Design Indaba News

Johannes Torpe announced as speaker at Design Indaba 2018

Danish designer and CEO and creative director of the design company, Johannes Torpe Studios has been announced as one of the speakers at this year's Design Indaba Conference 2018.
Image supplied by Johannes Torpe.

At age twelve, Torpe left home and started working in a drum store in Copenhagen. In an interview with Mind Mag Torpe says because he played the drums, it was the most natural thing for him to do. While he was a musician, he also became interested in lighting design and started his own lighting design company when he was only 17 years old.

As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Thorpe sold his company at age 21 to move on to better and bigger things. Now owning his own studio, Johannes Torpe Studios, situated in Copenhagen, Denmark and known as the former creative director of legendary brand, Bang & Olufsen, Thorpe has established himself in the industry as a “design activist”, as he calls himself, dedicated to telling compelling and authentic stories through creativity by using a unique and unorthodox approach.

I caught up with Torpe and asked him about his upcoming talk at this year’s Design Indaba, what he’s looking forward to and what inspires him most.

BizcommunityWhat are you most excited about for this year's Design Indaba?

I am super excited about the diversity of the program. It is an amazing collection of brains brought together for a festival of inspiration. Many of the people I admire most are performing or speaking at the festival, so it is a great honour for me to have been invited to participate this year.

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BizcommunityPlease tell us more about your talk and what you will be discussing?

Well, in short, I will be discussing the conditions we set for creativity and how we set them free. It is my experience that to deliver a great performance, you have to give something of yourself to the audience, so I will do my very best to tell a personal story that I am quite confident will leave the audience both entertained and inspired.

BizcommunityWhat do you love most about the design industry?

Design is how we humans organise creativity – it is about creating order and structure and systems. And this is why I love Design Indaba; because it's not limited to be focused on the design itself, it's just as much about creativity as a source that runs with designers, architects, musicians, filmmakers, scientists, and artists – anything and anyone really, with something at heart, can be part of the program. This is unique and super inspiring to me. And that is why it is so important for people from the design industry to come to South Africa and set their minds free.

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BizcommunityWhat/who inspires you?

Most of all its people. Meeting new people, engaging in meaningful conversations and getting other people’s perspectives is a constant source of inspiration. And also, another reason for why I cannot wait to spend a week at Indaba!

BizcommunityWhat are the top design trends you can predict for 2018?

Trends have never and will never be interesting to me, so I honestly don't know. But on a personal level, I will try to have as much fun as possible in 2018, that's a great prediction, isn't it?

Click here for Bizcommunity's special section on the Design Indaba and here for more information on the Design Indaba website.

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About Juanita Pienaar

Juanita Pienaar is an editorial assistant for the Marketing & Media news portal at and is also a contributing writer.