Study Tour - Cape Town Design

Created by Iain Harris for Coffeebeans Routes

Duration                Cape Town as a 4 Day 5 Night programme

Johannesburg as a 2 Day 2 Night, component, with option of a

Safari add on

For                        Design professionals, policy makers, design academics,

masters and PHD level design students, urban planners

Method                Context is crucial, and time is limited. Central to the programme will

be the establishing of excellent historical and political contextual

         understanding of the city of Cape Town, past, present and future.

         Additionally, diverse perspective, from the design community,

politicians, educators, entrepreneurs and citizens, will inform and

shape the conversations.

Accommodation        Four and five star hotels including the Cape Heritage Hotel, Cape

Grace, Boutique hotels including Kensington Place, Four Rosmead,



Day1. Monday / Tuesday

Overview of Cape Town as the World Design Capital 2014; entrepreneur solutions

0830 - 0930 Breakfast briefing at hotel
with programme facilitator

0930 - 1000 transfer to Table Mountain Cableway

1000 - 1130 Introduction to the City of Cape Town

with programme facilitator, and Professor Edgar Pieterse from the African Centre for Cities

Before we talk about the World Design Capital designation, we have to start getting inside the stories of the city. So we begin with some history. From an elevated perspective on Table Mountain, allowing us to get a perspective across the entire city, Iain and Edgar provide historical context, and also look to the future. From the top of Table Mountain, we can visually sketch history, and really show the apartheid design of the city. We can also start to show how the World Design Capital designation, and design thinking in application, could assist to undo some of the apartheid design.

Note: if the weather doesn’t allow for this to happen on Table Mountain, we will visit the offices of the African Centre for Cities where we can do the same thing with maps instead of views.

1130 - 1200 transfer to offices of the Cape Town Partnership

1200 - 1300 Background to the World Design Capital bid
with Cape Town Partnership CEO Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana.

The Cape Town Partnership was the agency tasked with putting together the bid. Why did Cape Town bid for the designation, what did it hope to achieve, what was it that made Cape Town’s bid the winning bid?

1315 - 1330 transfer to lunch venue

1330 - 1445 Lunch session - Cape Town is the World Design Capital 2014. Now what?

with Richard Perez, Director World Design Capital at the City of Cape Town, and Alayne Reesberg, CEO Cape Town Design, the agency created to implement the World Design Capital programmes, and one of the curators or board members of World Design Capital.

Following on from the session with Bulelwa, we meet the people responsible for the implementation of the designation, and hear about what is going to be happening, and how elements of the bid are going to become real. This will provide us with an overview of some of the possible projects for contribution and or collaboration.

1445 - 1530 transfer to Khayelitsha

In transit to Khayelitsha we will pass through areas such as Guguletu and Manenberg to provide a perspective on some of the townships of Cape Town.

1530 - 1640 Orientation to Khayelitsha, South Africa’s fastest growing suburb and 2nd largest township.
with a journalist from GroundUp (, a community journalism project dedicated to reporting stories in townships; and with Sizwe Nzima, Khayelitsha based entrepreneur that recently made Forbes Magazine’s 30 under-30 Africa’s best young entrepreneurs list.

Khayelitsha is the fastest growing suburb in South Africa, and, also a township that is home to some 1 million people. In any other part of the world, it would be called a city, and we could talk about Cape Town being on the periphery of Khayelitsha

It is an area where design interventions can quickly show results. For this session, we want to get, in a very short time, a sense of Khayelitsha’s history, it’s present challenges, and the opportunities that exist in the future. We will look at how design can and is already playing a role in overcoming some of the key challenges in the area, and at how Khayelitsha can become a major economic hub in the Western Cape.

GroundUp provides in depth coverage of Khayelitsha, from the light to the dark stories, and can provide great insights into its constituent communities; and Sizwe, as an innovative entrepreneur in the area, can give us a sense of the opportunities.

1640  - 1740 Department of Coffee and VPUU

with the entrepreneurs behind Khayelitsha’s first coffee shop, and now a major attraction; VPUU representatives

The potential in Khayelitsha is huge - how is it manifested? In this session we want to build on the entrepreneurial approach we’ve been introduced to through Sizwe, and hear the story of the entrepreneurs behind the Department of Coffee, the first coffee shop in a township in the Western Cape. We want to explore how design can be applied to the development of entrepreneurs. Are there replicable models? How can successful entrepreneurial projects such as this be developed in other townships in Cape Town? Can they be replicated internationally?

We meet the people behind the Violence Prevention Through Urban Upgrade programme, who have received accolades for their design-centred approach to transforming urban space for citizen upliftment. They have created a corridor in Khayelitsha, incorporating live-and-trade spaces, with libraries and public spaces, giving a sense of how tough places can be softened, and how citizen activation in these spaces increases citizen participation in democracy.

