Quarter 02 / 2004

Magazine Cover

"By far this conference is the best conference I've participated in."

"The diversity of the speakers and the people that attend really puts the Design Indaba apart from a lot of other conferences."

"The thing which distinguishes the Design Indaba from a lot of other conferences is the social context of SA. Many more social issues are raised here."

"It's about an amazing, amazing energy that has come together and created something so dynamic."

"Although everyone is so diverse, this is a common language. I think this is absolutely fascinating, there is a terrific energy."

These were just some of the comments that our speakers and delegates proffered about their experiences at the 7th International Design Indaba & Expo held recently in Cape Town. The event has continued to grow: this edition had a record attendance of 1300 delegates (with more international delegates than ever before) to the Conference and over 11 000 visitors to the Expo.

Positive feedback of this nature is the result of a number of contributing factors to the overall success of an ambitious event. Critically though, we have learnt that the game-breaker is to ensure that gifted, talented speakers are invited. Speakers with an understanding of why design enhances competitive advantage, and who have a willingness to impart knowledge to an enquiring and critical audience. We showcase some of these thought leaders in this bumper double issue of Design Indaba magazine, which will be re-launched later this month to an even bigger distribution network.

Delegate, sponsor and speaker response to the event has been overwhelmingly positive and has rated this year's Design Indaba as the best ever. We are determined to continue the trajectory we are on - the real results are not in delegate numbers, but in the impact on the creative industries. We want the creative industries (graphic design, advertising, publishing, new media, film, fashion design, product design, visual arts, interior design, architecture, etc) to shrug off its mantle as a Cinderella sector, and become a major growth area for our economy.

We have more work to do. Next month sees us continuing with our Workshop Series through tertiary institutions of South Africa, with design luminary Paula Scher in our midst. We realise that education and commercial development are the crucial levers for design in South Africa.

Let's design a better future! - Ravi Naidoo