Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New website for iCommons

In the build-up to the iSummit in Japan from July 29 to August 1, iCommons have launched a dedicated website. The iSummit is an annual exploration of the emerging opportunities for co-ownership, co-creation and the widespread distribution and sharing of knowledge, ideas and creativity in the digital age.

Participants will be actively involved in the planning of the iSummit programme and event activities through the dedicated web platform and the new site facilitates programme submissions, participant registration, blogging feedback and communication with the event organisers.

Participants are also encouraged to get involved in the build up to the event and volunteer to translate content from English to Japanese. Curators, builders and others willing to help with coordinating speakers and topics for the iSummit in Second Life are also encouraged to sign up online.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The sale season

Shunji Yamanaka

1. When, do you predict, will robots like Halluc 2 start being used by the public?
It will probably take more than 10 years to be used as passenger vehicle. Still, 5 years might be enough for some product with similar technology to come out.   

2. What are the applications for your robot prototypes?
If vehicles can move flexibly and sensitively, just like this robot prototype, there is no need to destroy nature to make big roads. This vehicle does not pollute, and it can travel over any terrain for versatile application.

3. Will the robots you have shown be produced as toys?
There are no plans to be produced as toys for the moment.  

4. Do you only do the body design? Who does the technical aspect?
Myself and our staff are all engineers as well as designers. We solve many technological and structural design problems.  In large projects, we collaborate with companies and researchers to develop together as well.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Design Indaba April 08 Updates

Creative Company Conference

The first Creative Company Conference (CCC), Design Indaba’s new sister company, was lauded by delegates and media in attendance. Distinct from Design Indaba, which celebrates the creative professional, the CCC honours innovative business leaders and companies that place innovation, creativity and design as central to their strategy. Held on April 1 at Amsterdam's spectacular Muziekgebouw, the CCC secured 10 leading innovators from four continents for its inaugural event, including Marc Mathieu, Stanley Hainsworth, Arkadi Kuhlmann, Bill Moggridge, Robert Brozin, Richard Reed, Ivy Ross, Carlos Miele, Peter Diamandis and John Howkins.


Creative Circle award for recycled radio ad

Design Indaba’s recycled radio advert won first prize for best radio advert in the February Creative Circle awards. Created by Jupiter Drawing Room Cape Town for the Creativity Can campaign, the advert comprised old radio adverts that were spliced together.

Said Joanne Thomas, creative director at Jupiter Drawing Room: “In keeping with the theme of this year's campaign, we needed to find a way to demonstrate the power of creativity on radio – a notoriously difficult medium. Most of our campaign relied on powerful visuals to express the concepts, so we needed to look at the ‘creativity can’ concept from a different angle. Using the principles of recycling (creating something new and useful from something that has been discarded), we went into our archive of old radio ads and cut them up, finding the words we needed to complete our script. This gave us an ad that not only sounded unique, but was also pretty cost-effective to produce.”

Download the radio advert here.

Design Indaba All Stars: On sale now

The Design Indaba All Stars book, recently published by Interactive Africa, celebrates 35 of the most prominent international guests that we have hosted at Design Indaba and featured in the magazine. Covering the first 10 years of Design Indaba, this book serves as a record of the growth of creativity at the cusp of the millennium.

Lucy Orta. Mark Farrow. Erik Spiekermann. Jonathan Barnbrook. Fernando Gutierrez. Stefan Sagmeister. Sir Terence Conran. Irma Boom. Stefano Giovannoni. Neville Brody. Karim Rashid. Mary Lewis. Shubhankar Ray. Kenya Hara. Ross Lovegrove. Peter Saville. Dan Pearson. Bob Sabiston. Shigeo Fukuda. Milton Glaser. Ron Arad. David Adjaye. Dieter Rams. Fernando and Humberto Campana. Michael Bierut. Tom Dixon. Inga Sempé. Christoph Niemann. Matali Crasset. Paul Priestman. Javier Mariscal. Tobias Frere-Jones. Massimo and Lella Vignelli. Yves Béhar.

All stars. All in one book.

Cost R320.00 direct, excluding postage. Soon at a stockist nationwide.
Please contact Lucinda Johannes at
or Tel: (021) 465 9966 for more information.

Design Indaba Expo products go global

Design Indaba Expo 2008 was a great success spanning four days from February 23 to 26. Offering a curated showcase of the best South African design for the fifth time, the Expo continues to grow with more than 20 000 visitors, over 351 local and international buyers attend, and over 260 exhibitors.

“This year's Design Indaba gave our tiny fledgling enterprise incredible exposure... We were actually overwhelmed. It was definitely worth more than any other attempts at advertising could have done,” said Dawn Burger from Casamento.


Among other feats, UMCEBO trust will be designing new objects for the US company Tucker Robbins and Michael Haigh Ceramics were purchased off the floor by trend forecaster Li Edelkoort. Due to further exposure on the floor to the Design Indaba global network, Haigh is also currently working on a range of jugs for Terence Conran's Exhibition in September.

Design Indaba invites all exhibitors to keep us posted regarding their accomplishments, business feats, promotions, exhibitions, expansions, new ranges and any other successes.

