Cape Town, World Design Capital 2014

In Cape Town the most exciting work is in the townships and once-grungy inner-city areas. South Africa, the Rainbow Nation, is know for the high crime statistcs and fragil economy; it’s is a place were too many people don’t have food, education or healthcare. It was also the venue for the 2010 Fifa World Cup and in 2014 is the World Design Capital.

Within the townships you will find the place where some of the most inspiring people live: people who are incredible, positive, engaging, brave. The entire place buzzes with creativity. Unlike Helsinki, last year’s WDC, which had a budget of about £3.3m, Cape Town’s budget is R40m (just over £2m). So the World’s Design Capital 2014 was left to companies such as Coffeebeans Routes, and to people like gallery owner João Ferreira, who has put together Connecting Creative Cape Town tours of exhibitions and artists’ studio.

Coffeebeans Routes | Cape Town, World Design Capital 2014

Art Gallery | Cape Town, World Design Capital 2014

In a city with a design college, an arts university and a thriving fashion scene, there is no space where you can see locals’ work showcased. There isn’t much design to see, unless you are in the city for the annual design fairs ( or However, the WDC 2014 programm wasn’t tought to attact visitors, but to try to make the city a better place.

Interesting places to see:

– Gugulethu: showcasing the work of an NGO called Rock Girl. It was set up by American human rights lawyer India Baird to create safe spaces for girls and women in this dangerous city.

Gugulethu | Cape Town, World Design Capital 2014

Abalimi, the People’s Garden Centre.

– Street Art: be on the lookout as Cape Town is well know for its murals on inner-city walls.

Street Art | Cape Town, World Design Capital 2014

Natalie Bulwer, fine art gallery

– Woodstock: a hive of creative activity, and was multi-racial even when apartheid’s Group Areas Act forbade different races living together. Today its grungy but colourful streets – a mix of run-down housing, former factories and old warehouses. Highlights include ceramicists such as Imiso and Clementina Ceramic Studio, Espresso Lab Microroasters for just-roasted coffee, and Ma Mère Maison for red-velvet cake.

Woodstock | Cape Town, World Design Capital 2014

– City centre: you should visit the Gold of Africa Museum with a collection of gold jewellery and tribal pieces from around the continent, the South African National Gallery with historical and contemporary local art and the District Six Museum Here there are a few very interesting restaurants, coffee and African product shops.

Street Store | Cape Town, World Design Capital 2014

Souce: the Guardian

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