The art of being here now

We’re taking the ultimate journey – one of self-exploration – to equip ourselves with know-how for now.

We’re staying home, but one of the challenges of self-isolation is that #flatteningthecurve could potentially flatten the spirits, too.
So, we’re taking the ultimate journey – one of self-exploration – to equip ourselves with know-how for now, looking to our Design Indaba alumni and other thought leaders to help us curate the art of being.

Mind Control

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by a “new normal” which continually stretches the known. When the future’s uncertainty is uncomfortably apparent, we can restore calm by practicing being in the present. Controlling our state of mind will allow us to renew body, purpose and creativity.

And can you design for the mind? Design Indaba Global Graduate Freyja Sewell makes mindfulness visible. Her Metacognition Revolution project seeks to facilitate a revolution in which people take the time to consider their thoughts. Restore your calm and watch her talk here.

Attack Panic

Take a deep breath. And practice techniques like yoga’s Pranayama. Now exhale. 

Breath of Creativity

Mindful breath work has been touted to restore calmness to mind and body, promoting both clarity of thought and immune-boosting benefits.

Call him lunatic or luminary, extreme athlete Wim Hof is nonetheless famous for near-impossible stunts like climbing Mount Everest wearing next to nothing or running a half-marathon barefoot in the snow – and, of course, breath work.

Known as “The Iceman” he has designed a breathing mantra known as the Wim Hoff Method and invites you to join a free guided breathing mini class. The Iceman cometh… 


With clarity of mind comes clarity of self. Using these moments of pause can help you unlock your creative purpose and journey. Design Indaba speakers like costume designer Ane Crabtree attest to the power of the personal journey. You are the map. Decide where X marks the spot.

Live Poets Society

Poetry can trigger therapeutic benefits. Discover the lyrical verse of Design Indaba Alumnus Lebo Mashile in her talk on art and poetry as forms of self-expression.

Balance Beaming

Electing to work from home as a life choice is one thing; suddenly migrating an entire organisation to a remote model is another altogether. One of the biggest stress contributors for lockdown’s teleworkers is trying to balance the multiple roles we’re now forced to play, usually all at once – like simultaneously managing family caregiving, work deadlines and getting used to all-virtual exchanges.

Sustaining business continuity in a time of disruption is not without challenges. Here are Harvard University’s tips for leading a meeting with remote participants or participating in a web meeting. 

Home page

Operating from home entails designing a suitable work station, or refining an existing one. Ergonomics are key. But once you’ve done what you can, think about what might happen if your chair could respond to your body. Design Indaba Global Graduate Teshia Treuhaft did just that.

Home again, home again

To optimize your home environment during lockdown, turn to UK designer and former interiors magazine editor Ilse Crawford. Disenchanted with decor that looked stylish but left her feeling cold, this Design Indaba Alumnus developed an approach in which she uses spaces to promote a positive state of being. Watch her Design Indaba talk here.

Sound sense

Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, wrote British poet William Congreve in 1697. Over the years, we savage beasts have bastardised his original, but the sense remains. We invite all you home DJs to turn on, tune in and drop those delicious tracks. The late, great Hugh Masekela would have celebrated his birthday this past weekend, and in his honour, we’re blasting out the triumphant trumpet of this much-loved Design Indaba Alumnus. Read more here.

Eat Feat

With the work-from-home dynamic, it is easy to get caught up in patterns of multi-tasking, often eating at our desks – losing the experience of eating. Taking a moment to pause and be present during meals could bring a deeper appreciation for the routine task of eating. Described as sensual eating, being present during the eating experience can bring about a heightened sense of texture, scent and flavour.

You aren’t just what you eat, but HOW you eat it. Remaining present while eating is all the more critical when we are hyper-aware of food security. Read more here.

Join Design Indaba Alumnus and food pioneer Marije Vogelzang for a free webinar on how food and design can change the world and how YOU can be a part of it. Sign up here.


At a time like this, you have the power to help make a difference. The Design Indaba DO TANK is currently manufacturing and distributing Bas Timmer’s Shelterbags to the homeless. We’re collecting donations to make it possible to shelter more people from the approaching Cape Town winter.

Thank you to all those who have already made a contribution – you have become part of the solution! 

You can still pledge here