is not a conventional design competition. It is about design in its broadest sense, and about designing better cities for people. Discover all there is to know about , our story, goals, past capital cities and more.

Discover the people and stories behind Cape Town 2014.

The CTD Team

Jacques Oosthuizen

Jacques - the finance assistant, also known as the Jacques of all trades, is one of the many hands part of the World design capital. With a finger in every pie, he conquers the vision of Live Design. Transform Life.

Lisa da Costa Rose

Programme Administrator for Cape Town, with experience in local and international events including EarthHour, TEDxCapeTown, Cape Town Tourism, Design Indaba Expo, The Annual Loerie Awards and the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Nicky Swartz

Nicky's 20+ years' experience in marketing and advertising (UK and SA) saw her function as a strategic marketer for blue-chip organizations across many industry sectors (automotive, retail, financial services, and public sector) providing extensive experience in dealing with complexity and scale. A 7-year stint as Managing Director of TBWA Cape Town also provides a sound foundation for operational needs.

Sibusiso Tshabalala

Sibusiso works as Programme Co-ordinator at Cape Town Design NPC. He is passionate about the role that citizens can play in building better communities. Sibusiso studied B.Com Law at the University of the Free State.

Sumarie Schreiner

Sumarie Schreiner is a marketing and communications specialist with more than 18 years' experience in the industry and a track record for delivering highly effective branding solutions. After several years spent working in the UK, Sumarie returned to South Africa in 2000 and has since led a number of highly successful major brand launches, including kulula.com, RMB Private Bank & RCS Retail Finance.

Zelda Coetzee

Zelda is our very own event and exhibition specialist. She was born and bred in Cape Town but considers a 3-month working experience in Chengdu (China) last year as a personal aha moment. Besides travelling and running after two toddlers she enjoys spending time at Cape Town’s many parks, food markets and festivals. She lives by the motto "be the change you want to see".

Alayne Reesberg

Alayne was born in Ladismith (Western Cape) and spent her formative years in Upington. She was educated at UCT and then followed a career in diplomacy. In 1997, Alayne graduated with a Master’s degree in Communication Studies and spent some years in management consulting. She joined Microsoft Corporation at its Seattle headquarters in 2001, where she worked for 6 years in Bill Gates’s enterprise division. Her work for Gates was intensive relationship management between the company and its 100 top enterprise accounts, connecting with CEOs, CIOs, CTOs and CFOs of the client companies.

From 2007, until she took up the position as CEO of Cape Town Design, she has had her own consulting company - working with many of South Africa’s blue chip corporations. She rates Cape Town, New York, Washington DC, London, Dublin, Shanghai and Paris among her personal most “liveable” cities.

Hlumela Matika

Assistant to Alayne Reesberg, Hlumela comes from a film and theatre background where she worked as Production Co-ordinator and Stage Manager for various companies in Cape Town. When the opportunity to be part of WDC 2014 presented itself, it was a natural step in her love for all things artistic.

Jenni Kruger

Programme Manager, Jenni Kruger is a social anthropologist with an MA in Communication for Development. She has over 10 years’ varied experience in putting users at the centre of planning through action research, facilitation, strategic planning and evaluation. Through this exposure to multiple fields, she has developed a knack for understanding sustainable impact across sectors. She’s a people-weaver, a trans-disciplinary translator and she loves a big challenge.

Melene Rossouw

Melene was born and bred in beautiful Cape Town. She holds a post graduate degree in Human Rights Law from the University of the Western Cape. Over the past 8 years in her career, she has gained extensive experience in an array of fields including legal and political research, drafting of legal instruments, communication, marketing; project management, managing local and international stakeholders, media liaison, providing strategic leadership and implementing strategies.

Melene has worked on a number of high-level platforms including the Constitutional Court, Western Cape High Court, The Office of the Minister of Tourism and the Office of the President of the Republic of South Africa. With her feet firmly on the ground, Melene is a confident yet humble individual with compassion and passion for people and life.

Priscilla Urquhart

Our PR and Media Manager for WDC 2014, Priscilla, has almost 20 years experience as a media specialist. She has worked as a journalist, editor, communications manager and independent PR consultant, before joining the CTD team in March 2013. As corporate and Brand PR manager at Brandhouse Beverages (Pty) Ltd, she project-managed the launch of the Sedibeng Brewery in 2010 and in 2011 conceptualized and launched the Responsible Drinking Media Awards.

Sarena van Schalkwyk

With a hands-on approach, Sarena van Schalkwyk keeps the events moving. Her sense of delicate beauty, balanced with her need for precision, organisation and perfection, makes her the perfect event logistics coordinator.

Sonja Hibbers

Sonja Hibbers joined in January 2013 and assisted with the setup of the office. Her career started as financial planner for a semi-state company, followed by a long corporate career in office management for the Information Technology and fruit export industries. She now follows her passion for people, managing sponsor and partner relationships, being responsible for office operations and board secretarial matters.

Subhas Shah

Subhas started as a part of the Programme Team before moving to the Communications team as Content Coordinator and then, finally, becoming a Marketing Assistant at Cape Town Design ( NPC ). With a technical and a graphic background, his passion lies in making sure that all the amazing projects, work, collaborations and effort being carried out behind the scenes are creatively communicated through all mediums of digital and print.

Thilda Nel

Prior to joining as Chief Financial Officer, Thilda was Finance Director at FoxP2 and Montrose Foundation. She has more than 15 years of finance and business experience, having spent the majority of that time in various senior roles, working for various listed multi-national companies.

The Board

Prof Francis Petersen

Professor Francis Petersen is the chairperson of Cape Town Design NPC. He is a registered professional engineer who graduated from the University of Stellenbosch and holds B. Ing (Chem), M. Ing (Metal) and Ph.D (Ing) degrees. A recipient of the Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Trust and the Cape Technikon (now the Cape Peninsula University of Technology) Researcher of the Year Awards, he is a regular reviewer and member of a range of editorial boards.

