Design Indaba 2014

Design Indaba0167

Follow our live blog for the latest updates from selected sessions of this year’s Design Indaba.

6:26:54 pm - Sun 2 Mar

Mathapelo Ngako-Mtati is community director of Monkeybiz bead project. All the profits from the sale of their artworks are reinvested back into community services including soup kitchens, food parcels and a burial fund for beaders and their families.


6:23:40 pm - Sun 2 Mar

This is Mikhail. Together with two other students at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, and two lecturers, he’s created this prototype electric scooter. It’s rechargeable (obviously), will carry you for 20km, and has enough oomph in its motor to take you up Kloof Nek.


6:18:19 pm - Sun 2 Mar

This is the notewall at the Cape Craft and Design Institute stand at the Design Indaba. They asked: how can we help you? What support do you need to improve your creative business?


6:04:08 pm - Sun 2 Mar

Street Sleeper bags are made from upcycled PVC advertising boards. The bags provide protection against the elements at night, and double up as backpacks during the day. Designer Oliver Brain’s ultimate goal is to raise awareness around homelessness and the economic disenfranchisement that goes with it. The production process of these bags provides employment for homeless people and local businesses, and the Haven Night Shelter in Woodstock, Cape Town, is currently the main distributor of Street Sleeper bags.


5:31:19 pm - Sun 2 Mar

Design Indaba 2014 Expo: Simone Biggs created the Edu Chair, a product which combines a chair design with educational elements, numbers, letters and games. She came up with the idea while volunteering at a container library project in Grabouw.


5:27:16 pm - Sun 2 Mar

John Newdigate is a ceramicist based in Swellendam. He grew up in Cape Town, next to the sea, and worked on fishing boats before he took up ceramics some 25 years ago. Many of his designs reflect his roots, with fish, birds and even plankton featuring on his ceramic bowls. This is his first year as a solo exhibitor at the Design Indaba.


5:07:46 pm - Sun 2 Mar

Design Indaba 2014 Expo: And the winner is … Steam 1886! This short film, directed by Adrian Lazarus and Nicky Felbert, has just been voted the Most Beautiful Object In South Africa. It’s a short fantasy fashion film showcasing the fashion, hats, gadgets and lifestyle of a possible 19th century steam culture. The film was shot inside one of Cape Town’s creative hotspots, Truth Coffee. The film won an award for ‘Best Art Direction’ at the International Fashion Film awards in LA last year.


4:56:23 pm - Sun 2 Mar

Design Indaba 2014 Expo: Makoko is an aquatic community of 100,000 people in Lagos, Nigeria. To address tidal changes and varying water levels, NLÉ designed a safe, floating structure that also uses renewable energy, recycles organic waste and harvests rainwater. Habitation for a changing world.image

5:46:29 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Audience Sings. Finally he asks, “What worked today” before you go to bed, think of three things that worked today. Video, ‘laughing yoga for success’. Thank you Design Indaba! We are happier!

5:42:54 pm - Fri 28 Feb

What makes us happy: Many friends, good friends, sense of accomplishment, non-repetitive activities, religion, singing in groups >>>> MAKES THE AUDIENCE STAND UP>>>> THEY ALL START SINGING TOGETHER, KARAOKE STYLE, ALL THE WORDS THAT COME UP ON THE SCREEN. “I WANT YOU TO BELT IT!” HE SHOUTS.

5:40:15 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Now is better (video)

5:37:35 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Steven Pinker, Remarkable decline in violence of the last 2000 years.

5:36:29 pm - Fri 28 Feb

His foolproof guide to happiness. Get into a car/ bike/ bicycle, plug into your music (10 tracks that don’t remind you of anything) and go, without destination. The beauty of uselessness.

5:34:41 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Was there something during Indaba? Make a deadline and stick to it, right now.

5:33:24 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Passionate love is much stronger than compassionate love- for six months. But for longer than that it becomes impossible to uphold. The couples that he interviewed that had been together for fourty years said that they were in compassionate love, with a bit of passion thrown in.

5:31:10 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Humility. “I don’t give a shit about it.” References his banana wall, a two metre wall of banana’s that sits in the gallery, starting fresh & slowly rotting.

5:29:34 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Empathy. Feel every feel.

5:28:51 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Thankfulness. “I’m just not a very thankful person” Often forgets to thank the organizers who invite him to talk at these conferences. Invites Ravi Naidoo up to stage and hugs him. Audience cheers.

5:27:26 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Smile detection software. Sculpture lights up when you activate it with your smile.

5:26:10 pm - Fri 28 Feb

I told my dad he should embrace his failures. He cried, and then he hugged me.

5:25:14 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Emotions: Sadness, Joy, Disgust, Surprise, Fear = only one ‘happy’ explains our Negativity Bias. If I am in danger, my body can sense it long before my eyes can send it back. Developed from our ancestors. “I would have a much fuller life if i overcame my fear more often”

5:22:32 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Even though we think we make these decisions ourselves, there are {statistically} more Dennis’ who become dentists and more Paula’s who marry Paul

5:20:57 pm - Fri 28 Feb

The rider & the elephant: the rider thinks it can tell the elephant what to do and where to go.

