16 Mar 2012
Design Indaba 2012 | special edition newsletter

Design shouldn't be the runt of the litter

Looking back through my handwritten notes (yes, iUsedapen, à la Porky Hefer), I find have to start at the very beginning, with FoxP2's lessons learnt:
  • Best practice can't be applied to truly original work.
  • Have the courage to see your vision through.
  • Choose the right partners.
  • Better practice can yield better results.
  • Better practice can set your business free.
  • Better practice can shape popular culture.
  • Don't put pants on the Wookie.

And my collection of key phrases from other speakers: think wrong; do shit that matters; trust your gut; tell the truth; fail hard; fail fast; make stuff; don't die by committee; recruit the right people; go open source; sharing is better for everyone; always do something new; have fun while you're at it; you learn better if you can laugh (and smell at the same time); trust the unknown; nothing interesting happens if you know where you are going; not only one viewpoint is valid; memories last forever; give people what they don't expect; throw seeds in ground and hope something comes up; get out; interact; design for emotion; change contexts; stop working, start living; design isn't for the privileged. The real world is the killer app.

In conclusion, to sum up Design Indaba 2012, imagine a wookie in pants, dancing Bollywood-style to a disco beat inside a container cable car, with interactive light sculpture installations and suspended balls or pixels in the air. Plus a dead duck being hurled across the stage which then steals the "please finish speaking" sign, while a battle tank bears down on everything. Then film it all, isolate the frames and crowdsource illustrations and turn this into an interactive web music video that includes a curator speaking at twice the speed of light. Don't forget to provide instructions on how to print this out and create a life-scale model. Now if only I could draw...

Oh, and the Design Indaba expo was simply fantastic.

View the Bizcommunity.com Design Indaba twitterfallHere's to the crazy ones!
Simone Puterman (@SimoneBiz)
Managing editor
Don't forget to keep on checking our biz twitterfall for further updates.

Overview of Design Indaba 2012

Where it was at
[Herman Manson: @marklives] Recently, Cape Town geared up to host one of the world's premier design conferences - the 2012 Design Indaba. Design Indaba regular and Pentagram partner Michael Bierut emceed this year's event, alongside Michelle Constant and Khaya Dlanga. The conference took place 29 February-March 2012 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and the expo (which was open to the general public) took place 2-4 March 2012. Read more >>

The conference

Find courage and leave the Wookie pant-less
[Herman Manson: @marklives] The annual design conference got underway with a call from speakers to approach design from unconventional viewpoints as a route to true creative solutions. Read more >>

Who said you can't change the world with design?
[Terry Levin] On the opening day of conference, the new pioneers of positivity presented their visions of a new world order. The theme that emerged may be said to be one of uncertainty. Read more >>

An architect's manifesto
[Herman Manson: @marklives] The failures in our urban design were recognised by the two South African architects speaking on the second day of the conference. Delegates were told that architecture can contribute to outcomes of change and called on them to develop a agenda for urban change. Read more >>

Cities that speak
[Terry Levin] Another dominant themes that emerged from the conference might be said to be one of a new kind of assisted or enhanced intelligence - with almost every presenter demonstrating the new narrative and emotive potentials of digital interfaces to connect. Read more >>

Invest in people
[Anton Crone] Coincidentally, while thousands at Design Indaba were being inspired by bold urban design that challenges our thinking, the former mayor of Bogota, Columbia, was challenging urban development policies at a conference in Stellenbosch. Screened during the Design Indaba week, the documentary Urbanized also expounded on Enrique Peñasola's initiatives. As bold and controversial as these are, the benefits to the citizens are profound. Read more >>

There ain't no grave
[Terry Levin] In a way coming full circle, musicians - in collaboration with their designers, video producers and techies peers - are reinventing the "concept album", songs and music videos in an unlimited array of engaging and interactive methods that not only promote the music itself but also offer infinite opportunities to expand the original intentions by communicating in new and, ironically, even more personal ways than those offered by old school. Read more >>

In-depth interviews

John Bielenberg is wrong
[Herman Manson: @marklives] It seems like graphic designer John Bielenberg will not be defined solely by his creative credentials. And there are plenty of those, including armfuls of awards, exhibitions, honorary degrees and fellowships. Bizcommunity.com had a chat with this speaker from day one. Read more >>

Interaction design with Hellicar & Lewis
[Herman Manson: @marklives] Hellicar & Lewis is the interaction design partnership between Pete Hellicar and Joel Gethin Lewis. Bizcommunity.com discovered more about the integration of physical and digital environments, plus the global move towards a more collaborative approach to design and business, from these speakers from day two. Read more >>

Clive van Heerden sees the 'far-future' of design
[Herman Manson: @marklives] Clive van Heerden is the senior director of Design-Led Innovation at Philips Design. In its simplest terms, Van Heerden and his team researches how socio-cultural and technology shifts only just emerging today might shape society and the way we live 10 or 20 years from now. Bizcommunity.com caught up with this speaker from day three to ask him a few questions. Read more >>

