Top Design Cities 2019: Cape Town, South Africa

Design Indaba founder Ravi Naidoo steers us through the design destination of Cape Town with his recommendations.

Ravi Naidoo‚ founder of Interactive Africa and the creative conference Design Indaba‚ attributes Cape Town’s flourishing design scene to one thing: confidence. "Cape Town has a design sector that is coming of age and has the confidence to be able to mine its own stories‚ its own heritage‚ its own unique point of view‚ and present that to the world‚" he says.

Naidoo has long championed emerging designers in Cape Town‚ many of whom have shot to international acclaim after debuting at Design Indaba. But one of his proudest moments? A recent collaboration with Craig Dykers‚ cofounder of Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta‚ and Thomas Chapman‚ founder of Johannesburg urban design firm Local Studio‚ to create the Arch for Arch monument—a tribute to Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Ravi Naidoo’s Perfect Day in Cape Town

For the best coffee‚ Naidoo narrows it down to two places—the industrial Loading Bay and the red-bricked Origin Coffee Roasting, which are both in the De Waterkant neighborhood.

Loading Bay

Food-wise he admits to being an acolyte of the city’s current wave of wellness-focused restaurants‚ including Raw and Roxy and Nourish’d Café & Juicery

Raw and Roxy

Nourish'd Café & Juicery

To satisfy your whim for well-designed objects, his tip is to head to Cape Town’s several high streets, including Bree Street, Kloof Street, and Albert Road

Bree Street

Kloof Street

Albert Road

When it comes to cultural institutions‚ Naidoo’s picks are the Heatherwick Studio–designed Zeitz MOCAA and the South African National Art Gallery. "We live in a country where there is such a gulf between the rich and the poor—the tragedy of this is that a lot of the art is privatized and sits in private hands‚" he says. "I really think it’s important that the public galleries are supported."


South African National Art Gallery


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