Meet the Architects at Open Design Cape Town

The latest design-led innovations in the roll out of the Better Living Challenge will be among numerous architecture events taking place during the Open Design Cape Town festival, which runs from 10 to 21 August 2016.

The architecture events are part of the 12-day Festival, which features over 140 events including talks, exhibitions, workshops, tours, activations and interactive experiences that explore how design and innovation can be used to add great value to our daily lives and create a more sustainable future. 

The festival takes place in two stages, with events, expos and workshops at Cape Town City Hall from 10-16 August and citywide activations from 17-21 August.  Open Design is open to everyone, whether they are new to design or already see design and innovation as critical to designing a better future world. While some festival events are ticketed, most events are free to attend.

Festival goers will be able to download apps enabling them to experience a range of different applications of augmented reality. “If you’ve heard of augmented reality but you’ve never had a chance to experience it, now’s your chance,” says architect and Festival Director Y Tsai.  “Augmented and virtual reality is proving to be a significant tool in the architecture and real estate space, helping architects to bring their designs to life before the foundations have even been laid.”

Architecture-focused events include:

  • Talk 100: A day of free talks by dedicated change-makers and thought leaders working on ground-breaking projects that are all contributing to a better world takes place on Thursday 11 August from 11:00-16:00. Hear their stories; participate in discussions and network with other like-minded guests on topics including “It takes a village to raise a child. What does it take to build a community?” and “Are we ready for the fourth industrial revolution?”
  • The Better Living Challenge: A Journey Towards Design-led Innovation exhibition opens in Cape Town City Hall on 10 August. In similar vein, the Swiss South Africa Joint Research Collaboration will hold an exhibition on its Human Settlements in a City of Opportunity project. Hosted by the University of Basel and the Swiss Embassy, the exhibition takes place in the City Hall from 11 to 16 August between 10:00 and 17:00.
  • Architectural Open Studios, which sees architects across the city open their doors to reveal their work and tools and discuss career opportunities. The exhibition takes place at the Cape Institute of Architecture between 17:00 and 20:00 on 17 August.
  • An exhibition by architecture firm dhk which documents the practice’s past, present and future work through photography, architectural drawings, models and 3D visualisations.  The exhibition will be held in the Architect Gallery, Cape Institute for Architecture, from 11 to 25 August between 10:00 and 17:00.
  • Prof Vivian Bickford-Smith launches his new book, The Emergence of the South African Metropolis, at Rhodes Memorial Restaurant on 11 August. Meet at Groote Schuur mansion in Klipper Road, Rondebosch for a two-hour tour of the Herbert Baker-designed house, and then move up to the Rhodes Memorial Restaurant for the book launch. The OD Book Lounge will offer a selection of well-priced books on art, architecture, design and related subjects. Visitors can browse and buy in the City Hall between 10:00 and 17:00 from 11 to 16 August.
  • A two-hour walking tour to explore street art and graffiti in Woodstock. Presented by Anima Tours, the walk starts from Woodstock Exchange at 9:00 on 17 August.
  • Dine with Khayelitsha on Friday 19 August at 18:30, a platform to bridge the gap between townships and cities.

Official festival partners include the City of Cape Town, the Department of Arts and Culture, Red Bull, the Cape Craft and Design Institute and Cape Town Tourism.
For more information and a full festival programme log onto or follow @opendesignct  on Twitter, @opendesignct on Instagram and Opendesignct on  Facebook  The official hashtag is #ODCT2016.