Open Design Afrika: Design to Drive Change + Create Better Cities

Open Design Afrika: Design to Drive Change + Create Better Cities

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This 10-day festival offers a host of creative and innovative workshops, exhibitions and markets throughout Cape Town – all for free.

Innovators, artists, engineers, entrepreneurs… they are the designers of the future; they shape our world. And at Open Design Afrika, we get to celebrate design in all its forms – art, architecture or artisanship – at this 10-day festival.

Various workshops, masterclasses and expos will take place at venues across the city of Cape Town, promoting creativity, social cohesion and nation-building. The common thread of the festival is the power of design to create change and shape the societies of the future for the better.

10 days of innovative events and activities for all ages

Although events take place throughout Cape Town from 18 to 27 October, the hub of the festivities are at the Castle of Good Hope, which will be offering free entrance from 19 to 23 October.

The festival comprises a vast array of dynamic design and innovation events, most of which will have free entrance. Here are a few examples of what you can look forward to:

  • Open Design Afrika (ODA) STEAM EDU Day (22 October) A look at the role science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) will play in the future of society and education, with exhibitions, workshops and dialogues exploring the topic.
  • Human Rights Tattoo (HRT) Event (18 October) Hosted in Langa, this event is part of the HRT’s worldwide campaign to tattoo the 6 773 letters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – one letter at a time – on people around the world.
  • ODA Family Makers Weekend (19 – 20 October) Taking place at the Castle of Good Hope, this event includes a host of children’s activities, such as Six Bricks Lego and Robotics, food trucks, the ODA Coffee Café, a book lounge, a Black Filmmakers Film event, and some mutant vehicles courtesy of Afrika Burn.
  • ODA Wetopia Inspiration Day (21 October) Dedicated to the idea of Wetopia – a form of activism that encourages collaboration between policymakers and civilians to design better cities – this event brings together architects, artists and activists from around the world. Expect to see Michael Uwemedino from Nigeria’s Human City Project, and Brazilian graffiti artist, Mundano.
  • City-Wide Activation (23 – 27 October) Dedicated to supporting start-ups in and around Cape Town, the festival offers individuals, small business and NGOs a chance to host their own events or activities for public participation.

There’s a lot more on offer too, covering a range of topics critical to our future, such as the environment, social change and technology. View the full Open Design Afrika schedule, where you’ll also be able to submit an event for City-Wide Activation.

Important note Entrance to the Castle of Good Hope is free for festival goers, as are most events; but some of the workshops are ticketed, and some of the events will need to be booked or registered for, even if they’re free.


Castle of Good Hope
Darling Street and Buitenkant Street
Cape Town


Event Information

18 – 27 October 2019

Friday 18 October, 2pm
– Sunday 27 October, 2pm

Mostly free