Open Design 2017 – Summary photo essay!


Wow, what a month!


We had great fun running all of our August events… met so many wonderful and inspiring people, lots of challenging and engaging discussions, and plenty of sharing -> talents, food + stories!

And it was great to be a part of the Open Design Festival 2017 in Cape Town. A festival dedicated to increasing access to Design processes which affect the Mother City. Especially through participatory projects, public discussions and increasing Design’s presence in formal education.

This post is dedicated to all those people who were a part of our events:

the Ethics and Design workshop,

the monthly Education and Learning meetup,

and of course the beautiful Community SOUP night.


Thank you so much to everyone who contributed, spread the word, told their story, listened deeply, reflected, asked a question, helped set up, facilitated, provided support, helped others out, or entertained!


Lots of lovely shots below. Enjoy!



Open Design Festival 2017 – Ethics and Design workshop – Monday 14 August!


Our first live streamed event on Facebook. Trying to increase access to people across Cape Town who have difficulties attending. Thanks to Inscape for hosting! And to Bonga, Stef and the students of Inscape who helped to facilitate proceedings in multiple languages!


We introduced a simple but effective model to assess the Ethical standards of a Design process – simply asking Who, Why, How and What?
If you would like more details, then feel free to get in touch!


Everyone engaged with the model in a collaborative way by applying it to a (trickier than it seemed) workshop scenario!



A key element to the evening was removing assumptions and seeking out the challenging questions that need to be asked to deepen empathy and understanding of perspectives outside of our own


Our host Nick keen to lend an ear to groups as they worked through the scenario. “It was great to help everyone through what can be a difficult process. Thank you to our guests for your huge appreciation, feedback and also for helping me to learn more from your really unique insights!”


It was amazing to experience all of the participants really stretching to work through tricky spots and gain new perspectives


Thanks also to Mike Klink for sharing his story about the incredible mix of people who engage with the Central Library and American Corner on a daily basis


Open Design Festival 2017 – Education & Learning meetup – Saturday 19 August!


Belsom and all our joiners found a way to introduce through expression in a creative visual form. This allowed the group to gain a deeper understanding of each other. Not just your usual “What do you do / where are you from”…


Thanks to the Art library in Cape Town Central Library for hosting! A great space to explore the Role of Design in Education and Learning


With people suggesting so many topics for discussion we all chose our favorites and made sure that everyone had a say. The planned activity of imaging schools of the future was a great way to create discussion points which were harder to put into words, as well as giving prominence to original thoughts


The chilled Saturday vibes were accomodated with tea, coffee and sharing some awesome home made Cape Malay style food!


Open Design Festival 2017 – Community SOUP night – Tuesday 22 August!


Thanks to all the Cape Town locals who contributed their work for display. It helped to create a wonderfully vibrant atmosphere which encouraged interaction between SOUPers, and added a bit of magic to the night! Featured here just one of the socially conscious pieces of work provided by students from Inscape.


Thanks also to 75 Harrington Street and Our Workshop for hosting the event and displaying some of the wonderful Community creations made here on a regular basis


Thanks to the CCDI – now CDI (Craft and Design Institute) for setting up a display which helped people to understand more about Design and Build projects in Cape Town – in  particular this one where local Community members helped out and learnt knew skills in Langa


We love this students pieces which address a variety of issues from multiple angles: challenging the status quo of Education systems, voicing the effects of family ties and pressures, as well as inequality throughout society! Happy to support everyone who shares Designers of Change attempts to contribute as best as we can to broadening Learning and connections between all ages and backgrounds, and giving voice to the things that we feel but are hard to say



Local photographer North McKnight displayed some of his favorite black and white originals shot on film


Everyone enjoyed bowls of lovely SOUP to kick off the night and spark some new connections. The remainder of the entrance money was given to our presenters towards their projects, with each guest choosing where to direct their share! Music, videos, presentations, displays, interactive props, photos, posters, live entertainment all contributed to a unique vibe, showcasing some great Community-based Design work happening right now in Cape Town


Casey Broom and Chris Hartzenburg were first to present on the night. Sharing video, photos and spinach(!), as well as the methods behind the Solar and Aquaponics project in Belhar! Great work – glad we could help spread the word!


Next up was Gabriella Swanepoel, Graphic Design at CPUT, who shared the stories and physical creations which came from her work with the homeless community in Brooklyn. She would love to have more Designers host sessions with the group!


Frances Taylor of Communitree spreading the seeds of their work which aims to increase greenery within the urban spaces of Cape Town. They would love more volunteers to come on board to help out!



Entertainment on the night was provided by Eladius aka Swahili Fire. Playing us tunes, laying his own flows to beats, and even a couple of freestyles! Glad he’s found a way to keep spreading his love for HipHop at UCT radio!


So many great moments, memories and stories contained in these, but the real reward is knowing that people made new connections and will be using what they learnt to make an impact in Cape Town.

We are so happy to have connected with you all, and look forward to keeping in touch!


For anyone looking through these that wants to be a part of what we do, or keen to ask for us to design a learning experience for your organisation (business, community, NGO, or even individually) – then please get in contact by email or through our Facebook page!

We look forward to helping you become a Designer of Change too!

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