5:20:11 pm - Fri 28 Feb

The Happiness Hypothesis. Author is a scientist, so back up the theory with proof. “It’s about the big level of Happiness” His three most efficient strategies. Meditation. Cognitive Therapy. Drugs.

5:18:18 pm - Fri 28 Feb

The Happy Show is now in its fifth running. Now open at MOCA, L.A

5:16:09 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Men are as happy as women. Regardless of climate, income, white people are as happy as black people, older people are as happy as young people, religious people are happier than non-religious people, married people are happier than single people.

5:13:02 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Shows some of his happiness research, apparently South Africa is supposed to be ‘profoundly unhappy’. It is helpful to talk about happiness in terms of length. Factors affecting happiness: 1 Activities: non-repetitive behaviour. 2. Life Conditions. £. Genetics.

5:10:00 pm - Fri 28 Feb

“The Happy Show” Beginning his transition from the page, to the screen, preparing for his first film. Shows some of the moments from this infamous work, proclaiming proudly, “if you don’t ask, you won’t get”

5:06:16 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Wants to talk to us today about the possibility of talking about happiness in a certain way. White screen. Talks about the heat on the edges of the screen, like Table mountain. “All we could hope for from life is the transformation of misery into utter happiness.” Freud, his fellow austrian.

5:03:59 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Let the keynote begin! Sagmeister says “HELLO! My name is Stefan Sagmeister and I just had a fantastic pee.”

5:02:55 pm - Fri 28 Feb

He posts a quote: “A good designer is capable of objective sketching” and says ”We have to step back to step back and harmonised with our environment”

What an absolutely selfless designer. Always putting the needs of other before his own in designing FOR people and not FOR himself.

5:01:04 pm - Fri 28 Feb

He showcases a number of his designs for a company called Moji. One of which is a one slice toaster. A ONE SLICE TOASTER. The most intuitive thing if ever there was one.

4:59:52 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Chuckles about his running over time, skipping through a huge number of his designs. The extent of this man’s work is mindblowing. Lighting, furniture, phones, product packaging, lamps, the cd player to be mounted on the wall. And all of them, wonderfully, intuitively designed.

4:57:59 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Jokes about the name of his marble tables. When he made smaller ones he called them “Poodle” and a friend asked what will you call the bigger ones when you make them. They ended up being called “King Poodles”.

4:56:19 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Fukusawa talks about his inspiration for his designs and how people say that they have seen it somewhere before, but not:
“I always focus on your mind, not just the things I want to make. I find it more interesting to read your mind and your body and then make outlines to make something to fit in the environment. My product’s already in your mind you just haven’t seen it”

4:52:36 pm - Fri 28 Feb

“In order to make an outline in the air, we have to think about the life we already share. Shape does not have to be complex. It should be simple. You can understand the quality of simplicity. Objects should not be out standing. That’s why I keep designs simple”

4:50:58 pm - Fri 28 Feb

He designed a bookshelf with triangular shapes in the shelves to keep books from sliding off, as they do on standard bookshelves.

4:49:58 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Fukusawa’s chairs are shaped to mould to the human body — again the more intuitive way of designing — with a zipper at the back so the covers can be easily removed and changed.

4:46:26 pm - Fri 28 Feb

“When you understand how people do things you can predict the future. All human bodies behave in the same way if the environment is the same”

4:45:35 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Shows the picture of banana flavoured milk boxes that he designed, with the bright yellow and slight green colouring and stem of the banana, for a more intuitive design. Not all the fruit flavours he tried after that were as successful; the kiwi box looked brown and hairy and the banana one looked the best and most like the natural fruit.

4:42:14 pm - Fri 28 Feb

“You have to observe how people use things naturally, intuitively, around them”

4:41:28 pm - Fri 28 Feb

“Active memory is the memory is the memory you normally use to memorise without thinking”

Shows a picture of a milk carton balanced on a fence where the carton rests exactly on the square of the beam of a fence. You don’t think consciously, but the fitting of the carton is intuitive using active memory.

A man uses the doors of a train as a mirror because of its reflective surface as a mirror. It’s not a mirror but it’s the an intuitive use of an object for an alternative use.

4:37:27 pm - Fri 28 Feb

“Your body is more honest than your mind”

He uses examples of people using a bottle cap as an ashtray or a fence to hang coats or a piece of paper to jam an alarm bell to keep it from ringing, a door held open by a stool to keep the door of a bar open but not to let customers in yet.

These are examples of people using ideas for immediate solutions to problems without thinking too much about it. This relates back to Fukusawas “Without Thought” concept.

4:34:13 pm - Fri 28 Feb

“Affordance is equal to interaction”

“Affordance is the random values each environments and situations presents to us” — James J Gibson

He explains by using the example of an umbrella stand. “We don’t need an umbrella stand if we have a groove in the floor (into which the umbrella can stand upside down without the assistance of a stand)”

4:31:40 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Designers need to understand what the need is and create for that need in the right way otherwise their “puzzle piece” will not fit in the “hole in the puzzle”, and not harmonise with the environment.

