Ravi Naidoo founded Design Indaba in 1995 in order to celebrate the creative potential of the new, post-apartheid South Africa and share this potential with the world. He also sought to educate South Africans by attracting the world’s leading designers in every field to come and engage with design projects in South Africa.
Since its inaugural year, the annual international event has grown to become the world’s leading design conference has attracted much international attention to outstanding South African talent.
Design Indaba has been recognised as having a positive effect on the South African design economy, with initiatives that accelerate and mentor emerging creatives. Naidoo was also the catalyst behind Woolworths and the Western Cape Government of Education creating a design syllabus at school level.
The Sir Misha Black Awards Committee has announced that the 2015 Sir Misha Black Medal for Distinguished Services to Design Education will be awarded to Ravi Naidoo.
Malcolm Garrett, Master of the Faculty of Royal Designers for Industry and their representative on the Awards Committee has said:
“Ravi Naidoo lost no time in rising to the opportunities and challenges presented by the abolition of apartheid in South Africa, and for twenty years has been realising a vision to harness the power of design and creativity to drive change and improve the quality of life for his country. He saw the possibility of creating an economic revolution, one intrinsically tied to the story of South Africa. His was no narrow vision but one which through global sharing of design talent would enhance the economies and therefore the lives of people everywhere.”