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Cape Town City Hall - the venue of Open Design Cape Town © KNewman1/WikiCommons
Cape Town City Hall - the venue of Open Design Cape Town © KNewman1/WikiCommons

An Introduction To The Open Design Festival Cape Town

Picture of Lee-Shay Collison
Updated: 10 August 2016
The Open Design Cape Town Festival is one of the most diverse design-focused events on the Mother City’s calendar. The annual 12-day festival is a cross-disciplinary, city-wide event that provides an interactive platform for designers, entrepreneurs, educators, students, and the public to share design ideas and inspiration. From creative workshops and tech experiences, to exhibitions, tours, and movie nights, the Open Design Festival has something for everyone.


Launched in 2013, Open Design Cape Town was established to develop a culture of design and a foundation for future generations of design entrepreneurs to drive socio-economic change in their communities and cities.

Open Design plays an active role within the city, raising awareness of and increasing appreciation for design. The festival strives to eradicate the exclusive stigma attached to design, and it aims to increase social cohesion and economic development in order to create inclusive, accessible, and sustainable communities.

What to Expect

Open Design Cape Town runs from August 10th to August 21st and comprises a diverse program of workshops, design showcases, public talks, exhibitions, and performances. Admission is free to most events and several are children-friendly.

Consisting of two components, the festival will take place at the Cape Town City Hall from August 10th to August 16th. From August 17th to August 21st, the program will continue at venues across the city.

This is what it's all about. Love my job ☺️ Photo by @ja.lowry #dhkarchitects #architecture #openstudios #opendesignct

A photo posted by Jacqui Barhouch (@jacquibarhouch) on

Highlights of Open Design 2016

Try your favorite tech: An opportunity for gamers and tech enthusiasts to experiment with several tech experiences including augmented reality, virtual reality, and 3D scanner demonstrations.

The Maboneng Township Arts Experience: Enjoy uniquely curated home gallery spaces and studios. Meet the residents and artists, and interact with the art on display inside homes throughout the township of Langa.

Creative Mornings and Talk100 is a series of talks by dedicated change-makers, thought leaders, and community role models. Hear their stories and join the conversation about how they’re using design, innovation, and entrepreneurship in communities, healthcare, and technology.

Woodstock Street Art and Graffiti Tour: Explore the outside gallery of street art and graffiti throughout the trendy suburb of Woodstock on this two-hour walking tour. Cape Town has a growing reputation for this resilient art form that has evolved over the years, with significant pieces by renowned local and international artists on display throughout the neighborhood.

For more program-related information, visit the Open Design Cape Town website at