Design Indaba 2020: key moments


Design Indaba has become a respected institution on the global creative landscape, based on the foundation of our annual festival that has attracted and showcased the world’s brightest talent since 1995.

Since its inception, Design Indaba has inspired and empowered people to create a better future through design and creativity, focusing on African and global creativity, through the lens of the work and ideas of leading and emerging thinkers and doers, opinion formers, trendsetters and industry experts.

This year’s festival was no different filled with captivating talks, live music, threatre, exhibitions and masterclasses.

Here are our key moments from #DI2020 (all images taken from @designindaba):

The Most Beautiful Object in South Africa prize went to Izandla Zethu, whose Delicate Bracelet won over the public.

Italian illustrator Olimpia Zagnoli made the important point that brands expressing bigoted views need not be boycotted – they can be encouraged to change their views through design activism. “My work won’t change anyone’s life; but as creators we have the privilege of being able to speak up when needed.”

In his presentation, Kenyan fashion curator Sunny Dolat emphasized that beauty is healing, dignified and spiritual – not frivolous.

The 40 emerging creatives’ satellite exhibiton that ranged from fashion, architecture, interior design, visual art, jewellery design to the art of making.

Image: Garth von Glehn.

Sho Madjozi’s energetic performance and her outstanding presentation of the history and future of the xibelani, an integral part of Tsonga culture (for example, xibelani skirts are fantastically expensive and most women hope to own at least one in their life). Madjozi asserted that culture has to evolve and can’t be ‘museumfied’ – she proposed a xibelani carnival in Limpopo along the lines of the Rio Carnival, complete with extravagant innovation.

Ghanaian mixed media artist Ibrahim Mahama, spoke about repurposing jute sacks for artistic purposes. Context is everything to Mahama – irony and anti-colonialist commentary inform his socially oriented practice.

Bio-designer Natsai Audrey Chieza tackles the issues caused by the fashion sector, by combining design, technology and nature in order to create a more holistic system for a better future. During her presentation, she shared her work @faberfutures using up to 500 times less water than the typical industry standards to dye textiles. She added that Synethic biology holds that we can take molecular-level design and create systems to apply it in the real world – like using microbes to dye fabrics, instead of toxic chemicals

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