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Design Indaba: The Latest Architecture and News

Design Indaba Unveils Plans for 2021

The iconic design conference and event Design Indaba has announced it will use 2021 as a year to plan and execute multiple Do Tank projects. In turn, they will be launching the Design Indaba Inside offering. The Design Indaba Conference and Festival will not take place in February 2021; instead, organizers will take the time to plan for 2022. Social distancing requirements combined with the physical limitations of Artscape Theatre Centre in Cape Town made the event unfeasible.

"The Section Is Where the Exterior and the Interior Comes Together": An Interview With Neri&Hu

During the latest Design Indaba Festival, we have the chance to interview Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, from Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, a Shanghai-based inter-disciplinary architectural design practice, about their work and way of thinking about architecture.

Seaweed as Cladding: Combining Old Traditions With New Tech

Traditional Eelgrass Roof. Image © Kathryn LarsenThe Seaweed Pavilion. Image © Kelley HudsonEelgrass Roof. Image © Kathryn LarsenThe Seaweed Pavilion. Image © Kelley Hudson+ 19

Inspired by vernacular architecture, Kathryn Larsen is a bio-based designer working with seaweed. Throughout her career, she has been doing an intensive investigation into eel-grass, a material that has been used for centuries around the world. Larsen wants to apply all the benefits of this material (rot resistance, fire resistance, non-toxic, insulation characteristics comparable to mineral wool, and its ability to create carbon negative buildings) into prefabrication development and other technologies that enable the creation of new cladding and other elements, such as insulation batt and acoustic panels.

During the latest Design Indaba Festival, we had the chance to interview Kathryn. Read the interview and learn more about her work below.

Ravi Naidoo from Design Indaba Elaborates on the Purpose of Design in reSite Podcast

Design and the City is a podcast by reSITE, raising questions and proposing solutions for the city of the future. In the final episode, Ravi Naidoo from Design Indaba discusses the purpose of design. Aiming to define the field, the founder of Interactive Africa, a company based in Cape Town, and the design platform Design Indaba shares his personal thoughts on empowering people to create a better future through creativity.

Courtesy of Design Indaba© Tomas PrincCourtesy of Design IndabaCourtesy of Design Indaba+ 8

Design Indaba 2020 Releases Program as it Celebrates a 25-Year Milestone

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.

Courtesy of Design IndabaCourtesy of Design IndabaCourtesy of Design IndabaCourtesy of Design Indaba+ 16

Dong-Ping Wong Teams Up with Virgil Abloh to Design a City in 15 Minutes

This article was made in partnership with Design Indaba, a website and annual festival that uncovers innovation for good. Click here to learn more about the annual event.

Dong-Ping Wong has created exceptional interior spaces, residential and commercial buildings, and public spaces for some of the biggest names and brands in the world. During his Design Indaba talk, the architect chose to design a city in 15 minutes with the help of fashion designer Virgil Abloh, who was on a live video call with the architect during the presentation.

John Pawson on Making Calm, Simple Spaces

This article was made in partnership with Design Indaba, a website and annual festival that uncovers innovation for good. Click here to learn more about the annual event.

It took a few years and multiple failed career attempts for renowned minimalist designer John Pawson to truly enter the world of architecture. Though he’d cultivated an interest in design from a young age, he’d initially shied away due to his beliefs that he needed to be good at math and that design was an innate skill rather than something that could be taught.

“Design can be a Powerful Tool for Good": Mariam Kamara on Changing Narratives through Architecture

This article was made in partnership with Design Indaba, a website and annual festival that uncovers innovation for good. Click here to learn more about the annual event.

Niger-born architect Mariam Kamara shared how she is shifting perceptions of her home country at the 2019 Design Indaba Conference in Cape Town. Founder of the architecture and research firm atelier masōmī, Kamara was a software developer for several years before joining united4design, a global collective of architects working on projects in the U.S., Afghanistan and Niger. At the Design Indaba Conference, Miriam discusses her work and what it means to put people at the forefront of practice.

