As the Design Indaba Festival embarks on its silver jubilee edition here’s a sneak preview of what to expect on and off the Conference stage
For the last 25 years, Design Indaba has been bringing the world’s most prominent and innovative designers to the Southern tip of Africa and the Conference stage. What began as TED-style talks has evolved into a multi-disciplinary festival that encourages designers to bring their work to life on the stage with interactive, out-of-the-box presentations with an increasing focus on projects that go beyond the powerpoint.
Occupying the entire Artscape from the 26 to 28 February 2020, this year’s Festival will involve the usual suspects – simulcasted Conference talks to locations around the country, the annual Most Beautiful Object in South Africa competition, Emerging Creatives, a full line up of local and international musicians for the after-hours Nightscape and a full programme of Night School workshops and talks.
Much like the Design Indaba’s company motto “a better world through creativity”, the focus of the Conference is on creative optimism and activism. With speakers from a range of design disciplines and different stages of their careers (graduates to grandmasters), the Conference promises to inspire.
This year’s line up of speakers includes prolific Shanghai-based designers Neri&Hu, light wizards Studio Drift, design podcaster Debbie Millman, as well as Chicago-based architect Jeanne Gang structural engineer Hanif Kara.
The Nightscape, which takes place after the Conference talks end, includes live music and dj sets by Felix Laband, Nairobi’s Blinky Bill (a Design Indaba Conference alumnus) and YoungstaCPT. The Nightscape also hosts a series of workshops and exhibitions, including the Emerging Creatives and Most Beautiful Object.
Increasingly often the Design Indaba team have brought to life a legacy project either in Cape Town or Johannesburg, working with one of the speakers to leave a lasting mark on the city. With the unveiling of Arch for Arch in honour of Desmond Tutu by Snohetta and Local Studio in 2017, and projects such as the 10x10 Housing, the audience are no doubt wondering what might find it’s way from the stage into the country this year.