design indaba 2020 is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a three day multi-sensory edition from 26 to 28 february, 2020, at the artscape theater center in cape town. committed as ever to advancing social progress through design activism, the annual conference is focusing on how design will change our future this year, mapping key social movements set to define the next decade through a series of captivating talks by day and festival by night, featuring live music, theater, exhibitions and masterclasses. an impressive roster of illustrious speakers spanning the disciplines of architecture, art, design and innovation will be presenting their ideas at the silver jubilee of the design indaba, including neri & hu, studio drift, jeanne gang of studio gang architects, and ibrahim mahama.
all images courtesy of design indaba unless stated otherwise
header image: ibrahim mahama, non orientable paradise lost 1667
celebrating a quarter century in 2020, design indaba has established itself as a respected institution on the global creative landscape through its continuous commitment to presenting a program that foregrounds topical issues and cutting-edge developments across industries. with ‘a better world through creativity’ as their guiding principle, founder ravi naidoo and his team have continually shown their commitment to positive change through design-led thinking. the silver jubilee edition of the conference will bring to the stage the creative optimism and activism people have come to expect from the flagship platform, such as its ensemble cast of acclaimed speakers whose work seeks to better the world we live in – whether through technological advances, environmental advocacy, or simply social change that fosters healthier communities.
speakers already announced for this year’s conference include: alexandra genis, anna talvi, antya waegemann, bas timmer, catalina lotero, chef selassie atadika, debbie millman, enni-kukka tuomala, hanif kara, honey and bunny, ibrahim mahama, jeanne gang, kinya tagawa – takram, led by donkeys, manu prakash, natsai audrey chieza, neri & hu, nhlanhla mahlangu, olimpia zagnoli, patrick thomas, paul cocksedge, ratchu vaan surajaras, rhizomatiks, rick brim, and sacha buliard.
studio drift’s choreographed routine of 300 drones above the kennedy space center, created to mark the 50th anniversary of the apollo 11 mission launch
image © ossip van duivenbode
with a focus on how design will change our future, this edition of design indaba maps key social movements set to define the next decade as a species through the works and ideas of its 2020 speakers. key topics that will be addressed at the conference this year include: redesigning cities of the future; solving challenges with biotech; the rise of dissent and activism; the evolution of data visualisation; biophilic design for better health; the challenge of interstellar migration, rethinking identity; representing the global diaspora; identifying alternative resources; the rise of radical empathy; and unmanned aerial vehicles are rewriting art’s future.
neri & hu: aranya art center, qinhuangdao, china
photo by pedro pegenaute
additionally, as part of the design indaba festival 2020, futurist li edelkoort will return to host new trend seminars in johannesburg and cape town. her upcoming talks will take place in two parts, with the first half devoted to the green revolution, while the second half will focus on new directions for food and how this megatrend will shape us.
li edelkoort, photo by koen hauser
mixed-media ghanaian artist ibrahim mahama’s totalising installations, composed of repurposed jute sacks, engage with the effects of globalization, migration and exploitation
image: check point sekondi loco. 1901-2030. 2016-2017 documenta 14. kassel, germany. courtesy of ibrahim mahama
natsai audrey chieza’s studio, faber futures, dyes fabric with the bacterium s. coelicolor to avoid using chemicals, thus mitigating fashion’s pollution problem
color coded forbes pigment collection, faber futures 2018
dutch fashion designer bas timmer’s sheltersuit protects the homeless from extreme cold
paul cocksedge’s human-centered design draws on biophilia – his living staircase, the centerpiece of a workspace in london features a ‘flying’ garden (plants that run along the entire balustrade) that can be tended by officer workers
olimpia zagnoli’s dazzling illustrations are changing the narrative of representation. her talk will focus on how it’s the responsibility of designers and brands to alter mindsets
image: heartfelt for the new yorker
driven by ‘actionable idealism’, jeanne gang, who also appeared on the 2019 ‘time 100’ list of the 100 most influential people in the world, is at the forefront of designing better cities
image: gilder center canyon, courtesy of studio gang and MIR
japanese collective rhizomatiks visualized sword tips in real-time for the 72nd all japan fencing championships, by merging the arts and technology
image: reframe 2019, photo by yosuke kamiyama
robert wong, who heads google’s creative lab, leads with empathy. he believes that technology should be about positive interactions, humanity, surprise and creativity
image: darker hero, a mojave desert portrait of margaret hamilton, lead software engineer for the apollo 11 mission
the design indaba conference and festival runs at the artscape theater center in cape town from 26-28 february 2020, and via simulcast in cape town, johannesburg, durban and potchefstroom. tickets can be bought through here, for more information, visit the design indaba website.
is a multifaceted platform committed to a better world through creativity. the south-african online publication hosts an annual festival and social impact do tank in cape town. the design indaba festival has been created by ravi naidoo in 1995, with focus on african and global creativity, through the lens of the work and ideas of leading thinkers and doers, opinion formers, trendsetters and industry experts.
IBRAHIM MAHAMA (5)
NERI & HU (40)
PAUL COCKSEDGE (33)
STUDIO DRIFT (18)
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