Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Design Indaba 2008: Two weeks to go, don’t miss out!

Two weeks to go until Design Indaba 2008 and some of the makers of the world as we know it are preparing to arrive in Cape Town for what has been called the world’s most glamorous design convention. Running from February 23 to 29, 2008, the Design Indaba Expo will be extended by a day and precede the Design Indaba Conference this year, in the inauguration of South African Design Week.

From Bill Moggridge, who designed the world’s first laptop, to South African Oona Scheepers who has designed interiors for Porsche and Audi, the Design Indaba Conference, from February 27 to 29, is set to push cerebral limitations into yoga-like pretzels. The Young Designer’s Simulcast, allowing students and designers under 25 to experience the Conference in a live telecast for a reduced price will again run simultaneously.


Shunji Yamanaka, acclaimed designer of humanoid robots; Ilse Crawford, founding editor of Elle Décor; Ivan Chermayeff, responsible for the NBC and Mobil logos; and Li Edelkoort, the world’s most renowned trend forecaster, lead a stellar cast of 37 industry heavyweights on the conference programme. Adding to the mix, Marije Vogelzang is set to seduce with her food installations, Jonathan Levien and Nipa Doshi to enchant with their Indian-European mashups, and Maxim Velcovsky to undoubtedly astound with the size of his hair.

Driving critical debate around local creative industries, South African fashion designers Amanda Laird Cherry, Gavin Rajah and Nkhensani Nkosi will up the eye-candy in a multi-media panel interview interrogating the future and significance of South African fashion. Creators of the MTV orb, Hjalti Karlsson and Jan Wilker from New York, will also be presenting a bespoke graphic design project that responds to their experience of South African culture, streets, cuisine, creative communities and charm – we call it “Foreign Eye for the Local Guy”.


The inimitable Paul D Miller – aka DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid – will also be taking the conference podium. His New York is Now music-visual installation, initially shown at the African Pavilion at the 2007 Venice Biennale, will be installed at the Michaelis School of Fine Art from February 24 to March 10 for free public viewing.

However, will these international big shots even stand ground when compared to the full force of the South African creative industries at the Design Indaba Expo? Running from February 23 to 26, this year’s Expo has been extended by an extra day after last year hosted more than 20 000 visitors. Over 250 exhibitors will be displaying the most original South African jewellery, graphic design, architecture, product design, décor, industrial design, craft and film.


Shop, look, learn, love, be inspired… and be sure to stop in at the Brandhouse
/LiquidChefs designer bar for a relaxing tipple or trendy food chain Lulu’s for a tasty nibble, while you consider who you should vote for in the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa award. Yes, for the first time the award will be determined by public opinion poll via SMS. You also get to have a say in the best stand award at the Creative Cape Town booth.

Play at being a trend forecaster at the Emerging Creatives platform, sponsored by the Department of Arts and Culture. Showcasing 40 of the country’s freshest, youngest designers just embarking on their careers, this is a trend-spotter’s delight. The likes of Alfalfa, Andile Dyalvane, Warren Lewis and Lyall Sprong all launched their careers here.

In response to the overwhelming amount of visitors’ and buyers’ interest, Design Indaba Expo is also launching a new, dedicated fashion hall sponsored by the SABC. PWHOA by Richard de Jager, I Love Leroy by Sarah Webber, Lunar, Ruby, Afro Diva by Hip Hop, Suzaan Heyns, Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs, Karen Monk Klinjstra, Earthquake by John Sithole, Amanda Laird Cherry, Stiaan Louw, Sin by Sandhya Lalloo and Native by Craig Native have already confirmed participation in Design Indaba’s unique fashion concept that marries performing arts and high couture.


Also running in conjunction with Design Indaba Expo are the Specialist Indabas on architecture, jewellery and lifestyle on February 25 and 26. These breakaway sessions offer concentrated insights for professionals, the public and interested parties and include maestro of British-Japanese architecture Mark Dytham, installation maniac Jason Burges, avant-garde Swiss jeweller Christoph Zellweger, top studio jeweller Wendy Ramshaw and more on the programme.

For the first time, there will also be a Design Indaba Journalism Workshop, which will see 30 of South Africa’s design journalists doing hands-on workshop reportage of the Expo, under the guidance of leading international design critic Susan Yelavich, as well as Frederico Duarte, freelance writer and communications designer, Portugal; Marcus Fairs, editor of Dezeen and former editor of Icon magazine, UK; and Julie Lasky, editor-in-chief of ID magazine, US.

Design Indaba in association with Absa have also booked an evening at Madame Zingara on Wednesday 27 February, 2008, to host our Design Indaba international speakers, guests and sponsors. A handful of tickets are available for purchase by members of the public and design fraternity, the proceeds of which will go to the Design Indaba Trust, which supports needy design students.

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