Courtesy of Design IndabaCourtesy of Design IndabaMariam Kamara. Image Courtesy of Design IndabaCourtesy of Design Indaba+ 8

A Sustainable Solution for South Africa's Toilet Crisis by the Community, for the Community

This article was made in partnership with Design Indaba, a website and annual festival that uncovers innovation for good. Global Graduate Nicole Moyo presented her project Day 1 of the 2019 festival. Click here to learn more about the annual event.

Our planet is home to almost 7 billion people. Out of these 7 billion, more than 5 billion have access to mobile phones, but less have access to working toilets, and more than 1 billion still discharge waste in the open.

Courtesy of Nicole MoyoCourtesy of Nicole MoyoCourtesy of Nicole MoyoCourtesy of Nicole Moyo+ 16

Rebuilding Somalia’s Ruined Cities

Rebuilding lives also means rebuilding living spaces, and this is where Italian-born architect, Omar Degan, comes in.

“I feel that architecture and design play a key role in developing countries, but in particular post-conflict countries,” says Degan.

Michelle Mlati's Afrofuturist Approach To Spatial Planning

With an academic background that includes social sciences, curatorship, and architecture, Michelle Mlati's trajectory is an interesting one; more so for the way her current work dabbles in these areas simultaneously.  

Describing herself as an afrofuturist critical spatial designer, Johannesburg-based Mlati’s practice investigates elements of the city, from sustainability through to social dynamics, architecture to aural and visual cultures.

How Urban Planning Can Help Us Cope With Climate Change

Cities are hotter than surrounding areas because of a climate phenomena that is known as the urban heat island (UHI). While scientists have studied this effect for decades, new information has recently come to light that points to the way we arrange our cities as a key contributor to raised temperatures. The results could help city planners build our future cities better.

The 2019 Design Indaba Festival in Cape Town Celebrates Design, Culture, and Creativity

Known for hosting the "best creative conference in the world," the Design Indaba Festival brings together internationally-acclaimed architects, designers, emerging talents, critics, and art enthusiasts all under one roof to discuss the importance of making the world a better place through design. Over the last two decades, the annual conference has centered on "design activism," with a focus on online design publications.

The multi-sensory event will take place in the heart of Cape Town from 27 February to 01 March 2019 in the Artscape Theater Center. The theater has been a pioneer in artistic expression and display for more than four decades, providing a platform of world-class productions and innovative sets.

Courtesy of Design IndabaCourtesy of Design IndabaCourtesy of Design IndabaCourtesy of Design Indaba+ 8

Snøhetta and Local Studio Unveil Wooden Archway Honoring Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa

The Arch for Arch, an intertwined wooden archway honoring Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has debuted in downtown Cape Town, South Africa on a site near Parliament where Tutu held many of his anti-Apartheid protests.

Designed by Snøhetta and Johannesburg-based Local Studio, in collaboration with Design Indaba and Hatch engineers, the Arch for Arch consists of 14 woven strands of Larch wood, representing the 14 chapters of South Africa’s constitution. Reaching nearly 30 feet tall (9 meters), the structure invite visitors to pass through and be reminded of the location’s prominent role in their country’s history on their way to the Company’s Garden, one of the most popular public spaces in the city since its establishment in 1652.

© David Southwood© David SouthwoodPictured at far right: Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the 2017 Design Indaba Conference, where the design was first unveiled. Image Courtesy of Design IndabaThe Arch is formed of 14 strands of Siberian Larch wood, a highly durable and resistant material that will weather gracefully over time, taking on the elements of its surroundings. The warmth of wood was intentionally selected to lend the Arch an intimate, tactile quality, that invites people to interact with the structure in a way that differs from the conventional materials people might expect for a memorial structure, such as concrete, steel, or stone. Image © David Southwood+ 13