Design Indaba Expo 2012: A Snapshot of South African Design

Core77 features their highlights from Design Indaba Expo 2012.
Sharing ideas using 16,800 pencils and 10,000 post-it notes at the Cape Town World Design Capital 2014 booth
Sharing ideas using 16,800 pencils and 10,000 post-it notes at the Cape Town World Design Capital 2014 booth

With over 400 exhibitors, the Design Indaba Expo showcases a diverse range of South African design. Featuring everything from furniture to jewelry, fashion to homewares, we were just two of over 40,000 people to walk the floors of the Expo over the three day showcase. Below we've identified some of our favorite products from this year's show...

Consol Sun Jar - Sometimes the most simple solutions are the best. For over 60 years, South African glass manufacturers Consol have been creating packaging solutions for both commercial and consumer applications. Their newly introduced "Solar Jars" leverage their brand's history while providing a simple, lowcost light for indoor/outdoor use. A Consol mason jar lid is fitted with a solar panel and LED lights—a full charge emits up to six hours of light. It's a straightforward version of Tobias Wong's Sun Jar at less than half the price.


The Soft Machine - Debuting at Design Indaba, the Soft Machine is a food design venture that serves deliciously fresh soft serve ice creams in whimsical South African flavors like Honey Bush Tea, Sweet Corn with Tomato Jam and Moer Koffie. Because ice cream is a small delight best shared, we love the bespoke stools built for two. The tricked out soft serve truck was conceptualized by Cape Town digital creative agency CowAfrica, using graphics from local studio Radio, the Soft Machine is a converted 1960 Gypsy Caravan designed and built by Thingking.



Bike Bench - Finalist for the student category of the annual Western Cape Furniture Initiative competition, the "Bike Bench" is a dual-purpose public bench and bike rack. Designed by Pierre N.F. Roux, a recent graduate of Cape Peninsula University, the h-shaped design can be strung together to expand the seating for a variety of different public spaces.


Pederson + Lennard - We were immediately charmed by the steel bucket stools that dotted the perimeter of Pedersen + Lennard's booth. The duo behind this young design firm first met studying industrial design in Cape Town and formalized their partnership in 2009. Their interior design and furniture projects reflect, "our fascination with South African craft and the clean aesthetic of our Scandinavian forefathers." To take a closer look at their simple and functional designs, you can pop-by {field office}, a cafe and showroom in the burgeoning industrial neighborhood of Woodstock for a coffee and quick seat. [Ed Note: Check out their beautiful wall hooks here!]


Kraftisan - Spotted in the "Emerging Creatives" section of the Expo, Kraftisan is a project by "owner, manufacturer and designer," Lucas Adams, who also happens to be an industrial design student at Cape Peninsula University. His plywood exhibition booth cheerfully displayed the first two offerings from the recently launched Kraftisan line—the "Puzzle Pinup," a fiberwood and corksheet interlocking pinboard and the "Luna Light," a hand-assembled desk lamp constructed using birch plywood, a paper shade and a velcro base.



Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion Design - A circle of seamstresses is an unusual thing to encounter in any setting, but as an exhibition for the Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion Design in Stellenbosch, the hum of the sewing machines was engaging and the wash of gray textiles was captivating. Best of all, the press packet not only includes information about the school's courses in fashion design, drawing and illustration, textile studies and more, but also a pattern to to practice your newly-learned skills!



Andy Cartwright Korol Collection - We're no strangers to modular design, but South African designer Andy Cartwright, winner of the first Design Indaba Innovation Award, built his entire tabletop and home decor collection using connecting plastic and silicone widgets. Fruit bowls, lampshades, candle holders and wall clocks are assembled using the same 100% recycled polypropylene base pieces. As the name of the collection indicates, Korol feels like a playful spin on an organic process of building something wonderful, piece-by-piece.





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