What To Expect at Open Design CT 2017

open design

WORDS Amelia Brown


The Mother City is once again hosting Open Design 2017, the annual design and innovation festival that brings together designers, architects, innovators, educators and creative individuals to share ideas and learn by doing.

The event takes place in two stages, with events, expos and workshops at Cape Town City Hall from 13–19 August and citywide activations from 20–25 August. As the name suggests, Open Design is open to everyone, and, while some festival events are ticketed, most events are free to attend.

Here are five highlights to look out for…

1. Architectural Open Studios 

On Tuesday 22 August from 5pm to 7pm, aspiring students and architects are invited to visit some of Cape Town’s top architectural studios. (Free admission.)

2. Universal Design Africa: Master Class For Built Environment

Universal Design is hosting a full-day workshop on Wednesday 16 August for architects, interior designers and planners focusing on making spaces accessible for all, including people with disabilities, or functional, cognitive and physical limitations. (R450 admission; CPD credits.)

3. Art Deco Tour – Culture Connect SA

Heritage architect Professor Andre van Graan, an architecture lecturer at the University of Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, part of the Heritage Committee at the Cape Institute for Architecture, and a committee member of the Vernacular Architecture Society of South Africa, will be leading a tour to a range of art deco buildings around Cape Town including Mutual Heights and Mullers Optometrists shop. The event on 23 August is fully booked, but there are still spaces available on Tuesday 22 August from 5:15pm till 7:30pm. (R275 admission; booking is essential.)

4. Mini EcoBrick Activator’s Workshop

A hands-on workshop on 13 August, geared towards high-school students and older, will inform participants about what EcoBricking is, strategies towards zero-waste living and a range of DIY EcoBrick applications. (Free admission.)

5. Talk 100 

Join in the day of free talks on Sunday 13 August and participate in discussions and network with other like-minded guests. The talks are presented by thought leaders, like sisters Michelle and Natasha Talliard, founders of the start-up Made in Everywhere, who are working on projects that are contributing to a better world. (Free admission.)

For more information and a full festival programme visit opendesignct.com or follow @opendesignct on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The official hashtag is #ODCT2017.