Design Indaba Conference 2013

Design Indaba Conference 2013 kicks off tomorrow and we can’t wait for three days of uninterrupted inspiration.

Design Indaba Conference takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from Wednesday 27 February to Friday 1 March 2013. Please click here for bookings and more information.

At the heart of this annual Conference is the carefully curated selection of speakers that share their thoughts, ideas and experience with a captive global audience.

And this year will be no different.

It gives us great pleasure to introduce the following individuals as speakers on the main stage at Design Indaba 2013.

Asif Khan 

Khan works across the fields of architecture, industrial and furniture design, and is dedicated to pushing these disciplines in new and unexpected directions with his work having been described as “wildly inventive” by Joseph Grima, editor of Domus.

Christoph Niemann 

Award winner, Lego-lover and "imagination instigator" Niemann’s creative portfolio is something of a visual smorgasbord. 

An illustrator, graphic designer and author, Niemann’s straddles topics including politics, economics, art and modern life.

David Adjaye 

Adjaye OBE is principal architect of Adjaye Associates. He's won a number of prestigious commissions, the biggest and most recent being the £160million Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO.

Jeanne van Heeswijk 

A visual artist who creates contexts for interaction in public spaces, Van Heeswijk’s projects are characterised by a strong sense of social involvement.

Van Heeswijk works closely with artists, designers, architects, software developers, shopkeepers, governments and citizens to stimulate and develop cultural production in public spaces. 

In 2012 Van Heeswijk was awarded the Curry Stone Design Prize for Social Design Pioneers. Read the International Herald Tribune's article about Van Heeswijk's 2Up 2 Down community design project in Liverpool that won her the Curry Stone prize. 

Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg 

An artist, designer and writer, Ginsberg's work investigates futures for design. 

Working in unfamiliar spaces like synthetic biology, Ginsberg explores the implications of emerging technologies, seeking potential new roles for design within developing technologies. Can design ask novel questions, instead of solving existing problems?

Spoek Mathambo & Friends 

His fresh take on Afro-futurism, which is unlike anything made or heard before, has placed singer, rapper, producer and DJ Spoek Mathambo at the vanguard of a new wave of African artists.

Spoek Mathambo will be joined on stage at Design Indaba Conference 2013 by Bogosi Sekhukhuni, The Smarteez and The Brother Moves On.

Alex Atala 

A revolutionary in his own culinary right, Atala’s work is concerned with changing the way his native Brazil is experienced on a plate. As such, Atala applies European gastronomy techniques to Brazilian ingredients. What distinguishes Atala’s culinary approach even more is his commitment to the development of sustainable farming. 

Steven Heller

Art director, journalist, critic, editor and author of more than 150 books on graphic design and popular culture themes, Heller has been one of the most requested speakers in recent years, by the Design Indaba Conference audience.

Heller’s expansive creative career includes 30 years as the art director of the New York Times Book Review


A favourite spot on the Design Indaba Conference speaker programme, the 2013 graduation presentation slot will once again inspire and delight as we hear

Now in its fifth year at Design Indaba Conference, we’ve noticed that the graduates are unencumbered by a brief or clients – and tend to do edgier, higher risk provocative work! So it’s a gorgeous blue-sky laboratory of the possible. 

The graduates are: Wael Morcos, Leanie van der Vyver, Pieter-Jan Pieters, Joschua Brunn, Marguerite Humeau, Bland Hoke & Howard Chambers, Michael Grigoriev.

Read more about them here

Martí Guixé

Guixé's work is characterised by a search for new product systems, the introduction of design in food ambits and presentation through performance.

Read more about Guixé here

View a selection of Guixé's work here

Ben Terrett

Terrett is head of design at the Government Digital Service, Cabinet Office for the UK Government, working to ensures the UK government offers digital products that meets people’s needs. He is active in the design industry, regularly speaking at conferences, serving on design juries and contributing to publications. 

