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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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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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Seven ordinary things that can lead to one extraordinary result


Triggerfish Animation Studions CEO Stuart Forrest shares seven business tips they taught you in kindergarten.

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Things I have learned in my life so far

Keeping a diary supports personal development.” - Stefan Sagmeister

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The Sex and Cash Theory

In Hugh MacLeod’s book How to be Creative (downloadable as a PDF here), he talks about the Sex and Cash Theory.

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Where It’s At: A publication by Design Indaba & disturbance

Where It’s At is the first ‘LTD Edition’ publication to follow on from Design Indaba magazine, which I recently copy edited over one sleepless weekend. Curated by Richard Hart - Durban designer, artist and co-founder of Disturbance design studio - and commissioned by Design Indaba, it is a snapshot of contemporary South African design, and how it plays out in a global context.

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Syd Kitchen: Rest in peace, but never silent

Syd Kitchen died three weeks ago. One of South Africa’s great musicians, Syd was a folk artist whose musical history is inextricably embedded in that of our country. At Splashy Fen, South Africa’s longest running music festival, he was the one artist who had played every single year since the beginning. 1990 to 2010. Sadly, he’ll be missing 2011’s festival, happening later this month over the Easter weekend. He will undoubtedly be missed.

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