1800 - 1840 transfer back to accommodation

In transit, we will exit via the VPUU corridor and the Kuyasa project a little further on, to round off our exploration of some of the physical design interventions of the area and their impact. On our way to the hotel, we have the opportunity to bring together the threads of the day’s exploration, deal with questions arising and, off the top of our heads, identify threads that we would like to explore in great depth over the coming days.

1840 - 2000 time for reflection and refreshment

2000 - 2300 Welcome dinner

Tonight we are going to bring the design community together in a beautiful Cape Dutch heritage classic home on the slopes of Table Mountain, for a special dinner, a feast of traditional local foods, prepared by chef Cynthia Mgogodlo, formerly of the Radisson Blu Waterfront.  

Invited guests will include members of the Cape Town Design Network, including chairperson Bruce Snaddon; academics such as professor Mugendi M’Rithaa from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s design department; members of the board and curatorial team of the World Design Capital Cape Town; Yehuda Raff of the Fringe innovation district; top industrial designer Byron Qually; architect Mokena Makeka, and other special guests. This will be the first of two networking evenings.

The important function of tonight is to introduce the participants, within the first day of the programme, to the widest range of design roleplayers in the city.

The dinner venue, Paradise Grey, is a classic Cape Dutch home full of African art, and home to one of the finest African music collections in Cape Town. It will set the tone for a rich African design experience.

Day2. Tuesday / Wednesday

Education, Design History in Cape Town, Housing Solutions

Can Cape Town position itself as a global design education hub, from industrial design and animation, to film and design thinking for organisational development? And can Cape Town’s approach to design thinking influence become a model for institutional design elsewhere? Today we meet a range of leaders in in academic design for a deep perspective.

0800 - 0900 Breakfast briefing and feedback

Sharing notes on the previous day with the CG and the facilitator, feeding back on items that the group would like to explore further, possibly for the last afternoon.

0900 - 0915 transfer to Cape Peninsula University of Technology
CPUT has one of the most popular design faculties in South Africa. Their Informatics and Design department has 12 areas of specialisation, including industrial design, graphic design, town planning and architectural technology. We are hosted by Professor M’Rithaa, an executive board member at ICSID, and member of the advisory board of the bid process.

0915 - 1030 session with Professor Mugendi

1030 - 1045 transfer to The Animation School, Woodstock

1045 - 1145 session with Nuno Martins, director of The Animation School

This award winning animation school, based in Woodstock, the first suburb out of the central city, is training up animators in demand globally.

1145 - 1230 short tour of Woodstock, focusing on street art, and the design and art corridor along Albert and Main Roads. For this short session we are joined by Mak1One, one of South Africa’s most acclaimed graffiti artists.

1230 - 1400 lunch session - Talking Heads 1

with some of the grand figures of South African design, the people who have shaped the industry, including Ravi Naidoo, entrepreneur, creator of the Design Indaba; Roelf Mulder, industrial designer, CEO of dot dot dot XYZ design, one of the country’s foremost design companies; Jenny Sorrell, founder of ADA Magazine, once upon a time the bible of South African design and architecture; and Luyanda Mpahlwa, architect, urban activist and director of MMA Architects. Mak1One, considered the grandfather of street art in South Africa, will join us from the previous session.

Specifically to get the background to the History of Design in South Africa, we will have each of these ‘heads’ around the lunch table to provide input on the history of design in Cape Town, to be able to shape our understanding of how it has arrived at this point, and perhaps a sense of where it is going.

Lunch is at the The Test Kitchen in Woodstock, the restaurant of Luke Dale Robertson, presently the most celebrated chef in South Africa.

1400 - 1440 transfer to the iShack in Stellenbosch
with Mark Swilling, the
Division Head: Sustainable Development in the School of Public Leadership at the University of Stellenbosch,and Academic Director of the Sustainability Institute. He is also one of the creators of the iShack.

1440 - 1720 This session begins at the site of the iShack, in Khayamnandi township, on the hills of Stellenbosch. The iShack project is a smart, energy generating shack, created to provide low cost upgrades to informal settlements.

iShack is a project of Stellenbosch’s Sustainability Institute, based at the Lyndoch eco-village, just outside Stellenbosch.

After at a tour of the iShack project, Mark will take us to the Sustainability Institute for a tour of Lyndoch, the eco-village, the model of the future suburb, with low cost and suburban housing all mixed up together, and all off the grid. Lyndoch is shaping what the future of the country looks like.

1720 - 1800 Return to hotel

1800 - 2000 Reflection and refreshment

2000 - 2300 Dinner

At a selected restaurant with selected guests for one on one conversations. Or just a dinner with the team for group discussion and reflection.

