Since its first usage in 2004, “Web 2.0” has often been dismissed as a catchphrase. Indeed, web applications that act like desktop programs and encourage collaboration and community have risen and fallen faddishly. Facebook changed that. Now the talk of the town is the type of the town. A new generation of web applications, technology and, most significantly, users are predicted.
Design Indaba magazine, “The Odde2t Prime”, is dedicated to this second generation. Besides the new design challenges exposed by the social awareness required in building Web 2.0, this speaks about a beta generation of designers that are picking up the reigns from the older design establishment.
To these ends, we look to South African designers under the age of 30 in the bumper 20Something 20Somethings feature. Complimented by a pop taste quiz, the selection reveals these youngin’s need to combine disparate elements into new objects that redefine the design world’s notion of “function”.
“Function” here is rewritten, appealing to the very awareness of human interaction that is informing the building of Web 2.0. These designers are asking themselves what is needed for people to make an emotional connection with a design object. For instance, by combining Indian and European design aesthetics, Britain’s Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien imbue their objects with magical stories.
Dutch food designer Marije Vogelzang also creates new stories and traditions around healthy food by designing dinner experiences. The Czech Republic’s Maxim Velcovsky in turn strives to generate new cultural icons for a country that has turned from socialism to consumerism.
A bumper news section also announces the first speakers confirmed for Design Indaba 2008 – including Velcovsky, Doshi, Levien and Vogelzang. Besides that, we reveal Peet Pienaar’s collaboration with a Spanish shoe designer, visit a development project in Mozambique and highlight some of the newest international product releases from the likes of Tom Dixon, Ron Arad, Jaime Hayon and David Adjaye.
Readers also stand the chance to win a signed copy of Subtraction, as well as an exclusive print from the book. Subtraction is photographer Clinton Friedman’s aesthetic monument to indigenous muti plants. A copy of William Kentridge Flute is also up for grabs.