It’s that time of year again, suddenly you realise it’s almost the end of February and wonder how you got here so fast, it’s also time for the annual Design Indaba.
The Design Indaba is one of the world’s best design, creativity, and innovation conferences, it brings together industry thought leaders from around the world for 3 days of inspiring talks in Cape Town.
The day kicked off traditionally as normal with a talk from a local ad agency, this time around it was Joe Public. Owners Xolisa Dyeshana and Pepe Marais took the stage to talk about their belief that design needs to have a purpose, and theirs is to help solve and draw attention to some of SA’s social issues (e.g. watch One School at a Time).
They also shared their latest campaign in partnership with Nedbank, they’ve set up idea ATMs in the foyers at the Design Indaba conference. The idea is to have the public deposit ideas on how to solve South Africa’s social issues, the best ides will be made real.
Next up was Dutch industrial designer Hella Jongerius. Her impressive range of work is renowned for it’s innovative and soulful approach. Much of her work focuses on creating a better lasting relationship between an object and people, have a look at http://www.jongeriuslab.com/ to see some of the work.
UK Digital Design and Dev studio The Workers shared their IK prize winning incredible interactive project that they did for The Tate gallery in London. The work they did was fantastic, rather that talk about it just watch the short clip below….wish we had done it.
Stanley Hainsworth, founder of agency Tether, and ex-creative director for Nike, Lego and Starbucks was up next with his great haircut (see pic). He has a lot of interesting insights on human behaviour, and shared how he uses lessons he learned as an actor in his everyday business career (e.g. sussing out what’s really going on in big meetings etc). His work is far too varied to cover in detail here but look him up at http://www.tetherinc.com/stanley-hainsworth/ and check out Tether to see some of his great work.
Naeem Biviji of Kenya-based Studio Propolis shared how his company has learned to love and work well with the challenges and opportunities involved in opening a design workshop in Kenya. He shared the story of his work creating a cathedral in Kenya’s capital.
A highlight every year at Design Indaba is the design school graduates, 8 students from design schools around the world who present their work Pecha Kucha-style at the conference. Click on the names below to read more about the fantastic projects they shared.
Doremy Diatta – Design for health.
Marc Dubois – Interaction designer who designed “Open Controllers” using smart phones.
Teresa van Dongen – Combining Design, Science, and Biology to make light.
Tyler Pratt – Designing a personal product line.
Kathryn Fleming – Exploring the intersections of science, art and technology (and making 6 legged cat dog hybrid animals).
Tia Blassingame – The art of letterpress printing to explore the relationship between race, history and perception.
Ackeem Ngwenya – Designing the Roadless Wheel.
Carla Kreuser – Creating Stories using a combination of illustration and poetry.
Larry Harvey, co-founder of Burning Man shared his story of Burning man from it’s founding in 1986 in San Francisco’s Baker Beach to the global festival it is today that takes place in over 50 countries. He talked about how the community has been created using a bohemian and “giving” approach, and how the art there is all designed with a social purpose, that people actively engage with it.
“We are radically self-reliant.” Larry Harvey about his Burning Man community. I love that thought. Radical self-reliance. #DesignIndaba
— Khaya Dlanga (@khayadlanga) February 25, 2015
The final speaker of the day was long time host Michael Bierut who is a partner at the world famous Pentagram Design Studio. Michael gave a fantastic talk on How To Change The World With Graphic design. He also shared some of his incredible work and announced the news for the first time that in November he will launch his book, How to: Use graphic design to sell things, explain things, make things look better, and (every once in a while) change the world.
Below is the logo that changed his life and got him interested in design, it was for a trucking company and his parents pointed out how the L is lifting the A…he was in awe…the rest is history.
He shared some of his recent projects, including re-designing all the signage and Street Maps for New York City for the Department of Transport, helping design the signage for the New York Times, designing a series of School libraries, revamping the Saks 5th Avenue brand, and creating a modifiable design pack for MIT Labs.
“Secretly no one really wants you to redesign their logo, they either want someone else’s or they want their old one back” #DesignIndaba
— Ogilvy Cape Town (@OgilvyCT) February 25, 2015