4:30:03 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Fukusawa talks about the unseen outline of things, how humans relate to the product and the product to the environment. Products aren’t just seen as elements by themselves, but we must look at how they interact with their environment. He uses a single puzzle piece as an example of looking at a single element, but a completed puzzle as the environment around that element. Knowing what to design is finding holes in the entire puzzle. If a design is created without looking at the environment, it could end up ill-fitting to the spaces we need them to fit in.

4:26:16 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Our world is made of mediums and matters (in the scientific sense).

The progression of design moves in the way it disappears into different spaces. The television for example has gone from a big box on a table to a television up against the wall. The same with telephones and kitchen products. Other products such as chairs tables and umbrellas still exist in their traditional form.

4:21:44 pm - Fri 28 Feb

“A word ‘world’ could represent a place where we belong rather than an aggregation of different nations”

4:17:29 pm - Fri 28 Feb

“So much has changed since when I spoke 11 years ago, but I’m still an industrial designer, but the design world has merged together to be integrated”

4:16:04 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Naoto Fukusawa last spoke at Design Indaba eleven years ago and has been asked to return ever since. He’s finally back!

4:11:41 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Tea break over and it’s the last stretch of Design Indaba Conference.

Next on the program is Japanese industrial designer Naoto Fukusawa, one of the world’s most influential designers, well known for his “Without Thought” concept, where design thinking is closely linked to and informed by the subconscious.

3:41:58 pm - Fri 28 Feb

University of Free state uses art to expand peoples idea’s. Willem Boshoffs ‘thinking stone’ “It is to me, almost, an ultimate portrait”

3:40:06 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Bridget and Numsa. They go one day to visit Bridgets sister. Sister asks bridget why she didn’t have sex with men. She duly explained. Goes to bed that night and feels her panties being pulled down. Felt one of the men who was asking her about her sexuality about to rape her, ‘correctively’. She subsequently beats him with a metal rod. Numsa gets stabbed in fight. Later on they go to a party in PTA. Get called to police station. Find that Bridget’s sister had reported her to the police. Bridget was sent to jail for ten years. Learnt law in jail. Learnt that she could appeal her sentence. Submitted it to the supreme court. Judges free her. She spent three years in prison for a crime she didn’t commit. “There is a tremendous amount of homophobia in the legal system, particularly in the townships. It is something we need to address in this country. “

3:33:56 pm - Fri 28 Feb

First portrait of the series is of a gun-maker. The sitter decides one day to use one of his own guns, having never fired one before. He hid in a plantation and waited for farmers to hit a bump in the road, hold them up when they needed his help. He was caught.

3:31:19 pm - Fri 28 Feb

“I wanted to meet people who had been in trouble with the law.” Made contact with a few, through organizations who assisted those previously incarcerated. Goes back to the scene of the crime with them. Recognizing the hurt it would pose his sitters, he offered to pay them for his curiosity.

3:28:26 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Zanele Muholi’s portrait on a bed with her partner. Outrageously beautiful.

3:27:20 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Antjie Krog requests a cover photo for her book of poetry. Shoots an old woman in the nude. Tension between the old woman, and her young breasts. Interestingly, the english version of the book sold more than the Afrikaans version.

3:25:14 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Looking for ‘experienced bodies’ to shoot nude. First sitter wasn’t working, she suggested a hat. Walks behind her, naked, to go upstairs and find a hat. “A photographers life is really a very interesting one.”

3:22:59 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Photo of Madiba. Taken not long before he became president. Went to his home at 5 in the morning whilst he was doing his morning exercises. Shoots him on a straight back kitchen chair. After Madiba’s press secretary refused, enraged at the thought of him in so simple a chair, Goldblatt retorts, “I want to shoot the president, not the furniture.”

3:18:52 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Albie Sachs: He was severely injured by a letter bomb sent by the security police. Shows next photo of Craig Williamson, the mad who bombed him, holding a cat on his lap. Secret Security spy. Looks a lot like Austin Powers’ ‘Doctor Evil’.

3:16:19 pm - Fri 28 Feb

- Detainees Parents Support Community: Parents weren’t allowed to share details of their childrens abuse. Became very active thorn in the side of the government. There were very few who were prepared to sit for a photo. One sitter did though. He had been in an incident of stone throwing. Police hauled him out of bed, in the middle of the night. Explains the brutal abuse of this boy for six days in detention. Met him in Kotze house. “I felt in him a kind of compassion, there was no hate.”

3:15:31 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Many people were being tortured by the security police. A lot of photographers would spend their time taking ‘evidence’. Became useful to lawyers, defending the victims.

3:10:45 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Boksburg. Ballet dancer on the stoep. Apothiosis of a young white woman trapped in middle class south africa.

3:09:31 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Hillbrow series. 1975. Obsession with peoples bodies that developed from taking peoples pictures. “You have beautiful hands, may i photograph them? I didn’t disclose which other parts I wanted to photograph.” She wanted to charge him 20c (a sex worker) he refused, eventually she gave in. Next up: ‘Freestate Balls!’

