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The City of Cape Town’s iconic City Hall is one of the main venues for this year’s Open Design festival which will feature 140 mostly free events. The 12-day city-wide festival of talks, exhibitions, workshops, tours, activations and interactive experiences kicks off on 10 August 2016. Read more below:

Innovations that address everyday challenges and explore how design can change lives will come to life at Open Design Cape Town 2016, which takes place from 10 to 21 August 2016 at Cape Town City Hall and across the city.

The City of Cape Town supports the event which is now in its fourth year. This 12-day festival includes talks, exhibitions, workshops, tours, activations and interactive experiences that explore how design links the building blocks of a sustainable, inclusive society.

‘Design touches and transforms every sphere of our lives, from healthcare to education, from housing to communication. Open Design Cape Town opens up unique opportunities in the design sector for many talented and creative young people.‘Part of the City’s strategy is to ensure that events are inclusive and that we provide opportunities. Open Design also serves to counter seasonality experienced during the colder winter months and to entrench Cape Town’s position as a year-round, value-for-money events destination.

‘The City of Cape Town is proud to be a sponsor of this event and would like to encourage creative people to attend the many free events,’ said the City’s acting Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Economic Development, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.

With over 140 mostly free events on the programme, and collaborations with global and local brands, Open Design 2016 brings design and innovation to life.

Its key features are Talk100 discussion sessions, which cover topics such as our readiness for the fourth industrial revolution and inspiring a new generation of change-makers to build better communities; an innovation summit; educational events, such as the Designing Careers High School Programme; and Dine with Khayelitsha – a platform to bridge the gap between the different cultures living in urban centres and township communities.

The festival takes place in two stages, with events, expos and workshops at Cape Town City Hall from 10 to 16 August 2016 and city-wide activations from 17 to 21 August 2016.

Key features of events in the City Hall hub between 10 and 16 August include:

· the annual Talk100 sessions, which pose key questions about what the latest tech experiences are and how they impact on us
· the Designing Careers High School Programme featuring presentations by top tertiary design schools on design-related study and career options, and activities to enable learners to appreciate the values and impact of design in everyday life

· the one-stop design shop tertiary design schools exhibition, which runs for the duration of the festival, as well as the open day workshops and talks

· opportunities to test the latest tech crazes, including augmented reality and gaming, virtual reality and 3D scanner demonstrations and experiences, which run throughout the festival
· the Better Living Challenge Exhibition, showcasing innovative designs for the improvement of low-income housing
· Open Design movie nights screened at the Labia Theatre which will raise thought-provoking issues ranging from the impact of the clothing industry to the African premiere of the first full feature on crowd funding

City-wide events between 17 and 21 August include:

· Dine with Khayelitsha: township households host local and international guests over conversational dinners that facilitate interaction on themes ranging from social issues to innovation, leadership, entrepreneurship and sustainability

· the Architecture Open Studios, in partnership with the Cape Institute for Architecture: the general public will have a rare opportunity to view the creative spaces of some of the leading architectural practices in Cape Town

· Design Garage: a showroom space hosted by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). The new Design Garage showroom and shop supports emerging designers by showcasing and selling their fashion, textiles, graphics, jewellery and other industrial design products. The initiative sources products from students and alumni of the university’s design programmes

· IDEA Lab Experience for all design educators which is a workshop that will share the power of design and how to teach critical life skills in the classroom

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.

It forms part of Design Month in Cape Town with the Maker Faire taking place later in August.

For more information and a full festival programme, please visit or follow @opendesignct on Twitter.

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