Quarter 02 / 2005

Magazine Cover

And so another Design Indaba & Expo has ended, with a rousing grand finale at Vergelegen Wine Estate. And we are still on the treadmill, planning activities next month, like our Design Indaba Workshop for students ( Ken Cato, the world-renowned Australian graphic designer and Design Indaba 3 alumnus, will conduct a workshop at Durban Institute of Technology). You see, we have to have a balance between the high-end colloquium of professionals that attend the Design Indaba, and that which we provide – on a bespoke basis - for students through the year. We have chosen to drive a multi-pronged strategy to impact on design development in South Africa , that covers business, government, academia and the public – and it goes beyond the creative jamboree at the end of February every year.

And, we have spent the last few weeks appraising feedback from all our stakeholders – it’s the only time we take a dispassionate view, as through the year this institution is powered on passion. The candid feedback is welcome – from delegates, speakers, exhibitors, buyers, media, sponsors, suppliers and students – as well, as the visitors to the Expo. And we learn from it, and use the suggestions and ideas to make every year’s suite of events better.

Design Indaba has reached a new high in terms of every single measure – in fact, while there is a “less is more” ethic in design, Design Indaba is really about more is more! It’s about maximalism... More speakers, more side-events, more networking, more business opportunities, more food, more parties, more inspiration – at rates that are way lower than average conference prices in South Africa. You see, we are in a hurry. We are ambitious young South Africans that do not want to dawdle. We want to hitch our creative economy onto the global train. Importantly, we want to look at the way we see ourselves - It’s also about tackling issues like our SA identity. It’s about finding our voice.

And to all those that support our initiatives, we thank you. But we also must say, that we have much more work to do, and even though we have just finished a massive Design Indaba 8, we are renewing our pledge to use Design Indaba as a platform to drive the growth of the creative industries in South Africa.

And if you want to join the vanguard, and have great ideas or want to play a role, lets remind you to contact us via www.designindaba.com.

Lets create a better future, by design. - Ravi Naidoo