3:06:34 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Soccer Cup final, Soweto: Pivots around the mass of testosterone, photo comes to symbolise the palpable violence in Soweto at the time.

3:04:50 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Essay on Soweto for Optima Mag, at a time when it was unknown both locally and abroad. Suggested Peter Magubane, who was in solitary confinement, so he did it. “Soweto was not a slum, it was a vast series of government houses. Specifically designed to avoid them setting down roots.”

3:02:17 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Western Deep Levels, arrived and found that the compound manager had instructed every tribal group to present themselves to him in tribal attire. He didn’t want to make ethnographic portraits, but did it for them. The sitters.

2:59:41 pm - Fri 28 Feb

“Ingewikkelde” meaning in photograph

2:58:29 pm - Fri 28 Feb

“I’m a prodder, i’m not really very creative.”

2:57:26 pm - Fri 28 Feb

A man who needs no introduction! David Goldblatt. A legend comes to talk with us.

2:54:17 pm - Fri 28 Feb

talks about his trade off, one /over/ the other: mind/matter, talk/lunch, lipstick/done, very/priced, credit/limit, so/you, cross/line, pull/sir, drug/dose, hand/heart, judgement/ruled, conviction/turned, voice/artist, all/effect, total/load, i’m/worked, fired/nothing, something/seen, sometimes/looked, it’s/here, take/world, gross/statement, invoice/due, brief/view, mull/this, don’t/think, drunk/fill, head/bowl, drugs/counter, fuss/nothing, left/dinner, talk/phone, come/here, long/due, black/coat, fire/head, start/again, sunset/water, so/kill, almost/, win/her, roof/head, baby/due, cry/milk, jump/moon, eggs/easy, pull/jumper, run/dog, roll/boy, victory/death, very/bearing, bridge/water, game/baby, not/you, chat/coffee, chosen/another, all/itch, not/yet, jump/fence, little/active, all/again, i’m/it, so/it

2:46:51 pm - Fri 28 Feb

“I’m a boy, i’m a broom, i’m a man”

2:46:07 pm - Fri 28 Feb

“I really love brooms, could’ve talked an hour about brooms. But i wont.”

2:43:13 pm - Fri 28 Feb

“Keynote quit unexpectedly, Jesus!” :-0

2:42:28 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Marcel duchamp noticed when looking at a comb that its the gaps that do all the work. He subsequently shows his fascination with holes in his own sculptures. Enormous spades.

2:40:18 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Expressing NZ culture, jokes about sheep helping through those difficult teenage years.

2:39:13 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Rebranding the NZ Opera, Using the O, using the japanese flag, verdi, comedy and tragedy masks

2:33:24 pm - Fri 28 Feb

ist list: rules for creativity to work within. Lists of ‘-ists’

2:30:51 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Uses ART mnemonic to explain Duchamp. “Only difference between art and architecture is the plumbing”

2:27:54 pm - Fri 28 Feb


2:26:59 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Creating structures and systems for creativity to work within. SATOR/ Rotor square, Diastics, Masostics,

2:23:47 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Speaks about his interest generating from an interest in fine art, most prominently sculpture.

1:42:56 pm - Fri 28 Feb

Back from lunch and ready for more design goodness.

Up next, Dean Poole, the co-founder and creative director of Alt Group, a multidisciplinary design studio based in New Zealand.

11:48:16 am - Fri 28 Feb

Their multidisciplinary approach using a range of platforms and materials makes it difficult, Roberto says, “To explain what we do”

11:45:23 am - Fri 28 Feb

A publication that consists entirely of quotes in a effort to manipulate structures in an abstract way. They put together quotes that provide commentary on each other, one of which is “Capitalism is boring” contrasted with McDonald’s “I’m loving it”.

11:42:44 am - Fri 28 Feb

Roberto introduces his and Rosario’s project Found Objects: Dialogue

11:40:22 am - Fri 28 Feb

Roberto on public installations and how people engage with them: “They go beyond their form and become something political”

11:36:41 am - Fri 28 Feb

Rosario and Roberto created an installation in Mexico last September. For the first time it was a fully public installation of a whimsical “bench” made of cardboard, packing tape and bubble wrap, covered in orange stickers

11:33:24 am - Fri 28 Feb

Roberto created long tables using cardboard tables that were still structurally sound. They later added fiberglass as the table top with the leg structure still cardboard.

11:31:37 am - Fri 28 Feb

Rosario and Roberto on their installations “How can you take it to a more primitive level, where tools don’t dictate what you design?”

11:21:24 am - Fri 28 Feb

And we’re back from the break. The next speakers El Ultimo Grito ask if design should be left to designers

10:49:26 am - Fri 28 Feb

Wrapping up for a 15-minute tea break: the perception of Africa is quite twisted. Design Indaba is an amazing platform that showcases the wonderful work happening here. 89Plus thanks #DesignIndaba2014 for the opportunity and for having provided the platform for the past 20 years.

