About

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.

The programme comprises two components:
Open Design City Hall programme, Cape Town
Open Design city-wide programme, taking place at venues across the city

Join us. We’d love you to participate. Add your event , or contact us for more detail.

Frequently Asked Questions

Open Design Festival is a 12-day city-wide festival. It is one of the most dynamic and diverse design-focused festivals on the Cape Town calendar. The festival is an interactive platform that attracts participants from across diverse demographics and communities. Most of the Open Design events are free to enter, ensuring that people from all walks of life can participate, taking design innovation to the people.

The Open Design programme engages design practitioners, entrepreneurs, managers, media, educators, students and members of the public to share design, innovation, ideas and inspiration with each other. Our mission is to develop a culture of design as a foundation for future generations of entrepreneurs, change-makers and innovators who use design and innovation to gain and maintain their competitive edge and drive socio-economic change in their communities and cities.

This is a vital part of developing a culture of design and innovation that will increase social cohesion, economic development and nation building, creating inclusive, accessible and sustainable communities and cities.

Dates: 13-25 August 2017
Venues: The Open Design festival hub is at the Cape Town City Hall. Other venues will be confirmed. Please check the 2017 programme for more details.

Most events are free, and others are ticketed. You’ll find the costs and booking details on the individual event pages on this site. Contact us to find out more.

Please check the individual events for booking details.

Everyone is invited to participate, either by attending one or more of the events on the programme, or by hosting your own event. You don’t have to be a designer. We’ve deliberately curated the programme so it has something for everyone, whether design professionals, parents and children or people who are looking for inspiration.

We want everyone to get involved in the Open Design Festival. During the 2nd week of the festival the Open Design City Activation programme highlight and showcase the unique talents, products and services of small enterprises, start-ups, communities and other business. If you want to host an event on the 2017 programme, submit the details here. Our curators will review the event to ensure it’s fully aligned with the Open Design objectives. You’ll be notified as soon as possible. Participating as an event host is a brilliant way for you:

  • to showcase your product, service or community
  • to increase your reach
  • to create a greater awareness of your business or community
  • to create demand for what you offer
  • to develop new audiences

Marketing your event: Remember Open Design is a collaborative platform. Although the Open Design PR & Media team will add a lot of value it is also your responsibility to market your own event to your own networks.

We're building another exciting programmme for the 2017 Open Design Festival programme. Please check back regularly and follow our social media announcements for updates. You can also subscribe to our newsletter to ensure you don't miss any exciting developments.

We're always seeking to make partnerships with like-minded organisations. The Open Design Festival is deliberately designed for our partners to use the festival as a platform to showcase how they have embraced human centred design as a solution to address basic human needs.

Join a global movement of international innovators, social entrepreneurs, problem solvers, change-makers and investors
Ten reasons to partner with us in 2017

  1. Align your brand with design and innovation
  2. Align your brand with a platform that is committed to help drive the African Design, Innovation and Education agendas
  3. Align your brand with a platform that’s inclusive and accessible to people from all walks of life
  4. Align your brand with a platform that’s committed to develop a culture that embraces innovation and entrepreneurship
  5. Connect with new and diverse audiences
  6. Align your brand with a platform that is showcasing life changing African innovations and change makers thats already improving people’s lives.
  7. Prototype and experiment with new initiatives in an engaging, dynamic environment
  8. Be part of an exciting platform that celebrates the values and impact of design and innovation
  9. Play a vital role by supporting the festival’s efforts in education and help us increase human capital and socio-economic development for South Africa and Africa.
  10. Join a global movement of international innovators, social entrepreneurs, problem solvers, change-makers and investors

We'll be publishing more details about the 2017 Open Design Festival soon. Bookmark this site and check back regularly for more details.

Follow us on Twitter (@opdendesignct) and on Facebook (Facebook.com/opendesignct)

For programme and sponsorship enquiries: Suné Stassen, sune@opendesignct.com
For media enquiries: Lisa Pellatt, lisa@marvelloandmill.co.za

Open Design Committees

Stakeholder Committee

Open Design Cape Town
Robin Jutzen
City of Cape Town, Department of Arts & Culture
Open Design Cape Town
Lisa Parks
Cape Craft and Design Institute, Industry representative - design sector
Open Design Cape Town
Vuyisa Qabaka
Tech Entrepreneur, Industry representation / IT & Technology sector
Open Design Cape Town
Suné Stassen
Open Design, OD Executive Management
Open Design Cape Town
Y Tsai
Open Design, OD Executive Management
Open Design Cape Town
Christo Maritz
CTDN, OD Executive Management / CTD Network representative
Open Design Cape Town
Wouter Grove
Project Manager, University of the Western Cape, Industry representation / gaming industry

Open Design Team

Open Design Cape Town
Suné Stassen
Rock City Foundation, Founder & Creative Director
Open Design Portfolio: Co-Founder, Festival & Programme Director
Open Design Cape Town
Y Tsai
Tsai Design Studio, Founder & Creative Director
Open Design Portfolio: Co-Founder, Creative Director
Open Design Cape Town
Christo Maritz
Infestation Design Studio, Owner & Creative Director
Open Design Portfolio: Co-Founder, Brand & Marketing Director
Open Design Cape Town
Lisa Van Leeuwen
Marvello and Mill, Owner
Open Design Portfolio: PR & Media Manager
Open Design Cape Town
Jacqueline Lahoud
Winemag, Business Director
Open Design Portfolio: Media & Partner Relationship Manager
Open Design Cape Town
Edwin Kariuki
The Creative Agency, Founder & Creative Director
Open Design Portfolio: Online Marketing & Content Creation Manager