Design Week says of Terret, he “muses on design issues and starts thoughtful, often hilarious, debates”. Similarly, the Design Council writes that he has “a good sense of humour and interesting, inspiring observations, Terrett has accumulated a loyal and growing band of readers and holds increasing influence”.

Louise Fili 

A specialist in food packaging and restaurant identities, graphic designer Louise Fili’s work has been widely awarded. She is the principal of Louise Fili Ltd and has authored a vast number of books on art, design and culture. 

Alexander Chen 

Alexander Chen has been making musical and interactive work since 2002, working with companies such as The Barbarian Group, Modernista, and Google. In 2011, Chen launched MTA.ME, which transformed a New York subway map into a string instrument.

Masashi Kawamura 

Masashi Kawamura is a creative director and the founder of PARTY, a creative lab based in Tokyo and New York, which believes that "new creations are born from new creative process". He was recently named as one of Fast Company’s “100 most creative people in business 2012”.

View Kawamura's work here and here

Nicholas Hlobo

Nicholas Hlobo is a South African artist, fast gaining an international reputation for his experimental use of materials. He was the Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art 2009, and the Rolex Visual Arts Protégé for 2010/11, working with Anish Kapoor as his mentor.

Oscar Diaz

Plain and playful, product designer Oscar Diaz’s work demonstrates his understanding of the opposite ends of the design spectrum. From limited-edition pieces to mass produced objects, Diaz’s work often draws inspiration from everyday object that, with a simple twist, turns into something unexpected.

Read more about Diaz here

Marian Bantjes & Jessica Hische

“Internet friends” Marian Bantjes and Jessica Hische will be sharing a speaker slot at Design Indaba Conference 2013.

The duo will be in conversation, rather than doing a “show and tell”, talking about the kinds of things that two women, doing similar but different work, deal with in design.

Read more about Bantjes and her work.

Read more about Hische and her work

Daan Roosegaarde

Daan Roosegaarde is an artist and innovator interested in exploring the relationships between people, architecture and technology and how this impacts on the dawn of a new era.   

From a garment that turns transparent in response to the wearer’s heartbeat, to urban interactions that light up the dark and make roads safer, Roosegaarde self describes his work as “techno-poetry”.  

Click here for Roosegaarde's profile. Also read more about his projects: Dune, Smart Highway and Intimacy

Matthew Carter

Type designer Matthew Carter brings some 50 years of experience in typographic technologies, ranging from hand-cut punches to computer fonts, to Design Indaba Conference 2013.

His career highlights include designing some of the most widely recognised fonts in the world, such as Verdana, Tahoma and Georgia.

Read more about Carter here

Paula Scher

Paula Scher’s work draws on what Tom Wolfe called the “big closet” of art and design history, classic and pop iconography, literature, music and film, creating images that speak to contemporary audiences with emotional impact and appeal. Click here to see a selection of Scher's work and video interviews. 

Seymour Chwast

Seymour Chwast, founding partner of the celebrated Push Pin Studios, has a distinct creative style that has worldwide influence on contemporary visual communications.

John Maeda

Not only is John Maeda an artist, graphic designer, computer scientist and widely respected educator, he was also named as one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century by Esquire.

His Twitter feed (@johnmaeda) enjoys similar influence, having been named one of TIME Magazine’s 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011.

In his capacity as the president of Rhode Island School of Design, Maeda is leading the movement to transform STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to STEAM by adding art.

Read more about Maeda here.

Sir John Hegarty  

He is the man that discovered Brad Pitt, brought music to the forefront in Levi’s commercials (resulting in soundtracks from seven Levi’s commercials making it onto the UK charts’ number-one slot) and coined the now-famous “Vorsprung Durch Technik” phrase for Audi.

It is our great honour to be welcoming advertising stalwart Sir John Hegarty to Design Indaba in 2013.

Click here for Hegarty’s biography, or here to view work in his creative portfolio

Watch the Talk with David Adjaye

More on Design Thinking