10:42:41 am - Fri 28 Feb

Brand, who currently works for Athi Patha-Ruga, studied history at UCT

“Whose perspective is history told from?”


10:40:26 am - Fri 28 Feb

Jody Brand calls herself a visual artist rather than a photographer. She views her blog as her gallery space “I’m not a party photographer and I’m not a blogger.” All her subjects featured in her blog are active participants and can choose how they want to be represented. Her blog Chomma



10:35:01 am - Fri 28 Feb

Fine artist Haroon Gunn-Salie taking us through a project he undertook in an attempt to engage with social injustice issues, specifically related to forced removals during apartheid. He and a team went around Cape Town systematically covering up ‘Zonnebloem” signs and replacing them with “District Six”.

He thought he may be arrested. He has not yet had an official response from the City of Cape Town.

Watch the video here

10:11:10 am - Fri 28 Feb

Sekhukhuni grapples and engages with Post Apartheid urban experiences, the Internet, the idea of national consciousness, cultural expressions of community and more in his art. But essentially, he says his work, expands on his idea of what it means to be human; the concept of life; and perhaps try to re-imagine it beyond some of the wishy-washy social conscripts.

Follow Bogosi Sekhukhuni on Twitter @outgettingribs

10:01:39 am - Fri 28 Feb

Bogosi Sekhukhuni tells us: class differences were evident in Kensington, a middle-class neighbourhood where he grew up – wedged between areas known for drug dealers, prostitutes and gangsters. He’s explaining his frame of reference as a performance artist.


9:57:17 am - Fri 28 Feb

Simon Castets is the director and curator of the Swiss Institut, NY and co-founder of 89Plus. He’s introducing next speaker Bogosi Sekhukhuni, a Johannesburg-based writer and performance artist.

9:52:50 am - Fri 28 Feb

Check out for more info on the project. Watch this interview with curator Obrist


9:49:03 am - Fri 28 Feb

89Plus was created by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Simon Castets – a project to digitally map a new generation of a group of artists.

The panel has just joined us on stage.

9:44:31 am - Fri 28 Feb

Diabaté announces their firm is creating Abidjan’s first school of architecture.

“Let us design the future of urban Africa”

Audience applause

9:41:20 am - Fri 28 Feb

Issa Diabaté’s firm is tackling issues of urban planning by experimenting with design; taking into consideration the climate by using transparency and openness – in essence trangressing classical notions of internal space by making terraces and gardens the main living space.


9:30:28 am - Fri 28 Feb

Issa Diabaté talking about architecture in West Africa.

Abidjan’s population has grown from 1.2m to 6.5m from 1979 to 2014 but “we are still living in 1970s urban planning”.

9:25:30 am - Fri 28 Feb

Chaka Chaka says, she has dedicated her life to fight malaria in Africa – she’s part of an initiative, Goodbye Malaria enabling Africans to raise funds and advocate against malaria, while creating employment across the continent through the manufacture of fabulous Shweshwe pyjamas.

9:18:27 am - Fri 28 Feb

Yvonne Chaka Chaka telling the audience that when her friend, Phumzile died a few years ago, she didn’t know you could die from malaria. “And I’m married to a doctor.”

9:15:54 am - Fri 28 Feb

First speaker is Ivory Coast-based architect Issa Diabaté, managing director of Koffi & Diabaté Architects and co-founder of the Koffi & Diabaté Group. But first … Yvonne Chaka Chaka is in the house.

Audience cheers, pleased to see her.

9:04:53 am - Fri 28 Feb

Morning everyone. Welcome to Day 3 of Design Indaba 2014.

6:31:22 pm - Thu 27 Feb

Signing out for today. Incredible speakers

Come back tomorrow for more

4:36:43 pm - Thu 27 Feb

Varied range of artists. Athi is street taught, Zanele went to Market Photo and Nandipha graduated from Michaelis. Common theme of race, identity, sexuality, gender and of course, art.

3:57:01 pm - Thu 27 Feb

A list of awards to introduce Zanele Muholi. Her mentor who speaks tomorrow is David Goldblatt. A photographer, she is a visual activist and particularly relevant considering all the laws being passed against homosexual

3:53:28 pm - Thu 27 Feb

Her bullfighting series is incredible


3:39:04 pm - Thu 27 Feb

Nandipha Mntambo uses cowhide instead of traditional sculptural materials like wood and steel.

3:35:26 pm - Thu 27 Feb

‘I had to purge,’ says Athi

3:31:09 pm - Thu 27 Feb

Athi blames himself, blames men for the catatonic state Africa is in. Men had to go, in order to create a utopia for Azania.

