Cape Town, South Africa's Mother City, is regarded as South Africa’s design capital, and has been chosen as the World Design Capital for 2014. Perhaps it’s the scenic beauty of the city that inspires creatives to express their craft in unique and award-winning ways.

Did you know?

Contemporary South African furniture designer, Haldane Martin, won the prestigious SABS DISA award for his innovative Zulu Mama Chair in 2007.

Design in Cape Town is varied and widespread. From advertising to the arts, some of the country's most creative people, including a number of influential furniture designers, choose to live and work in Cape Town.

Adjoining the Cape Town city centre, the narrow streets and Victorian buildings of the De Waterkant is where it all started. Many designers still have their studios in this picturesque old part of the city. The Cape Quarter, an open-air shopping mall where visitors can enjoy a snapshot of the best in local and international design, is another place not to be missed.

In Cape Town, design styles fall into several different 'schools'. On the Atlantic seaboard, architect Stefan Antoni and his firm Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects, have captured the elegant and opulent lifestyles of the rich and famous who live and holiday in Clifton and Fresnaye. The sophisticated Stefan Antoni look is now available to anyone at his shop Okha in the Gardens suburb.

In recent years, Cape Town designers have set up shop in unlikely locations. Woodstock, a former warehousing and low-cost housing district, is now home to Cape Town's most innovative designers and gallery owners.

Cape Town has also seen a massive revival of modern designs as well as the 'upcycling' of vintage furniture, with a touch of contemporary glitz.

Certain Cape Town designers have seen their work recognised internationally. Heath Nash's recycled plastic pendant light, Gregor Jenkin's mild-steel Cape Table, and Haldane Martin's Zulu Mama chair are just some of the city's noted designs that are sold in design emporiums around the world.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Cape Town Design Network

Heath Nash
2 Mountain Road, Woodstock, Cape Town
Tel: +27 (0)21 447 5757

Shop 120 &121 Level 1, New Cape Quarter, 27 Somerset Road, Green Point.
Tel: +27 (0)21 419 7003

Haldane Martin
12 Aberdeen Street, cnr Dickinson Street, Woodstock, Cape Town
Tel: +27 (0)21 448 0999

Gregor Jenkin Studio
1 Argyle Street, Woodstock, Cape Town
Tel: +27 (0)21 424 1840

How to get here

International flights direct to Cape Town International Airport or via other major centres in the country, Durban and Johannesburg.

Best time to visit

Summer is busy and bustling in Cape Town, so plan for November to February. Winter months are cold and rainy: June to August.

Tours to do

The World Design Capital 2014 events itinerary will reach a peak during November 2014.

Length of stay

A week to see the architecture, furniture, clothing and art design of the city.

What's happening

Every year the Design Indaba is held in Cape Town, attracting the country's best designers to showcase their creativity. The event takes place at the Cape Town Convention Centre at the end of February.

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