these days, but it may be better to schedule your event during the second week, when we’re activating the entire city to talk about and showcase design and creativity in innovation, community and education.
  1. WHERE: choose the perfect venue
    1. TOP TIP: The Open Design Cape Town Festival is a citywide festival, not restricted to any particular location. So you’re welcome to host your event in and around the city centre, V&A Waterfront, Woodstock, Muizenberg, Observatory, Khayelitsha, Langa, Gugulethu or elsewhere. But we do want all events to be as accessible as possible for everyone, so please consider public transport links and safe parking facilities.
  1. FUNDS: Secure your funding. We don’t fund events. If you need to secure sponsorship, now is the time to start thinking about a Thundafund campaign, or looking at other funding options.
  1. GET IN TOUCH: Add your event details here.


As we’ve done for the past three years, in 2016, we want to:

  1. Show that design and innovation is for all
  2. Activate public spaces and communities to encourage sharing, networking, storytelling and exciting experiences
  3. Share great design, innovation and entrepreneurship that improves people’s lives
  4. Build human capital in business, government and civil society
  5. Encourage cross-cultural, cross-sector, local and international collaborations
  6. Create a culture that embraces innovation and entrepreneurship
  7. Extend the legacy of the intention behind World Design Capital Cape Town 2014: Live Design. Transform Life
  8. Foster design-literate, active and responsive citizens and discerning consumers
  9. Develop new audiences for social design, universal design, service design and human-centred design


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And finally, save the dates for #ODCT2016: 10-21 August 2016. See you there!

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