VISI’s guide to Open Design

WORDS Debbie Loots

Jam-packed with 10 days of events, Open Design Cape Town from 21 to 31 August 2013 aims to showcase the beautiful diversity of design and its vital impact on our lives. Here’s VISI’s selection of highlights.

Backed by a strong creative steering committee (read our interview with Tsai here) and themed “Design is for All”, Open Design pushes to demystify design by making it more accessible to the public, and showing its positive influence on society. There’s no better place to start than teaching our children. Hence Open Design’s strong educational focus; getting Cape Town school kids into the City Hall for an introduction into design as future career choice.

One of the highlights of the festival is that the Nelson Mandela Poster Project’s 95 works celebrating Madiba’s life and legacy will be exhibited in the City Hall (read our article here). Themed Iconic Design, this will be on throughout the 10 days of the festival.

Also happening at the City Hall and specially geared to young professionals during their lunch breaks is Talk100, which invites the audience to interact with speakers such as architects Mokena Makeka and Tsai, coffeenistas David Donde and Jose Vilandy, animators Shy The Sun and Triggerfish, and more.

On Wednesday 28 August at 1pm in the City Hall, VISI’s content director, Sumien Brink, will be partipating in the Lunchtime Design Session panel discussion – see you there!

Come night time, the City Hall will certainly not be sleeping. Besides the parties, one of the events to look forward to is the ever-popular PechaKucha evening. Here, as usual, people with clever ideas get to display 20 images for 20 seconds each and talk through their brilliant, world-changing ideas.

Meet the designers and the stuff they make, see furniture and light design in process, at the Western Cape’s Furniture Initiative’s In Context, one of two exhibitions showcasing the different realities of design. This one is happening at The Bank in the city centre and two musicians, Gary Morris and Marco Filby, were commissioned to put together a series of tracks with sounds they recorded while the designers were working. Sounds like welding, hitting metal, sanding wood, drills drilling, all form part of four tracks the two will perform live at the opening. Afterwards, it will be played in loop format throughout the exhibition period.

The other part, Insight, will be held at Selections Warehouse in Gardens and probes the minds of designers and how they process the constantly changing world of SA design.

There will be various studios open for visits and although these, as well as artist Chris Swift’s second solo show, Void, are happening away from the main venue, they are in close proximity and easily accessible.

Keen on it all but not keen on finding your way alone along the city streets? See.Love.Design is doing a couch tour, taking visitors to all the exhibitions around the city as well as to pop-up craft, art and design shops.

For a full programme on what’s on at Open Design Cape Town visit