3:28:53 pm - Thu 27 Feb

My choreography is my costume,says Athi. It influences how we move, sit and engage

3:23:18 pm - Thu 27 Feb

Athi up first. His latest project FWWOA

3:21:18 pm - Thu 27 Feb

Athi Patra-Ruga, Zanele Muholi and Nandipha Mntambo chat to Serpentine gallery’s Hans Ulrich Obrist

3:18:53 pm - Thu 27 Feb

Scholten says, ‘as designers, we need to pay attention to consumer choices’

3:00:09 pm - Thu 27 Feb

another view of the mini


2:56:40 pm - Thu 27 Feb

The designers Scholten and Baijimgs who conceptualised the colour for one mini project downstairs at the CTICC share their design process. Here is the a look at the finished product. Stripped down to its bare design, they have taken apart the car so that its fans will be able to customise it, right down to a nomadic bag which you can magnetically attach to the car when you’re travelling and then take it with you when you need it.


2:49:31 pm - Thu 27 Feb


2:48:03 pm - Thu 27 Feb


2:46:41 pm - Thu 27 Feb


2:39:32 pm - Thu 27 Feb

Lunch break over – delegates and speakers need to refuel and visit the expo, obviously. Here are some pics from walking around for 10 minutes. So much to return for and to take a proper look at. Photos to follow

12:36:08 pm - Thu 27 Feb

Great payoff line for car Space Fox, applicable to life and design possibilities and dream: ‘Whatever you imagine, fits’

12:31:06 pm - Thu 27 Feb

‘Never work under someone who is not better than you,’ advises Serpa

12:23:49 pm - Thu 27 Feb

Dave Trott as quoted by Serpa: ‘Complicated seems clever to stupid people’.

12:22:16 pm - Thu 27 Feb

‘Be unpredictable,’ says Marcello Serpa

12:13:33 pm - Thu 27 Feb

One of the most celebrated creatives in the world who is responsible for Havaianas is here – Marcello Serpa.

12:12:14 pm - Thu 27 Feb

After the financial crisis, they weren’t finding work so they started a company called Agent focusing on product design. They didn’t have any clients so they had a lot of freedom and created the first airless soccer ball with a radio-frequency chip so that referees wouldn’t have to run around after it trying to determine fouls. And you could watch live footage from images taken from within. It was never produced but won a lot of awards. There is also an incredible design for luggage with a pull-out section to transport kids around in, or that you could hop on so the suitcase becomes a sort of scooter. Or with an ergonomic design so you can sit and wait on it. The possibilities are endless. Rijkind implores us to ‘have an opinion, explore, there is no pattern’. This is a man who was in a successful band and opened his talk here at Design Indaba by playing drums. Incredible ideas

11:56:11 am - Thu 27 Feb

Rojkind asks ‘What is more stimulating – Times Square in New York or a park?’ He is working on a public cinema – Cineteca Nacional – with live concert spaces, parks within the building, an outdoor cinema. Instead of entering through a lobby, you would walk in through a park. The experience of being outside while we’re you walk inside. On the project, they have collaborated with different field experts, not because they don’t know what they’re doing but because, ‘We enjoy being “contaminated” with other people’s ideas’.

11:48:53 am - Thu 27 Feb

‘The way I hire people is not by portfolio but because they are thinkers,’ says Michel Rojkind

11:33:22 am - Thu 27 Feb

Next up, architect Michel Rojkind,based in Mexico City. While everyone streams in after a tea break, some in-house entertainment from Moonchild.

10:49:16 am - Thu 27 Feb

Margot asks David how the design of Five Hundred restaurant influenced the food. There’s a certified organic garden at the Saxon Hotel, where the chefs spend the morning talking food. They’ll spot a purple cauliflower, inspired to make something special with it. Even the energy of Joburg which David finds intoxicating moves him to create in different ways. He sees it as the next New York, pleads with everyone to visit downtown Jozi to look at the incredible buildings just waiting for something extraordinary to happen.

10:38:03 am - Thu 27 Feb

‘The chef’s role has become so much greater than what lands on the plate’ David Higgs

10:33:37 am - Thu 27 Feb

If you’re wondering whether you’ve ever sampled these extraordinary chef’s wonders, Margo Janse is exec chef at Le Quartier Francais Hotel in Franschhoek. She’s been there for 18 years. David Higgs is the exec chef at Five Hundred restaurant at the Saxon Hotel

10:27:27 am - Thu 27 Feb

‘My head chef was smoking pot under the extractor fan,’ says David Higgs. That’s what he loved about being a chef in the early days, the chaos called cowboy cuisine, deep frying whole chicken when it was unusually busy because of unexpected customers and they demanded food

10:23:34 am - Thu 27 Feb

‘That’s what I wanted, that magic in the kitchen,’ says Margot Hanse after working as a photographer but spending more time cooking.

10:19:04 am - Thu 27 Feb

The two chefs share their first experiences with food. Margot Janse: ‘I’m Dutch by birth, South African by choice’ talks about her mom pouring a plate of creamed spinach on her head when she refused to eat it and her father giving her beer at one-years old. David Higgs chats about sheep’s head, overcooked green beans and fishing days in Namibia. His career saw him start as a breakfast chef at the New Tulbagh Hotel in 1990

10:06:35 am - Thu 27 Feb

Next, Michelle Constant introduces two culinary rockstars, Margot Janse and David Higgs

10:05:36 am - Thu 27 Feb

DJ Stout is asked if there are any similarities between Texas and Cape Town/South Africa… ‘Everyone I’ve met from South Africa, loves to brag about it.’

