Emerging Creatives

Looking for your creative break? Look no further than the annual Emerging Creatives programme presented by Design Indaba and the Department of Arts and Culture.

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The Design Indaba Emerging Creatives programme presented in collaboration with the Department of Arts and Culture provides support, education and mentoring for South Africa's future designers.

Applications for our 2020 programme officially open on 14 June 2019.

This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has helped launch the careers of celebrated and vibrant young designers such as Laduma Ngxokolo, Thebe Magugu, Daniel Ting Chong and Renée Rossouw.

Meet some of the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives:


About Design Indaba Emerging Creatives:

The Design Indaba Emerging Creatives programme is a developmental platform for young creatives who have relatively little industry exposure. It was established  in 2005 because of our strong belief in nurturing new creative talent and knocking down some of the barriers in the way of young people getting a start in the creative economy.

With the fundamental changes in the media landscape and the local design industry, we have endeavoured to make the programme more relevant to the South African context. Architects, fashion designers, illustrators, furniture designers or jewellers – all sectors are welcome to apply. Participants are selected based on the quality and originality of their work as well as the work's ability to stand alongside world-class designs.

The programme provides the opportunity to be inspired by the best designers in the world by being part of our annual Design Indaba conference. The selected participants will not only get to meet local and international industry leaders but their work will be showcased to and audience that includes buyers and media from around the world. 

Design Indaba Emerging Creatives 2020:

The Design Indaba Emerging Creatives will be chosen to participate in Cape Town during the Design Indaba Conference 2020 as well as at our Johannesburg simulcast venue.

This is to allow us to increase the number of participating creatives to 50 and give opportunities to more young people. 40 of the participants will get to exhibit in Cape Town, while 10 will be based in Johannesburg during the duration of the festival.

Applications close at midnight on 31 October 2019. A total of 50 participants will be selected from entries received by this deadline

Criteria for entry:

  • Applications are open to current or recent graduate students who have graduated from a tertiary institute within the last two years
  • Emerging Creatives is primarily a student programme, therefore preference will be given to applicants between the ages of 18 – 30 years old. If, however, you have changed career paths and are a mature student or novice just entering the industry, you are still welcome to apply
  • If already working within the design industry, applicants must not have had an established business for more than 12 months at the time of applying
  • Applications are open to South African citizens only
  • Products must be created and manufactured in South Africa
  • Past Emerging Creatives may not re-apply for entry.;
  • 50 participants will be selected to exhibit in Cape Town of which 10  participants will be selected to exhibit at the simulcast venue in Johannesburg. 

Benefits to the Emerging Creatives:

If your application is successful and you are chosen to be a Design Indaba 2020 Emerging Creative, you receive the following:

  • Workshop and support opportunities.
  • Return flights to Cape Town from your home city and accommodation for the duration of Design Indaba Festival 2020.**
  • Tickets to attend the Design Indaba simulcast in Cape Town.
  • Exhibition and display of your work as a part of the Design Indaba Festival in Cape Town (T’s & C’s apply).
  • A profile on designindaba.com and entry into our Designer Directory.
  • A year of prolonged national and international media exposure including online video, web articles and social media posts.

Applications close at midnight on 31 October 2019. A total of 50 participants will be selected from entries received by this deadline. This group will be subject to the full Design Indaba Emerging Creatives programme, including attending the simulcast, attending the workshop, exhibiting at the Cape Town venue, as well as attending the Design Indaba social networking events.**

;** The above benefits are subject to the sponsorship funding received for the programme.

Brought to you by

  • Department of Arts and Culture

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