Design Indaba Trust

The Design Indaba Trust was launched as a not-for-profit company to make possible the projects and initiatives that make up the Design Indaba Do Tank.

The Design Indaba Trust aims to extend design exposure and training to young people across the creative sectors. We believe that the greatest barrier to entering creative industries for many is simply a lack of knowledge about it.

The lack of educational opportunities are a major structural impediment to transforming South Africa into a centre of design excellence, therefore The Design Indaba Trust awards bursaries to previously disadvantaged youth that enable them to further their studies.

Dedicated to design education and development in South Africa, it spearheads the Design Indaba 10x10 Housing and Industrial developmental projects, as well as the Workshop Series involving leading international designers that is held throughout the year at the country’s leading tertiary institutions.

The Design Indaba 10x10 projects were launched to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Design Indaba flagship event in 2007. They encapsulate the Design Indaba  mantra: “Design is that skill or facility to improve the quality of life”. The Design Indaba 10x10 Projects bring together the talent, skills and goodwill of the Design Indaba alumni to make an impact where design thinking may be least anticipated. The first (and now completed first phase) is the Design Indaba 10x10 Low-cost Housing project, which focused on innovative solutions for the global problem of urban housing.  The second project, the Design Indaba 10x10 Industrial project focuses on industrial design and how it might be used to provide a new impetus to local manufacturing.

One of the Design Indaba Trust’s objectives is to help develop a fresh and unique South African design tradition. There is an incredible opportunity to leverage off the goodwill generated by the Design Indaba Conference and Expo and run developmental projects in parallel with the flagship event that is held in Cape Town at the end of February.

Our mission

  • To help develop a fresh and unique South African design tradition.
  • To expose our design institutions to the best design educators in the world.
  • To inform the public as to the importance of design to our economy, our culture and way of life.

Our aim

  • To present the field of design as a viable vocation and career option.
  • To help develop South Africa’s national design tradition from a grassroots level.
  • To improve the employability of design students by granting them exposure and opportunity.


  • To contribute to the economic upliftment of Cape Town and South Africa as a whole.


  • The Trust develops workshop programmes in collaboration with academia and international design educators like Irma Boom, Lucille Tenazas, Oscar Pena, Paula Sher and Vince Frost.
  • These workshops are weeklong interventions that focus on a defined product eg. A magazine was produced by Durban design students and distributed at the World Conference Against Racism. Beyond design, the workshop attendees follow the full production process to the finished product, which they can include in their portfolios.
  • The Trust mobilises the creative industries for resources in terms of materials, time and intellectual capital, and raises funds via the private sector.


  • The Trust is steered by a committee of industry professionals dedicated to development in design.
  • The Design Indaba Trust is an initiative of Interactive Africa, the company responsible for Design Indaba.