10:02:24 am - Thu 27 Feb

The gentleman playing piano is Graham Reynolds from Austin, Texas, who did the score for movie Before Midnight. He’s certainly added a lot of drama to the talk. Powerful stuff happens when design meets music

9:52:08 am - Thu 27 Feb

We’re talking cowboy poetry. Who knew?

9:46:12 am - Thu 27 Feb

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DJ Stout shares his most iconic covers as art director of Texas Monthly.

9:32:56 am - Thu 27 Feb

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Screens are lit up everywhere, waiting to share. First up today is DJ Stout, a fifth-generation Texan. A pianist at a white grand piano adds drama to a video played on screen that scans across landscapes of fire damage and images of wild horses and cowboys

9:28:19 am - Thu 27 Feb

Good morning. It’s day two of Design Indaba 2014. Let’s get this programme started.

Wed 26 Feb

“Every child is an artist. The challenge is to remain one,” Chris Gotz, Creative Director at Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town as Design Indaba gets underway at the Cape Town International Convention Centre

10:09 am- Wed 26 Feb
Chris Gotz talks about Ogilvy’s campaign to say “Goodbye” to the Citi Golf, which was then South Africa’s most loved vehicle. It was one of the most successful campaigns generating millions of rands’ worth of free publicity.

10:15 am- Wed 26 Feb
“Our ability to pay attention to the world is shrinking. Our heads are in our phones.” – Chris Gotz

10:26 am- Wed 26 Feb
Juliana Rotich, a computer scientist from Kenya, takes to the podium.

10:28 am- Wed 26 Feb
Juliana Rotich displays slide showing a map of fibre optic cables under the sea around the African continent. This reflects “how ships used to move around Africa”. Rotich says there remains a lot of opportunity to link Africans to other Africans.

10:34 am- Wed 26 Feb is a non-profit open source software company for information collection started in kenya after the disputed 2007 Kenyan election to give ordinary citizens a voice. “We just wanted to do something,” says Juliana Rotich

10:37 am- Wed 26 Feb
“As designers we are here to keep a keen eye on what is happening because it pushes the boundaries of what is possible,” – Juliana Rotich

10:42 am- Wed 26 Feb
iHub, a collaborative workspace in Nairobi, has incubated thousands of upstarts, says Rotich. “We’ve got to create spaces where people are collaborating and doing things together.”

10:46 am- Wed 26 Feb
“Why do we use technology designed for London to Los Angeles when we live in Nairobi? Why don’t we design technology that is responsive to the African context?”

10:49 am- Wed 26 Feb
Rotich introduces the BRCK, a self-powered internet connection device. Follow the BRCK on @brcknet

10:55 am- Wed 26 Feb
Africa only has 15.6% internet penetration.
“There’s a link between increasing connectivity and increasing Gross Domestic Product,” Juliana Rotich says in closing.

11:35 am- Wed 26 Feb

Singer Nonku Phiri performs ahead of the next talk

Singer Nonku Phiri performs ahead of the next talk

11:39 am- Wed 26 Feb
Experimental Jetset is an Amsterdam based graphic design studio. Founders Marieke Stolk, Erwin Brinkers and Danny van den Dungen are now speaking.

11:51 am- Wed 26 Feb
“We actually hate helvetica,” says Danny van den Dungen. Yet they use it a lot in their design. Much laughter from the audience.

11:52 am- Wed 26 Feb
The panel, Experimental Jetset on stage.

11:54 am- Wed 26 Feb
“With (Stanley) Kubrick we find there’s always a stylised existential terror.”
Marieke Stolk on one of their influences. Stanley Kubrick is probably most commonly known for the classic film ‘Clockwork Orange’

12:02 pm- Wed 26 Feb
As tweeted by @OgilvyCT

12:04 pm- Wed 26 Feb
“Language is, before anything else, material. It can be shaped in any way you like,” says Marieke Stolk

12:12 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Experimental Jetset say the structure of the Os Mutantes song “Bat Macumba” is an influence on their design style.

12:17 pm- Wed 26 Feb
“We realise we are basically scavenging the wounds of modernism…”
- Marieke Stolk

12:20 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Jake Barton is the next speaker. He is the founder of Local Projects, a New York-based design firm

12:24 pm- Wed 26 Feb
“Start with Yes,” says Jake Barton

12:35 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Jake Barton demonstrates how they have taken new technologies and translated them for a museum, for instance, not to change but to amplify the experience of being in a museum. Video shows people in art museums using various devices to engage with the artworks.


12:40 pm- Wed 26 Feb
If you spend too much time refining things it leads to producing “terrible work”, according to Jake Barton. “Until you see something working, you don’t get that moment where you are like ‘whoa, this is amazing’.”

12:52 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Jake Barton and his firm were commissioned to work on the 9/11 Memorial Museum project. Global call was made for people to share online their experience of that day in 2001. “When you go into the museum itself the first voice you hear won’t be a curator but other visitors telling you what their experience of 9/11 is.”

