Endorsed | OPEN Design Cape Town Festival 2017

13 August 2017
25 August 2017
This 12-day citywide festival brings together an extended community of thinkers, designers, entrepreneurs, educators, students and members of the public for a series of exciting experiences, talks, workshops, exhibitions and more.

ico-D is pleased to endorse OPEN Design Cape Town Festival 2017 sponsored by the City of Cape Town, South Africa and Aurecon engineering firm.

Art Meets Science at Africa’s first STEAM Symposium 

Annual Open Design Cape Town Festival, a new symposium on how art, design, maths, science and technology go hand in hand to ignite innovation.

OPEN Design Cape Town, the Mother City’s most dynamic design and innovation festival, is set to host Africa’s first international STEAM Symposium when the festival returns this August. STEAM is a global movement that adds the creativity and vision of Art and Design thinking to the traditional STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) subjects. 

The 12-day citywide festival will again bring together an extended community of thinkers, designers, entrepreneurs, educators, students and members of the public for a series of exciting experiences, talks, workshops, exhibitions and more. See the Open Design Cape Town Festival Programme 2017.


The programme is curated to feature events that are relevant for people from all walks of life; interested in or simply curious about design, innovation and social entrepreneurship; designers and other professionals across different sectors; to students, learners, educators and parents; and those who simply want to see and learn about the possibilities for change in our society and diverse communities. Individuals and groups from all communities are invited to participate, to explore how the power of design and innovation can be used to mobilise social change and transformation in sectors like healthcare, education, transport, communication, agriculture, tourism and more. The City Activation week focus on supporting and highlighting small business, entrepreneurs, start-ups - so that they can increase their reach, create greater awareness of their product and service, increase demand for their offering and build their audience. Open Design Cape Town, now in its fifth year, aims to illustrate and explore how creative solutions and sustainable design can benefit South Africa’s economy and society.


STEAM, a concept championed by the Rhode Island School of Design in the US under its STEM to STEAM motto, has three broad pillars. First, to transform research policy to place Art and Design at the centre of STEM learning. Second, to encourage the integration of Art and Design thinking into education across all learning areas, from kindergarten to graduate degree level. Third, to influence employers to hire artists and designers to drive innovation and add significance and meaning to their businesses



Kristóf Fenyvesi, STEAM researcher at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland


Professor Mugendi K. M’Rithaa, originally from Kenya, an industrial designer and researcher at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, President of the World Design Organisation and one of the speakers at the Symposium, says future global citizens will need a strong educational foundation underpinned by a creative and practical knowledge of the STEAM subjects:


Professor Mugendi K. M’Rithaa, industrial designer and researcher at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, President of the World Design Organisation.


“Proficiency in STEAM not only guarantees competence in a wide range of professional disciplines, but also fosters an appreciation for lifelong learning as well as a transdisciplinary and collaborative ethos in young learners."

—Mugendi K. M’Rithaa


Among the other contributors at the symposium are:

Suné Stassen, co-founder and festival and programmme director of Open Design, says the symposium will explore how value gets added when Art and Design are integrated with STEM subjects, and how this will help lay the foundation for, and develop a new generation of problem solvers, change makers and successful African social entrepreneurs. 

“This is going to be an exciting event for anyone who believes it is possible to design a greater future for our country and continent. The programme is specially designed to not only include a focus on education, but also includes a wide array of industry experts who will testify how the integration of creative and design thinking skills leapfrogged their business into another dimension,” says Stassen.


“In order to empower all our children with much needed 21st century skills we urgently need real systemic change. We need to redesign our education system so that the youth and future generations can confidently participate in, and add value to the economy and our society at large.”

— Suné Stassen


All Open Design events focus on innovation, design and educating people about the impact and added value of great design; how it can add value to everyday life and to basic human needs like education, healthcare, mobility, agriculture, building better communities and developing change makers, innovators and social entrepreneurs for the future that can bring about change and transformation where mostly needed.

Times and Dates

Open Design Cape Town 2017 will take place between 13-20 August at Cape Town City Hall and at various locations throughout the city as part of the City Wide Activation programme from 21 – 25 August. The STEAM Symposium will be held at City Hall on Monday 14 August. Tickets for the Open Design International STEAM Symposium on Monday 14 August are on sale via www.quicket.co.za at an early-bird special of R895 until 15 July. Thereafter tickets will cost R1055. The symposium will be held at the main auditorium of the Cape Town City Hall on Darling Street between 10am to 4pm.

For media queries contact Lisa Pellatt – lisa@marvelloandmill.co.za 021 762 1687/084 553 4629 or Thembalethu Kumalo – thembalethu@marvelloandmill.co.za 082 352 23174



Follow Open Design Cape Town on Twitter and Instagram @OpendesignCT and on Facebook  
Use the hashtag #ODCT2017 to help spread the word.
For more information and to view the speaker line-up visit www.opendesignct.com

Open Design Cape Town Festival Programme 2017
City of Cape Town
STEAM Symposium Facebook page
STEAM Symposium 2016
Cape Peninsula University of Technology
World Design Organisation
University of Jyväskylä in Finland
UCT School of Design Thinking
Formula D Interactive


About ico-D Endorsements

Each year, ico-D endorses a select group of international activities that advance our objective to promote the value of design. Endorsed events demonstrate that they enhance the standards of design, ethics and professional practice. For design awards, an ico-D endorsement is recognition that it has been organised to meet international best practice guidelines under ico-D’s policies and best practices – including jury composition, evaluation criteria and intellectual property protection.
Find out how to apply for ico-D Endorsements here.


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