Open Design Afrika (ODA)

18 October 2019
27 October 2019

Joe SlovoCommunity Project — Port Elizabeth, South Africa (Photo by IndaloWorld NGO)

ico-D is pleased to endorse Open Design Afrika (ODA) nominated for endorsement by ico-D Member Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography from 18-27 October 2019 at the Castle of Good Hope Cape in Cape Town (South Africa). 

Apply here to submit an event.


Open Design Afrika (ODA) is a proudly Afrikan social enterprise and non-profit company that represents a global and local community of thought leaders, change-makers, makers and inventors, social entrepreneurs and creative problem-solvers. An international knowledge-sharing platform, it aims to build capacity in Afrika through creativity, specifically by creating accessible opportunities for as many people as possible to learn, share and participate with one another as Afrikan citizens. To this end, ODA is dedicated to nurturing a future-ready culture of problem-solvers and change-makers who are equipped and empowered with the appropriate 21st-century skills set that will enable them to add value to the future world of business, our environments and society at large.

Open Design Afrika is a proud partner of the UNESCO Cities of Design Network and also serves on the Cape Town UNESCO City of Design team. Open Design Afrika is also a proud member of the World Design Organisation.

The Open Design Afrika Festival 2019—the Mother City’s most dynamic design-led innovation festival—is back again and they are calling on innovators, social entrepreneurs, tech gurus and makers to take part in a series of events and workshops from 18-27 October 2019.

Running for 10 days from the 18th of October, the festival hub is situated at the Castle of Good Hope Cape, with additional events taking place across various venues in different communities across Cape Town. This interactive festival will educate and delight young and old, and the majority of events are free to attend, including free entrance for festival goers to the Castle of Good Hope for the week of 19-23rd.

Sponsored by the City of Cape Town, the Open Design Afrika (ODA) Festival is a community festival with a focus on collaboration, sharing new ideas and cross-cultural experiences for people from all walks of life to connect and learn how to build a more inclusive and prosperous future together. The festival ran consecutively from 2013 until 2017, and is back as a new social enterprise and proudly Afrikan brand named ‘Open Design Afrika’, which now encompasses various social development programmes and consulting services, in addition to the annual festival.

“We are excited to be back with an awesome line-up of diverse experiences for this year’s festival. ODA is celebrated by many as a unique collaborative public platform that represents a diverse community of change makers and problem solvers,” says Suné Stassen, Co-founder & Executive Director of Open Design Afrika.


With over 10 000 attendees at the 2017 festival, this is a great opportunity to gain access to new audiences and enjoy wide exposure via the official festival website, various social media platforms and PR, tapping into an engaged online audience of 33 000+.

Previous participants included galleries like the Southern Guild, organisations such as Engineers Without Borders, Eco Bricks Exchange, Maker Station, design schools like Vega, CPUT, Friends of Design and Stellenbosch Academy, and event brands like Creative Mornings and Pecha Kucha.

Applications are now open for individuals and organisations to book a stand to trade, reserve an expo space, host a workshop or host your own event as part of the Open Design Afrika Festival programme – whether it be at the ODA Family Makers Weekend, the ODA Wetopia Inspiration Day or the ODA STEAM Day.



Read the updated ODA Festival programme here.

The Open Design Africa Festival 2019 will bring a whole host of events and workshops to the Mother City that will appeal to young and old. Individuals and organisations can be included in the festival programme so get involved in these four main events by applying now.

