Talking creative entrepreneurship at DI2011

Jody Aufrichtig, Nicholas Ferguson, Jen Bilik, Brad Armitage and Rui Esteves turn creativity into commerce.

At the heart of a flourishing economy is entrepreneurship. And at the heart of entrepreneurship is creativity. And at the heart of creativity is the belief that it can work to enhance the world around us.

At Design Indaba 2011 we present individuals that have taken entrepreneurial initiative, and combined it with a unique brand of creativity to design spaces, products and experiences that add value to people’s lives.

From Cape Town, one-time accountants Jody Aufrichtig and Nicholas Ferguson have drawn on the city’s innate spirit of creativity to both develop and renew key parts of the city. Collectively known as Daddy’s World, Aufrichtig and Ferguson have been responsible for upgrading and transforming the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock into a thriving community market.

Daddy’s World’s most publicised projects have been the Pink Flamingo Rooftop Cinema, the Grand Daddy Hotel and the Old Mac Daddy Trailer Park in Elgin, outside Cape Town. These projects have all drawn on the creative passion and energy of some of the city’s most talented designers to infuse these places with a renewed set of cultural values.

Moving from places to product, Jen Bilik founded Knock Knock in 2002 in California. Marrying the verbal with the visual, Knock Knock creates a range of interesting, smart and well-designed gifts and stationery. Combining humour, practicality and stylishness, Knock Knock’s pads, sticky notes, flashcards, kits and books are an opposing action against the homogenisation of corporate products. Believing that creativity teaches us how to think, Bilik says the ability to think creatively and critically is what will allow us to reinvent and adapt for a better future.

Back in Cape Town, beer and locavore eating has never been as appealing as at &Union. Concept developers and brand custodians Brad Armitage and Rui Esteves have taken the concept of beer, crafted their own, added more than a touch of creativity and turned it into a luxury product. Armitage and Esteves have been crafting retail experiences together for over 11 years, working to change the face of the South Africa consumer experience.

Daddy's World, Jen Bilik and &Union will be speaking at the 2011 Design Indaba Conference from 23 to 25 February.

Watch the Talk with &Union