The globally acclaimed Design Indaba Conference and Festival, first established in 1995, is a multidisciplinary platform guided by the principle of “a Better World Through Creativity”. Running at the Artscape Theatre Centre in Cape Town from 26-28 February 2020, and via simulcast in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Potchefstroom, the acclaimed event celebrates 25 years of cultural invention.
For this edition, as Design Indaba celebrates 25 years, the founders “reflect on this landmark with immense pride and consider where to next”, looking ahead to the next era. In fact, this event is known for showcasing ideas that become real-world solutions creating a better world for all. Through highlighting the work of leaders and up-and-coming talents in their fields, Design Indaba has been crucial to the growth of the design and entrepreneurial industries in South Africa.
For 2020, the three invited curators of the annual Design Indaba Emerging Creatives program, responsible for selecting the Class of 2020 from 200 applications from across the country, are milliner Crystal Birch, conceptual art director Mokoena Kobeli and furniture designer Siyanda Mbele. Crystal Birch, known primarily for her millinery business, has extensive experience in styling, art direction, and set design; whereas Mokoena Kobeli, a Joburg-based conceptual art director, graphic designer, and illustrator, works with various international brands, from advertising, animation, and even furniture design. Last but not least, Siyanda Mbele is a lecturer, furniture designer, interior designer, founder of Pinda Design and alumni of Design Indaba 2013.
In order to strengthen their dedication to positive change through design-led thinking, every year a powerful lineup is organized, comprised of guest speakers “whose work seeks to better the world we live in – whether through technological advances, environmental advocacy, or simply social change that fosters healthier communities”. Past lecturers include artist and producer Brian Eno, architect Dame Zaha Hadid, film director Wanuri Kahiu, designer Thomas Hetherwick, fashion designer Laduma Ngxokolo, and advertising maverick David Droga.
The first batch of speakers that will bring new purpose to the stage will include:
- Nassia Inglessis creates kinetic installations that transform to act as a physical megaphone to human presence
- Ibrahim Mahama creates totalizing artworks with postcolonial bite
- Shanghai-based Neri&Hu is reshaping global design aesthetics
- Kinya Tagawa redefines what it means to be human in the digital age
Recent additions of speakers are:
- Hanif Kara
- Sascha Lobe
- Nahlanhla Mahlangu
- Debbie Millman
- Honey and Bunny
- Natsai Audrey Chieza
- Patrick Thomas
- Studio Drift
- Sunny Dolat
- Chef Selassie Atadika
On another hand, Paris-based trend guru Li Edelkoort will be back as part of Design Indaba Festival 2020, hosting her wildly popular seminars in Johannesburg and Cape Town. This year, Li will share her insights on the green revolution as well as food as the newest design discipline.