Andrew Shoben on how a 'design capital' should view public art
[Herman Manson: @marklives] Andrew Shoben makes art in public spaces. His artists 'collective, Greyworld, has become known for creating artwork in mostly urban spaces that resonates with many rather than an 'arty' few. Bizcommunity.com posed a few questions to this speaker from day three. Read more >>

SENSEable cities
[Herman Manson: @marklives] Presenting on day three of the conference, Carlo Ratti and Assaf Biderman highlighted the role technology and information can play in optimising city planning. Bizcommunity.com spoke to the two about their philosophy behind their approach and the tools used in their research. Read more >>

Q&A with MBOISA, expo winners
[Simone Puterman: managing editor] This year, the big winners at the Design Indaba Expo were jeweller Kirsten Goss, whose Lily Pad Ring is the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa 2012; graphic designer and Creative Stand winner Mike van Heerden; and Andy Cartwright of Andy Cartwright Homeware, who walked off with the inaugural Innovation Award. Bizcommunity.com found what these wins mean and how the expo was for them, as well as their plans for the future. Read more >>

The expo

Lily Pad ring crowned Most Beautiful Object in South Africa 2012
This year, at the Design Indaba Expo 2012, Kirsten Goss's Lily Pad ring took the title of Most Beautiful Object in South Africa (MBOISA), as voted by the public online and via SMS. The Design Indaba Expo Innovation Award and the Most Creative Stand winners were Andy Cartwright Homeware and Emerging Creative graphic designer Mike van Heerden, respectively. Read more >>

AAA student design wins Foodcorp Design Challenge 2012
On Design Indaba Expo opening day, the Foodcorp Design Challenge 2012 announced its winning student entries. Challenged to engineer packaging, marketing and advertising concepts for local blue chip brands, Yum Yum Peanut Butter, Glenryck Pilchards, Ouma Rusks and Mageu Number 1, the AAA's Tanya Reyneke won first prize. Read more >>

That personal touch at the expo
[Jordan Scott] Studying at the AAA School of Advertising has given me the opportunity to go to the Design Indaba Expo for the last three years. Each year I am blown away by the creativity and innovation that moves through the veins of Cape Town, its surrounding areas and the rest of South Africa. What was most interesting about this year's event was that it had a much more "personal" feel to it. Read more >>

Lighting, layout enhance Design Indaba Expo
This year's Design Indaba Expo broke new ground when exhibition designers Scan Display, which set up and broke down the exhibition, installed LED lighting within the Unibox booths that not only provided better illumination for products but also reportedly saved 93% energy against standard lighting. Read more >>

Design Indaba gives emerging creative jewellers valuable insight
As part of the Emerging Creatives programme of the Design Indaba Expo 2012, four design students from the Thuthuka Jewellery & Product Development Programme showcased their work to the local and international audience, gaining valuable insights into market likes and expectations. Read more >>

Adams & Adams protecting intellectual capital at Design Indaba Expo
Adams & Adams, the first official attorneys of Design Indaba, used the opportunity to explain the forms of intellectual property and provide advice on the protection and enforcement of the rights of fellow exhibitors. Read more >>

Antalis launches new paper, Olympic competition
Antalis South Africa, at this year's Design Indaba Expo, launched its latest Conqueror Bamboo promotion, 'Your gift to the Earth' and a 'Win the Medal!' typographic games competition, from Arjo Wiggins Creative Papers, which offers printers a sporting chance to attend the 2012 Olympics in London for a weekend. Read more >>

FNB, PayPal launch design competition at Design Indaba
Elance, described as a large platform for online freelance employment opportunities, has teamed up with FNB PayPal and launched a Paper Wallet Design competition at Design Indaba. Read more >>

Other Design Indaba news

Common Pitch: winner, additional sponsorship by MTN announced
The Common Pitch competition, held on the opening night of Design Indaba saw a surprise move by MTN, which donated an extra R100 000 to Dry Bath, a Limpopo invention; and EarthBag Construction System won R200 000 to use on other projects in communities that need it. Read more >>

TJDR CT creates a manifesto for Design Indaba attendees - The Jupiter Drawing Room Cape Town
For the eighth consecutive year, The Jupiter Drawing Room (Cape Town) developed the brand advertising and design collateral for Cape Town's annual Design Indaba conference and expo. Read more >>

Wicked Pixels creates the prestigious Design Indaba 2012 campaign - Wicked Pixels
Wicked Pixels was selected by The Jupiter Drawing Room Cape Town to produce the entire campaign for one of the world's premier design events, the Design Indaba Conference 2012, held annually in Cape Town. Read more >>

Short, sharp close to Design Indaba
This year's Design Indaba close saw Mini South Africa and iLuminate, of America's Got Talent fame, produce a glittering representation in lights of the newest addition to the car range, the new Mini Roadster, as it joined international performers. Read more >>

Firewater Light helps to reveal the new Mini Roadster - The Firewater Group
The Design Indaba Conference in Cape Town ended on Friday 2 March and Firewater Light, together with Black River FC, closed the event off in style. In what was known as the 'Mystery Performance', the two companies took to the stage with international act iLuminate, of America's Got Talent fame, to unveil the new Mini Roadster. Read more >>


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