The Design Indaba is almost here


I’ve been going to this event every year for I don’t even know how long! Mich is my traditional partner in crime and we love going to Indaba together, swooning over clever design and beautiful things, and spending all our money on gorgeous jewelry, prints and trinkets. I’ve been looking at the exhibitors for 2015 and I think this year is going to be a good one!

I have to say, in recent years I feel like the Design Indaba has become more of a glorified flea market for some of the country’s top creatives than an event that really showcases the best and smartest design that South Africa has to offer. When we first started going, the focus was very much on featuring amazing upcoming talent and innovation, and less so on providing lovely things for people to purchase. This year I’m hoping to revert more to the original aim of the Indaba – to see a celebration of design, intermingled with the opportunity to take pieces of it home as my own.

With that being said, here are a few of the exhibitors I’m looking forward to seeing:

Emerging Creatives:

Bofred by Carla Erasmus and Christa Botha: I’m still in the process of furnishing my flat and these elegant, contemporary restored furniture items would look lovely in my living room. They are reminiscent of the clean, timeless Scandinavian design aesthetic I’ve been drooling over lately, and I like the solid wood frames and strong colour palette.

Design Indaba 2015

(Image courtesy of the Design Indaba website)

Muhammad Gangat: I really enjoy the raw, guttural feel of Muhammad’s photography and design. He uses his craft as a vessel to explore South Africa’s complex social narrative, and he favours an aesthetic that amalgamates digital with more traditional methods, and combines both form and function.

Design Indaba 2015

(Image courtesy of the Design Indaba website)

Apis Atelier by Nicola Hemmes: I love jewelry, and these pieces by Nicola remind me of when I was small, scampering along the beach and collecting shells with my dad. Apis translates to bee in Latin and is a reference to Hemme’s inspiration from nature, which exquisitely manifests in her work, both in her materials and the raw, natural feel of her designs. I want all of these rings and things!

Design Indaba 2015

(Image courtesy of the Design Indaba website)


Paper Planes: This is one of the group exhibitions I’m most excited to see, combining my love of illustration with storytelling, and a strong emphasis on Southern African culture. Various South African artists were asked to illustrate stories from Southern African folklore and the results are just beautiful! Well done Design Indaba and Alexander’s Band – this really is a wild, and stunning show. ‘How the Birds Chose a King‘ by Chris Valentine, a freelance illustrator and graphic artist, is my favourite, and I’m definitely going to try to get a print of it.

Design Indaba 2015

(Image courtesy of the Design Indaba website)

CREATe.CHANGE: This initiative by Design Indaba, Leg Studios, and local artists sees well-known artists designing and auctioning off tables to raise money for Kannemeyer Primary School Library. Bids start at R1500, and, with some of my favourite artists involved, I can see this isn’t going to be good for my credit card!

Design Indaba 2015

(Image courtesy of the Design Indaba website)

The Doodle Booth: If you’re wondering where I am at the Indaba, chances are I’ll be here, happily humming and scribbling away. The Doodle Booth is a lovely initiative: all the drawings will be collected and sold for R100 each at the Night of 1000 Drawings in 2016, and the money raised will go to worthy cause!

Individual Exhibitors:

Dani Loureiro: I’ve spoken about Dani before – I love her integration of typography and design and I think her work is extraordinary.

Design Indaba 2015

Jordan Metcalf: Jordan is a highly acclaimed, award-winning designer, illustrator and artist and I’m very excited to see what he’s exhibiting this year. I really love this Fail Beautifully design.

Design Indaba 2015

Jewelry: If you allow me a five minute rant, I must say that the jewelry last year was disappointing. All the designers seem to copy each other and the designs all end up looking very similar. This year, I hope we have something fresh, new and original.

Black Betty: I’m going through a geometric, symmetry phase and I love the simplicity and boldness of these architecturally-inspired designs.

Design Indaba 2015

Famke: I’ve loved Famke’s aesthetic for a long time now – these statement pieces are off-beat and beautiful, with quirky elements such as the vertebra bone designs.

Design Indaba 2015

The Design Indaba Expo will be running from the 27th February to the 1st March and tickets are R80 each for adults. I’m so excited to see what this year has in store.


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