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Design advice that applies to everyone

One of the privileges of working for Design Indaba is the invaluable exposure to thought leadership and creative brilliance, often on a daily basis. In a conversation or interview situation with a leader in the design industry, it’s hard to resist the question – what is your advice to aspiring designers?

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The many uses of social media

The value of social media is shifting far beyond PR and marketing – and that’s good news for creative enterprises, says Nadia Mannell of Meltwater Group.

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Side projects are the new CVs

The working world is ever changing, more so now than ever before. When it comes to what you do, people are often more interested in what your portfolio is than what your position is. A vast number of jobs today didn’t even exist ten years ago, and with the job market changing so rapidly it’s challenging to keep up with all the new skills and job descriptions that have the highest demand.

Embarking on a side project, says Dave Duarte, may be the answer.

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Rob Stokes: From bedroom to buyout – an entrepreneur’s story

In May 2014 I attended the annual Net Prophet conference in Cape Town. Rob Stokes from Quirk was one of the best speakers. Here’s an overview of his talk entitled “From bedroom to buyout – an entrepreneur’s story”.

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Anotherlightup: street art and crowdfunding initiative

The Harvest mural seen from De Waal Drive. Photo © @makhulu_.

Since late 2013 I’ve been working on a pretty innovative project called #ANOTHERLIGHTUP, as project manager on behalf of Design Indaba and in collaboration with artist Faith47 and designer consultancy Thingking. #ANOTHERLIGHTUP is an exploration into how street art can leverage the power of crowd-funding to activate the public into helping create measurable change in their community. Basically we’re using street art and Twitter as a medium to raise funds for streetlights in a low-income community in Khayelitsha.

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I am because we are: Madiba mural by Ricky Lee Gordon


Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu. This is the ethos of the ubuntu philosophy, which translates as ‘a person is a person through other people’. It is this mantra that both guided the life of Nelson Mandela and inspired the tribute painting to this giant of a man by Ricky Lee Gordon.

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The future is now: Design and technology trends for 2014

Daan Roosegaarde’s Intimacy 2.0 dress

In September 2013 COSMO briefed me to write a story on design and technology trends for 2014, for their December 2013 edition.

Here’s my writeup on some of the key characteristics of design trends emerging in everyday technology.

It’s wearable

A major trend in personal electronics is wearable technology. Google Glass was the biggest headline in 2013: a hands-free computer with optical head-mounted display (OHMD) that allows you to connect to the web, take photos, record video, play games, make phone calls and more, using voice commands and a touch screen on the side of the head set. In 2014…

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Thanks for Nothing

This week Known Gallery presents Thanks for Nothing, an exhibition featuring new works by American artists Judith Supine and Alia Shawkat, and curated by Naheed Simjee.

One of my favourite contemporary US artists, Supine’s cigarette box works are reminiscent of the Surrealist movement’s “exquisite corpse” – and like the name elicit imagery like death, BDSM and other fetishisms.

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Free Mandela


Prolific Cape Town street artist and activist Faith47 is contesting the City of Cape Town’s by-laws against graffiti and street art, on the grounds that much of the work in and around Cape Town is tantamount to public heritage. The “Free Mandela!” slogan is a pertinent example – once found on a wall in Anzio Road in Observatory (you can still see it here in Google maps), but recently painted over by the City. Painted during Apartheid, the words are a simple yet powerful reminder of our country’s history and the atrocities committed at the time.

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Notes on Net Prophet

Making business sense of the internet”, Net Prophet 2013 left conference goers in Cape Town this week with some stellar advice on how to do just that and more.

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