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OPEN DESIGN Cape Town 2013: Design Is For Sharing

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Take: a group of inspired people – innovators, educators, changemakers and entrepreneurs – who believe in making design and the thinking that goes along with it widely accessible. Add: a city positioning itself as a one of creative innovation, with design at the centre of its continued evolution.


The result: OPEN DESIGN Cape Town, a 10-day festival which is taking place from 21 – 31 August.


With a focus on the theme “Design is for Sharing,” OPEN DESIGN aims to create an open platform for all to engage, encouraging any member of the public to share their design. The theme also aims to raise awareness about the widespread impact of design and the role it plays in helping to solve social, economic and cultural issues, as well as highlighting its relevance to everyday life.


Cape Town, being the 2014 World Design Capital, forms the perfect context for the launch of the inaugural event. OPEN DESIGN is a collaboration by the Cape Craft and Design Institute, in partnership with the Cape Town Design Network, the Western Cape Furniture Initiative and the City of Cape Town.


Design forms part of everyday life, whether we’re aware of it or not. Creative director Y Tsai explains: “Open Design Cape Town is a grass roots movement concerned with the ways in which design can engage directly with the man on the street.”


OPEN DESIGN creates an environment for people to openly share their ideas, as part of their aim to demystify design and the stigmas associated with it, and move towards a participative celebration of our design culture.


In the words of curator for OPEN DESIGN Cape Town, Zahira Asmal: “We as designers and design thinkers need to share our craft and engage others in this process.” Sune Stassen, manager for OPEN DESIGN Cape Town echoes this, saying: “To be truly open about design means to include, share, educate and empower all who want to participate. Because we are working towards building a more sustainable future, the ability to successfully collaborate and share knowledge becomes some of the key building blocks towards realising this future.”


The historical Cape Town City Hall will act as the central hub for the festival, hosting the main festival events.


Aside from set events, participation will be essential to the success of OPEN DESIGN Cape Town. The festival extends an open invitation to everyone – design practitioners, managers, media, educators, students, institutions and members of the public – to tap into their creativity and find the way they know best to share their design by organising an event to take place during the festival. Events can be presented in virtually any form: including open studio cocktail parties, film nights, free lectures at academic institutions, creative agency talks and individual designer workshops.


The hopes are that each event will leave those who attend feeling empowered and inspired by the session. To take part in creating your own event during the festival, simply add the event you wish to put together and host to the event programme by 1 August.


To keep updated and follow developments during the festival follow “OpenDesignCT” on Facebook or Twitter, or to find out more visit their website:


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