Day 3. Wednesday / Thursday

Urban renewal, with special focus on informal trade solutions; final chapter of education, evening networking event

0800 - 0850 breakfast briefing and feedback

CG David de Waal and facilitator Iain harris

0850 - 0910 transfer to University of Cape Town School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics

The school has six areas of specialisation: architecture, geomatics, urban design, landscape architecture, conservation and city planning. We are hosted by Professor Francis Peterson, dean of the department

0910 - 1010 Session with Professor Petersen

1010 - 1030 transfer Langa Quarter

The Langa Quarter is a citizen lead project positioning Langa as a central destination in the city for business and entertainment. It is being positioned as the gateway to the Cape Flats, and a new central node. Co-ordinator Tony Elvin will introduce us to the project, and take us on a walking tour of the precinct.

1030  - 1145 Session with Tony Elvin

1145 - 1210 Transfer to Belville

We are visiting the northern part of the city, and a major city hub, Belville, hosted by the Tygerburg Development Partnership, where they will present their vision for urban renewal in the northern part of the city. The focus will be on the Mayors Urban Regeneration Programme and the Belville CBD redevelopment plan, both part of the Urban Turnaround Strategy. Urban planner Shahid Solomons will present.

1210 - 1340 tour of projects with Tygerburg Development Partnership and Shahid Solomons

1340 - 1530 Lunch Talking Heads 2

Over lunch we will talk with urban improvements leaders, including architect Khalied Jacobs, MD of Architects and Urban Planners; Improvement District chiefs Abdul (Claremont Improvement District), Tasso (Central City Improvement District), a representative of the Tygerburg Development Partnership, Jodi Allemeier – Central City Development Strategy Manager, and Catherine Stone, director Spatial Development and Planning for the city of cape town.

1530 - 1730 City of Cape Town Ward project tour

with Richard Perez, Director World Design Capital 2014 for the City of Cape Town

The City is planning one project per each of the city’s wards over the period of 2014. Richard will take us on a tour of two ward projects, and take us deeper into the city’s attempts to use design as an internal strategy to enhance government function and ability to serve citizens better through greater departmental cohesion.

1730 - 1800 transfer to hotel

1800 - 1830 freshen up

1830 - 1845 transfer to Reception organized by Dutch Consulate

1830 - 2100 Reception organised by Dutch Consulate
A gathering of everybody we have met so far, as well as political figures such as Anton Groenewald, Grant Pascoe and Alderman Patricia de Lille. A chance to have further conversations with people recently met, and new conversations with new roleplayers.

2100 Return to hotel or free evening, possible jazz club visit (the Mahogany Room) or other evening activity in the city.


Day 4. Thursday / Friday. Design network and follow up

Reflection; the Fringe; Cape Craft and Design; Fashion Council; lunch conversations, follow ups; closing dinner

Early part of the morning free for reflection and relaxation.

1030 - 1045 transfer to the Fringe, Cape Town’s innovation district

The Fringe is billed as “Africa’s up-and-coming environment for design, media and ICT innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship”. It is a previously neglected part of the city, out of the boundaries of the Central City Improvement District, with rich heritage. The Fringe is home to key design institutions including the Cape Craft and Design Institute, and the Cape Town Fashion Council, and to a significant public space, Harrington Square.

1045 - 1330 Tour of the Fringe Innovation District

with Yehuda Raff, co-ordinator of the Fringe, and Andrew Putter, an artist working with the Cape Town Partnership to facilitate the public involvement in the regeneration of Harrington Square. The tour  will be accompanied by Joanne Johnson and Bianca from DIDAT, the Department of Economic Affairs and Trade, who are also doing the research around the idea of a design park.

Part of the tour will include engagement with Brian Ramkiliwan, CEO of the Cape Town Fashion Council, and Erika Elk CEO  of the Cape Craft and Design Institute

1330 - 1500 Lunch at the Field Office

The Field Office is the Fringe’s central coffee shop cum deli. It is a creative lunch place with lots of young creative people, and it is also the showroom for Pedersen and Lennard furniture design. This lunch is used to have focused engagement with individuals from the programme so far, as selected by the team.

1500 - 1800 Follow ups

The rest of the afternoon is available to follow up on threads from the programme, be it a visit to a project, a further conversation with a person from the programme to date. This will be pre-arranged based on discussions late on day 3.

1800 - 1900 Refresh at hotel

1900 - 2000 Wrap up drinks with facilitator, review and feedback.

2000 - 2300 closing dinner with select guests from the programme for final conversation and thank yous.

Coffeebeans Routes. iKhaya Lodge, 8 Wandel St, Cape Town, 8001. Phone +27218139829