Schools take part in Open Design festival

Children will be able to learn about the inner workings of appliances during the schools programme.

The Frank Joubert Art Centre in Newlands and Cedar House High School in Kenilworth are among 14 Western Cape schools taking part in the Designing Careers High School Programme at the Open Design Cape Town Festival this year.

Other southern suburbs schools involved in Open Design include Cannons Creek in Pinelands and Abbots College in Claremont.

Career and educational events are a key component of the 12-day festival, which features more than 140 events including talks, exhibitions, workshops, tours, activations and interactive experiences that explore how design and innovation can be used to add great value to our daily lives and create a more sustainable future.

The festival takes place in two stages, with events, expos and workshops at the city hall from Wednesday August 10 to Tuesday August 16 and citywide activations from Wednesday August 17 to Sunday August 21.

Top South African design icons, including Y Tsai of Tsai Design Studio and Andile Dyalvane of Imiso Ceramics, head the line-up of speakers for the Open Design education programme, together with an exhibition to further inspire high school pupils studying them as part of the curriculum.

Pupils will also be able to view the work of these designers, as part of an exhibition displaying their standout designs, such as a 3D model of the international award-winning 10×10 low-cost housing design by participating architect Luyanda Mpahlwa.

Cindie Ah Ling, head of the design department at the Frank Joubert Art Centre, said itwas very important for pupils to be addressed by design luminaries.

“There are a number of cases on environmentally sustainable projects studies presented, which is part of our curriculum, so it is perfect for them. It enables them to see what is being done out there,” she said.

“Also, because Design Indaba is not as big as it used to be, this festival is about the only one that allows pupils to get a feel of the design world.”

Cannons Creek arts, culture and design teacher Andy Stuart described the festival as an “amazing forum for students”.

“There are incredible designs on display, which are all authentically South African,” she said.

“They can look at what works at a community level. What is presented is also so diverse, so they are able to see the relevance to strategic design thinking. We actually get the pupils to research the designers and their work, so what we see is also directly applicable to the classroom situation.”

Numerous other events at this year’s Open Design Festival enable young people to further engage with design. They include:

* The Designing Careers High School Programme with presentations by top tertiary design schools about design-related study and career options. This runs between 9am and noon From Wednesday August 10 to Friday August 19 at the city hall.

* A One Stop Design Shop Expo, a design education showcase from top tertiary design schools in the Western Cape, open to all, will be run at city hall from Thursday August 11 to Friday August 19, from 9am to 2pm.

* Open day workshops at the city hall on Saturday August 13, from 9am to 4pm, enabling parents and high school pupils interested in pursuing design-related careers to connect with some of the top design tertiary schools in the Western Cape.

* Design education open day talks at the city hall on Wednesday August 10, giving people a chance to explore design career options.

* SeeSawDo Children’s Design Workshop at the city hall on Wednesday August 17 from 3.30pm to 6pm, which encourages children to take responsibility for a project, co-create with teammates and think critically.

In addition, at the Brightminds Disassembly Workshop, young and old, can learn how to break apart appliances such as a toasters or irons and see how they are designed and built.

Participants can build a gadget of their own and receive a toolkit to take home, so they can do it all again in their own time.

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