Design Indaba Winners

The Most Beautiful Object in South Africa award this year went to Y Tsai of Tsai Design Studio for the Nested Bunkbed. The design received 150 of the 402 public votes cast. This Cape Town creative studio strives to design products that are socially and culturally relevant to South Africa.

The MBOISA 2008 was decided by popular vote. Visitors to the Design Indaba Expo could vote for their MBOISA via sms. Voting also took place through The Times website. The lucky voter was Brett Osrin of Sea Point who won a years subscription to the Sunday Times and a R3000 Woolworths voucher.

The Provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism, designed by award-winning theatre practitioner Brett Bailey, won the Most Creative Stand award. It started out each day as one big white canvas. Performing and visual artists then filled the space with art, animation, photography, crafts and designs while interacting with the public, showcasing creativity in Cape Town and the Western Cape. The award was presented by the Cape Town Partnership as part of its Creative Cape Town programme. Congratulations to Cathy Cronje of Cambridge Press who won the lucky draw prize for voting for the best stand. The prize included a creative night for 2 on long street which includes a night for 2 at Daddy Long Legs, dinner for 2 at Royale Kitchen in addition to a creative trends tour of Long Street for 20 friends with Cherry Flava.

Congratulations to Mary Ralphs, from HSRC Press, who is the winner of a trip to Cannes courtesy of SABC and the Creative Alliance project.

Design Indaba T-Shirts

The limited edition South African Design T-shirts are on sale for only R80 excl postage.

Please contact Caryn van Rooyen at
or Tel: (021) 465 9966.

Design Indaba Magazine

Conference delegates are reminded that they will no longer receive complimentary copies of the post-event issue of Design Indaba magazine. Design Indaba magazine is available in selected Exclusive Books and Melissa’s stores nationwide.



Click here for a full distribution list.

For subscriptions or more information please contact Lucinda Johannes at or
Tel: (021) 465 9966.



Jason Bruges

Where could one find literature and info with regards to the hardware and suppliers of lighting for interactive sculpture?

This really depends on what you are trying to do and at what scale and whether it has to be permanent or temporary. Some of the companies we have used in the past which are relatively global:
Artistic Liscence
Color Kinetics

Would you rather be an astronaut or a designer?

I thought it was Jason and the Argonauts! Probably would only be happy be an astronaut if could fly as a designer and solve problems come with ideas from a totally new perspective!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

SABS Design Excellence Award scheme: Call for entries

Product designers can now enter their South African designed products for the 2008 SABS Design Excellence Awards. This award scheme has been presented for close on 40 years under different names and aims to honour South Africa’s foremost product designs and designers. Entries close on 15 May.

Last year saw 15 product designs spanning a variety of industrial sectors receive SABS Design Excellence Awards. The majority of the products came from the engineering, mining and machinery category, but there were also innovative medical, homeware and information technology products that received awards. Attie Jonker, design team leader of the JS1-Revelation, an 18-m wingspan glider that won last year’s Chairperson’s Award for the most innovative product, says that winning a SABS Design Excellence Award has resulted in huge publicity for their product, both on television and in the print media.

The SABS Design Excellence Awards entries, presented by the SABS Design Institute, are adjudicated by top industry experts and every year an international judge joins the judging panel. Entries fall into one of six categories. These are home and office ware, medical and healthcare, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, transport, automotive, mining and machinery. Then there are also awards made in education, leisure, sports goods or toys, the built environment, including components, urban furniture, equipment, tools, as well as electronics, information and communication technology (ICT). The product must have been on the market for a year or more and award-winning products will be showcased at the annual SABS Convention, held in Johannesburg in October.

Running at the same time of SABS Design Excellence Award scheme will be the SABS Design Institute’s Prototype Initiative where product designers with working prototype models will have the opportunity to get advice on how to get their prototypes out of the garage and on the way to production.

The Prototype initiative involves a free consultation with a small panel of design experts, consisting of eminent South African designers and engineers. Consultations will be confidential and will focus on the design aspects of the prototype. The consultation sessions will take place at the SABS Design Institute in Pretoria in the week of 7 to 11 July 2008.

By entering their prototypes, designers also become eligible to attend the Idea to Product seminars presented at various centres throughout South Africa, free of charge. These seminars deal with common problems experienced by product developers. Entries for the Prototype initiative also close on 15 May.

The SABS Design Excellence Award scheme aims to recognise the achievements of South African product designers, while also encouraging local product design and manufacture and promoting international competitiveness of local products. This award scheme has established a proud tradition of promoting indigenous design.

Visit for more information, to enter online or to view previous award-winning products or contact Zenobia Norval at 012 4287038 or email

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Creative Circle award

Our Design Indaba "recycled radio" ad won best radio ad in the Creative Circle Feb 2008 awards.

Said Phil Ireland, chairperson of Creative Circle: "In first place a brilliant concept from The Jupiter Drawing Room Cape Town for the Design Indaba – recycling old radio ads by chopping them up and pasting them together like a ransom note cleverly highlights the Indaba’s theme of sustainability in design. "

Thanks Jupiter Drawing Room team!

Agency: The Jupiter Drawing Room (South Africa)
Client: Interactive Africa
Product: Design Indaba
Title: Recycled Radio Ad
CD: Livio Tronchin
CW: Jonathan Commerford
Prod Co: Big Leap Music & Post
Audio Eng: Craig Ormond