Christopher Whelan

Chris is a born-and-bred Capetonian and a qualified futurist. He has worked in the areas of strategy development and business performance improvement for several Cape based corporates, including Woolworths, British American Tobacco and Shell SA, as well as local government (City of Cape Town) and national government (Marine and Coastal Management).

Anton Groenewald

Anton has extensive experience in local and provincial government, having worked as the chief director of policy and strategy in the department of the premier of the Western Cape, as well as in the private sector. He has served as CEO of the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour – the world’s largest timed cycling event – and the Cape Times FNB Big Walk, Africa’s largest organised athletic walking event.

Dr Laurine Platzky

Dr Platzky graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Masters Degree in city and regional planning before going on to become the national coordinator for the Surplus People Project, which exposed the forced removal of more than 3.5-million people between 1960 and 1983.

Bruce Snaddon

Bruce teaches Communication Design at graduate and under-graduate levels in the department of Applied Design, within the Faculty of Informatics and Design at CPUT. It is within this environment that he sees his mission to build design curricula that are more awake and relevant to world change.

Dr Chris Nhlapo

Dr Nhlapo is a qualified Physical Science teacher who holds a BSc degree from the University of the North (UNIN), majoring in Chemistry and Mathematics, and Honours and Masters degrees in Chemistry.

Erika Elk

Erica was appointed in November 2001 to establish the Cape Craft & Design Institute (CCDI), following a provincial government research study into the needs of the sector. A former president of the national student organisation, NUSAS, and a visual artist by training, she has, in her professional career, worked as a writer, designer and strategic project manager across a range of platforms in the arts, culture and development.

Gillian Benjamin

Gillian is a multi-disciplinary designer and entrepreneur working in Cape Town. She runs Make Content, a design studio specialising in visual communication for the NGO sector. The studio's work is driven by a desire to use design to communicate and advocate around social issues affecting South African society.

Martin Smuts

Martin holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management Practice, awarded with distinction, from the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business (GSB). He is the Mayoral Committee Member and Portfolio Chairman for Planning at the Stellenbosch Municipality, elected Ward Councillor for Stellenbosch Town Hall and member of the Stellenbosch Municipality’s Disciplinary Committee.

Masana Chikeka

Masana qualified in Fashion Design with a Degree from Tshwane University of Technology before completing a Masters in Management: Public and Development Management from Wits University. She also holds a Certificate in Strategic Brand Management from the AAA School of Advertising in Johannesburg.

Noëleen Frances Murray

Noëleen is a Senior Lecturer with a joint appointment between the Centre for Humanities Research and the Department of Geography at the University of Western Cape. She teaches courses in Urban Geography and the Contemporary South African City, is the Postgraduate Coordinator of the Masters and PhD Programmes and lead researcher for the Arts Faculty research project Cities in Transition.

Porky Hefer

Porky graduated as a graphic designer and now focuses on conceptual precepts which manifest in three dimensional forms, in a variety of executions from public sculpture to product and furniture design. Fascinated by the reactions and energy a piece can generate in a space, he embraces Africa and the skills and processes that are readily available indigenously, rather than trying to emulate foreign processes. Porky strives to produce work that elicits a smile and sticks in your head. In 2010 he was named Elle Decoration South African Designer of the Year.

Talia Sanhewe

Talia is an award-winning reporter, television producer and managing director of Talia Productions (PTY) Ltd, an innovative television production and digital publishing company. Passionate about showcasing the advancements emerging on the African continent, Talia serves as Executive Producer of Cape Town InVogue, a new reality TV series aimed at uncovering the region’s next fashion design talent. Talia Productions is home to The Annual Magazine, the company’s flagship digital publication aimed at the global design, architecture and lifestyle audience.



One of the primary developers and exporters of Southern African design to the global marketplace. Since founding her company, Source, 10 years ago, it has supplied Southern African design products to the most important names in design retail around the world.

Kunlé Adeyemi

A world-renowned architect, urbanist and designer. He is currently best known for bringing life to ‘Makoko Floating School’, an innovative, adaptive floating ‘building’ on the southern fringe of Lagos lagoon, Nigeria.

Srini Srinivasan

Srini Srinivasan is the CEO of LUMIUM, a creative product design company based in Palo Alto. LUMIUM is focused on new product development for medical devices, consumer electronics, mobile accessories and consumer goods.

Sean Carney

Chief Design Officer for Philips and Chief Design Officer for Philips Consumer Lifestyle. As the head of the design competence across the company, he is leading global teams delivering insight-driven, meaningful innovation, which bring value to people and business. Sean joined Philips in March 2011. He has more than 25 years of experience as an international creative thought leader in design and management, focused on brand and user insight. He has a proven track record in building, leading and inspiring multi-disciplinary, award winning design teams across the U.S., Europe and Asia. Sean is a regular speaker at international design, business and strategic-design conferences.

Mugendi K. M’Rithaa

Prof Mugendi K. M’Rithaa is an industrial designer, educator and researcher at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He holds postgraduate qualifications in Industrial Design, Higher Education, and Universal Design. He is passionate about various expressions of socially (responsive and) responsible design, including Participatory Design; Universal Design; and Design for Sustainability. Mugendi has a special interest in the pivotal role of design in advancing the developmental agenda on the African continent. He is associated with a number of international networks focusing on design within industrially developing/majority world contexts, and is currently serving a second term on the executive board of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid).

The Curators


Want to stay up to date?

Subscribe to our newsletter >

I want to get involved

Contact us >

Want to work for WDC?

Contact us >