1:06 pm- Wed 26 Feb
“Improvisation and Love” is how Jake Barton ends his talk, shows video of people engaging with the Valentine’s Heart sculpture on Times Square, New York.

2:00 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Lunchtime is up! Next talk begins now in a packed auditorium.

2:11 pm- Wed 26 Feb
“On a daily basis we are making a mess,” says Ije Nwokorie as he opens his talk at Design Indaba. “If you think about the processes that matter to people- democracy, for instance, they are really messy things.”

2:13 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Nwokorie: “People’s desks have to be messy, a manifestation of themselves”

2:15 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Nwokorie is the Managing Director of Wolff Olins, a London-based brand consultancy

2:28 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Nwokorie and his firm sent a small orange box with a switch around the world asking people what it made them think of in a campaign for telecommunications company Orange. One of the answers from a Senegalese lady is that if she could switch that light on she wishes her country would instantly become part of the developed world.

2:33 pm- Wed 26 Feb
With the Virgin Media logo, Nwokorie’s firm made people engage with the brand by asking them to draw the ribbon logo in the air. “People need to be really free about how they use a brand. get more and more people to get involved in a brand.

2:36 pm- Wed 26 Feb
In Africa creativity is not an option. We kind of have to be creative in order to survive, have the ability to think through things, to understand that systems don’t always work. So, you have a natural inclination to think about a way around things.

2:41 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Nwokorie ends his talk by playing a video about a brand they worked on called “Little Sun”. Read more about the brand here.

2:45 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Audience getting a dose of inspiration from young design graduates from across the world, speaking about some of their designs.

2:54 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Ian Murchison, now on stage, worked at Blackberry as an accessories designer and when he felt he had “peaked” at Blackberry he went on to create his own design firm. “What I knew I wanted to do was to get away from electronics and start exploring different things using different materials. What we noticed, coming from corporates with huge resources, is that creating co-working spaces is really vital.”

3:05 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Dave Hakkens, currently speaking, designed Phonebloks. The Vision, as spelled out on his website, was to create a phone “worth keeping”. The designer turned down a job at Google and is still pursuing the dream of creating a phone worth keeping. Visit his website by clicking here

3:12 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Agatha Haines, a graduate of the Royal College of the Arts, is now on stage. She, in her own words, designed a “series of aerodynamic babies”. Audience seems quite entertained.She calls herself a “little Frankenstein” and designed entirely new internal organs, too. These organs can help prevent strokes and heart attacks. Quite interesting (and she’s funny)!
Visit her website

3:28 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Stefan van Biljon is from Cape Town. His thesis as an undergraduate at the University of Cape town in 2010 about spatial manipulation shows how the Cape Town landscape allows it to be a fortified city that was ideal for apartheid segregation.

4:15 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Tom Hulme is up next. He is design director at IDEO in London, an award-winning global design firm that takes a human-centred, design-based approach to helping organizations in the public and private sectors innovate and grow.

4:16 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Singer Bongeziwe Mabandla performs ahead of Tom Hulme’s talk

4:20 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Tom Hulme speaking about technology.

4:32 pm- Wed 26 Feb
We’re all designers
We achieve more through collaboration
Tech is just a design tool
“Let’s stop structuring businesses with a digital team.”
- Tom Hulme

4:33 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Tom Hulme: “People say technology makes us anti-social. I guarantee that for the last 5 hundred years people were saying the same thing.”

4:35 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Tom Hulme: “Design has to address a real human need in a low friction way.”

4:41 pm- Wed 26 Feb
A few points as Tom Hulme speaks:
Technology changes rapidly but Maslow’s hierarchy of needs remains the same.

Great designers meet real human needs with lower friction and they make design delightful.

If you can’t start a project by first identifying a human need that it will address, don’t start it.

5:04 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Final speaker for the day Thomas Heatherwick, UK-based designer, is now on stage.

5:08 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Heatherwick designed the Olympic cauldron for the London Olympic games. Watch the video of it being lit to appreciate the gorgeous design…

5:18 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Heatherwick’s company was commissioned to design the building of a University in Singapore. The brief was that the lecture halls are to have no corners. This is what they came up with…
photo 2

photo 1

5:35 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Heatherwick: “Somebody once said to me the sign of a rich city is that rich people there use public transport.”

5:38 pm- Wed 26 Feb
“When something is what people expect, their perception cone- I just made that up- closes.”

6:15 pm- Wed 26 Feb
Wrapping up the first day of Design Indaba 2014, Heatherwick announces a project he is working on with the owners of V&A Waterfront.
“Today is a chance to show a project that has a future here in Cape Town, it wouldn’t have happened without Ravi and the Indaba,” he says.
Heatherwick revealed, for the first time, the design of a new Museum for Contemporary Art that will be built by converting the old grain silo building at the Waterfront.
This is a sneak peek into what they envision the museum will look like…


How grand?

And with that… Day one of the Design Indaba draws to a close.
Heatherwick: “This is the most exciting presentation that I’ve ever had to give.”

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