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: 14-25 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. 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. The festival objectives are:

  • To build human capital in business, government and civil society
  • To foster cross-cultural, local and international collaborations
  • To foster a culture that embraces innovation and entrepreneurship
  • To extend the legacy of the intention behind World Design Capital Cape Town 2014: Live Design. Transform Life
  • To foster design-literate, active and responsive citizens and discerning consumers
  • To develop new audiences for social design, universal design, service design and user-centric design

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 centred design as a solution to address basic human needs.
Seven reasons to partner with us in 2017

  1. Align your brand with design and innovation
  2. Integrate design-led, innovative thinking throughout your organisation to retain your competitive advantage
  3. Connect with new, diverse audiences
  4. Prototype and experiment with new initiatives in an engaging, dynamic environment
  5. Be part of an exciting platform that celebrates the values and impact of design and innovation
  6. Play a vital role in education and the development of human capital for South Africa and Africa
  7. Join a global movement of international creators, investors and change-makers

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

Production Team