The making of a dreamscape

Come with us into a surreal world of magical trees, otherworldly art installations and a full-blown lineup of awesome musicians and DJs.

For the last few months, deep in the belly of a Salt River workshop, Design Indaba Nightscape 2017’s creative director Selly Raby Kane has been creating an alternative reality that will soon engulf Cape Town Artscape. The other-worldly installations that our resident Senegalese fashion designer has been creating include fantastical trees, enormous flies and truth-inducing fruits. The installations will create the landscape in which our first ever Nightscape will take place. 

Raby Kane travelled to Ivory Coast to work with Ivorian artist and world-maker Paul Sika to sketch and conceptualise this dreamlike new look for the Artscape Piazza. For the last two months, artist Bassirou Wade (who helped create Raby Kane’s Alien Cartoon) and painter Monsour Bah from Dakar, Senegal have joined forces with a local team of Cape Town creatives, builders and welders from Dimensions Tents and Structures in their local workshop space.

We've been capturing the process in video blogs, in which Raby Kane has been sharing some of the challenges, inspiration and progress of creating her installations. Look out for them on our social media channels. Be prepared to dive into Raby Kane’s fantasy. 

As the biggest design platform and event on the continent, Design Indaba has had a long love affair with African creativity. For the first time in the event’s 21-year history, the 2017 Design Indaba Festival is welcoming an external creative director. Design Indaba has always been committed to growing the African design industry by promoting the ingenuity and originality of creatives on the continent. An alumnus of the Conference stage herself, Raby Kane spoke at Design Indaba 2015 and participated in the Africa.Now. exhibition at the final 2015 Design Indaba Expo as an ambassador of the Senegalese creative collective Les Petites Pierres. Her work has quickly become recognisable as being representative of the most exciting African design and Raby Kane’s surreal style has caught the attention of the world.  

The Artscape Piazza (transformed into this unimaginable world) will open up to the public from 17:30 each night of the Festival with an explosive offering of music (international and local DJs and bands, including Daddy G from Massive Attack, Blinky Bill and John Wizards), art and design installations, with food, drink and festivities, alongside our FilmFest and exhibitions of Emerging Creatives and the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa.

The curation of the 22nd annual Design Indaba Conference programme and the selection of speakers has, as always, remained under the expert eye of Design Indaba and it's founder, Ravi Naidoo. The look and feel of our creative campaign has been conceptualised by South African agency Grid Worldwide and the Artscape stage set for Conference has been designed by Juanita ferreira.

All images by Jonx Pillemer

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