The design squadron of the future

Meet the bright young creatives who have surfaced through our three longstanding youth programmes: Emerging Creatives, Global Graduates and antenna.


Now in its 15th year, Design Indaba Emerging Creatives is a developmental support programme that invites submissions from across South Africa with the aim of unearthing rising design talent. Held annually and supported by the Department of Arts and Culture, the programme has helped launch the careers of now-celebrated designers such as Laduma Ngxokolo, Thebe Magugu, Daniel Ting Chong, Rich Mnisi, Siyanda Mbele and Renée Rossouw.

The exhibition of work by up-and-coming creatives is always a must-see feature of the yearly Design Indaba Festival. If you missed this showcase at the Artscape Theatre Centre in February, we invite you to “meet” the entire class of 2020 via our website. Below you’ll find a small selection of this year’s many talents:

Future Forward

Robyn Agulhas looks to the streets of Cape Town for her fashion inspiration. Her futuristic streetwear anticipates various technological adaptations.

The street cred threads of tomorrow by Robyn Agulhas. Image: Supplied.

Make Some Noise

An interior and furniture designer hailing from the Mother City, Mia Senekal is the founder of the unusual sounding murrmurr, a furniture company focusing on unique pieces. 

Mia Louise Senekal is an interior and furniture designer and the founder of furniture design company murrmurr.

Sacred Spaces

The winner of the inaugural Nando’s Ravi Naidoo Residency, Joburger Mmamotsatsi Masike is an interior space planner whose studio, Design Muse, creates sacred spaces filled with her tailor-made furniture pieces.

The Mansa server, dining chairs and couch by Design Muse. Image: Supplied.

African Tales

Morena Moletsane is a Gauteng-based illustrator who pairs technical prowess with a passion for African short stories.

Heaven Ain’t Closed – an illustration by Morena Moletsane. Image: Supplied.


Established in 2008, the Design Indaba Global Graduate initiative seeks out design students from across the globe whose projects present game-changing ideas for a better future. Design Indaba curates the selection of these global graduates together with the heads of more than 40 design institutes and colleges (and beyond) around the world. Here are some of the graduates who presented at #DI2020:


Mazbahul Islam has rethought emergency medical services in rural Bangladesh. Check out his Safewheel Ambulance in this week’s video interview premiere.

Mazbahul Islam is one of the young global graduates who presented at the 2020 Design Indaba Conference.


Anna Talvi takes fashion to the final frontier by designing microgravity wear for life in space.

Hear her thoughts on the matter, in this week’s video interview release.

Design meets the future in Estonian Anna Talvi’s ingenious range of microgravity-wear.


UCT’s Vukheta Mukhari is part of a research team that has developed construction bricks made from human urine – a world first!

Wee can do this! Human urine has become a viable building material. Image: Supplied.


Event and product designer Sacha Buliard has combined these two fields to create a responsive mat, dubbed Unlearn, which teaches people how to reorient themselves within their bodies.

Sacha Buliard believes we need to unlearn bad habits in order to pay more attention to our physical wellbeing. Image: Supplied.


Ananya Khaitan’s pointed communication design spans anything from books to posters to brand identities. He is not afraid to tackle socio-political problems head-on, confronting issues such as the death penalty and child rape in his work.


Curated by Design Indaba, antenna is a featured programme and exhibition at Dutch Design Week. Launched in 2017, antenna scans the next generation of designers, thinkers, makers and problem-solvers who are addressing the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals through design-led solutions. Selected antenna participants are invited to present their ideas on the Design Indaba conference stage.

The antenna Speakers who featured at #DI2020 include Kathryn Larsen and Antya Waegemann. If you’ve caught previous editions of our newsletter, then you’ll already be familiar with Larsen’s investigations into kelp as a source of leather.

Bio-based designer and architectural technologist Kathryn Larsen is looking to the past to create a greener future.

Waegemann is a creative strategist who presented her sensitive reformulation of the rape kit at this year’s event.

Antya Waegemann created a redesigned rape kit, called When No One Believes you. The kit is a response to sexual assault and it contains six different design interventions for use by victims, nurses and police.