1. ODA Family Makers Weekend: 19-20 October
2. ODA Wetopia Inspiration Day: 21 October
3. ODA STEAM Edu-Day: 22 October 
4. ODA Citywide Activation: 23-27 October 

1.  ODA Family Makers Weekend: 19-20 October

The ODA Family Makers Weekend is a great opportunity for families and friends of all ages and cultures to learn through playing and doing. Taking place at the festival hub, the Castle of Good Hope, this weekend of fun will include the ODA Festival Makers Market, the Makers & Shakers of the Greater Good 2019 Collection Expo, and a series of workshops and fun experiences.
Applications are now open for individuals and organisations to get involved in three ways:

a) ODA Festival Makers Market

The ODA Festival Makers Market is a curated market that will showcase creative, innovative and entrepreneurial talent. It will be different to other markets in that stallholders will have the opportuntiy to add a ‘makers station’ to demo or invite the public to make something with them. This is a great opportunity for makers from diverse sectors such as crafters, designers, glass blowers and drone maker to take part.

Apply here for Family Makers Weekend

b) ODA Makers & Shakers of the Greater Good 2019 Collection

Are you a disrupter, designer, inventor, tech guru or someone who uses their creative, innovative and entrepreneurial skills to create change? Exhibit, trade and demonstrate your work along with other local innovators, social entrepreneurs and makers.
Extend your reach to a diverse audience, grow your business connections and share your story with others. Meet and network with potential investors or like-minded collaborators.
Demonstrate what you do within an intimate space without the usual ‘trade show noise’ and an over abundance of stuff that often takes the focus away from the innovation that creates real change on the ground.

Apply here for Makers & Shakers 

c.) Host a ‘makers’ workshop

An opportunity for all ages to create, experiment, build, explore and innovate in a safe and fun environment. Accessible for children and communities from all walks of life to participate in creative and innovative experiences - learn through playing and doing, develop new skills, complex problem solving, critical thinking, sharing, empathy, emotional intelligence and collaboration.

Apply here

2. ODA Wetopia Inspiration Day: 21 October

The concept of ‘Wetopia’ is officially coming to South Africa at the 2019 festival. Wetopia demonstrates, investigates and develops exciting experiences that stimulate different collaborations between policy makers (politicians, civil servants, community leaders, entrepreneurs, institutions) and civil society (citizens, communities, artists, city makers).

The ODA Wetopia Inspiration Day forms part of the ODA Wetopia Academy, a yearlong programme of events, community activations, interventions and a learning programme for policymakers which will be launched at the festival in October 2019 and is sponsored by The Robert Bosch Foundation.

The ODA Wetopia Inspiration Day will be a full day of talks, panel discussions and active dialogues with field experts, policymakers, city makers, thought leaders and citizens with an extended networking opportunity at the end of the day. This is an exciting opportunity for organisations to exhibit their Wetopian projects and inventions. For example, projects that create change and add value, who work closely with citizens and develop different alliances to build better cities and communities together; drive change from the bottom up; or add significant value to community development, citizen rights, youth development, social cohesion, people with disabilities or education.

Apply here to exhibit

3. ODA STEAM Education Day: 22 October 2019

STEAM is when creativity and creative experiences like purposeful play is used to create a far more integrated, accesible and inclusive learning experience for all of STEM subjects like science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The integration of creativity is also key to develop human skills like empathy and critical thinking – skills that are crucial if human kind wants to thrive in the future and develop a symbiotic relationship with the machine to build a better future world.

The ODA STEAM Education Day is a great opportunity for organisations, individuals and field experts in STEAM education to have an expo stand, demonstrate or host a workshop. This is your chance to be included in the STEAM programme of the day. We are looking for those who are passionate to create change in our education system and serious about driving the STEAM agenda so that we can collectively design a future-ready culture of problem solvers and change makers that can add value to the future world of business, our environments and society at large.

Apply here to exhibit

4. ODA Citywide Activation: 23-27 October 2019

The ODA City Activation Programme is dedicated to support start-ups and micro-enterprises in and around the City of Cape Town. Do you have a great idea for a workshop, talk, tour? An experience you want to offer? This is your chance to be included in the festival programme while enjoying great exposure for your business.


Open Design Afrika (ODA)
ODA Festival programme

On: FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

ico-D Member profile page for Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography
Apply here


News & Views