For the reduced price of R950, South Africa’s future generation of designers have a unique access card to experiencing the foremost creative event in the country. Young designers can also buy a simulcast ticket and a year’s subscription to the award-winning Design Indaba Magazine for R1095.
This year, the Design Indaba Conference from Wednesday 27 February to Friday 29 February, 2008, will again offer a dynamically curated cast of the world’s leading creative thinkers. Expect a broad range from the likes of Paul D Miller (US) – aka DJ Spooky the Subliminal Kid – who revives the world’s musical heritage through modern reinventions, to Ilse Crawford (UK), founding editor of Elle Decoration and an active proponent of emotional design for modern living, and Oscar E Peña, senior creative director at Philips Design.
Two leaders in design for technology are also expected. Although widely recognised for his industrial design feats, Tucker Viemeister (US) has brought new meaning to the term "multi-media" through his inclusive approach that aims to extend internet and interface across all platforms. Bill Moggridge (UK) is also a trained industrial designer but, as founder of IDEO, has pioneered the integration of user interface design into product development.
While user interface design was forged in the technology sphere, it is the same awareness of psychology and human interaction that informs South African-born car interiors designer Oona Scheepers, well known for her work at Audi, as well as Marije Vogelzang (Holland) who tackles bad eating habits by recontextualising the ritual of food.
The pressing need for the world to recontextualise environmental concerns are particularly topical right now. Jason Bruges (UK) combines environmental awareness with innovative technologies to create interventions that exist in between the worlds of architecture, installation art and interaction design. Cross-platform design agency Airside (UK) have also aligned their animation, digital and graphic design with efforts to reduce the impact of the company on the environment.
A strong contingent of speakers from Japan further explore this need for elegant technological solutions. Design anthropologist Shinichi Takemura explores the changes in social interactions caused by the widespread technological devices, while industrial designer Shunji Yamanaka bases his innovations on extensive psychological research.
Drawing inspiration from his native Japanese culture, product designer Toshiyuki Kita also uses technology to enable designs that embody a completely new viewpoint. Graphic designer Hideki Inaba is known for pushing the boundaries of aesthetics into the future of visual communication.
From the graphic design hall of fame, Gert Dumbar (Holland) is renowned for his disaster pictograms and creating accessible identities for civic institutions. Meanwhile, representatives of the new wave of young design studios in New York, Hjalti Karlsson and Jan Wilker will present a bespoke presentation on South Africa, based on a real-time design project that entails the pair travelling across the country for two weeks. The project will attempt to gauge the world’s view of South Africa.