Cape Town is gearing up to be inspired by all genres of design and an abundance of creativity in the days to come. The Design Indaba Conference and Expo is recognised the world over as a top design and trend event. Drawing the likes of speakers such as Alberto Alessi, Mark Shuttleworth, and Michael Wolff, Design Indaba 2011 is set to add stimulating conversation and a fresh take on creativity and design. The conference runs from 23 – 25 February, with the Expo open to the public between 25 – 27 February at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
The 2010 Design Indaba Conference and Expo events attracted approximately 37 300 international delegates, media, buyers and members of the public and reinforced Cape Town’s positioning as a design-focused, creatively inspired destination. As part of the annual Design Indaba series of events, the Design Indaba Filmfest 2011 runs from 18-27 February at the Freeworld Design Centre Auditorium.
The new Freeworld Design Centre is in itself a testament to Cape Town’s creative and design status. Located in the old Cape Waters Building (along the Fan Walk) the building has been given a complete design overhaul and now serves as both a resource centre for the design trade and a place of inspiration for the public. It features a number of room-sized, themed décor exhibitions – designed by top South African creatives – that will change seasonally.
A key event at the Design Indaba Film Festival is a live cyber-workshop with design-for-change guru, Bruce Mau. The MASSIVE CHANGE NETWORK will unfold real plans for design’s role in future change. Other documentaries include stories about design duo, the Vignelli’s, and a study of Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino and Buckminster Fuller.
In addition, the Cape Town Design Route 2011 map will be launched at Design Indaba this year. This year sees the third edition of this popular design map – a creative partnership project between Cape Town Tourism and Design Indaba. The Cape Town Design Route comprises of Western Cape-based Design Indaba exhibitors, from fashion and shoes to dinnerware and toys, who have been approved by a curatorial panel of industry experts ensuring the best in creativity and quality along the route. Some examples of featured artists include: Inkheart Jewellery Design, a Cape Town based studio offering a selection of beautifully handmade pieces of jewellery inspired by childhood stories and memories; Township Patterns, a social enterprise which aims to create a sustainable vehicle for economic empowerment with handmade colourful fabrics inspired by South Africa’s informal settlements and Recreate, original furniture and lighting crafted from repurposed junk items.
Says Mariëtte du-Toit Helmbold, CEO of Cape Town Tourism; “Design is a pillar of our city’s unique identity, not only because we have inspiring and trend-setting creative industries but also because we are committed to using design as a guiding principle in the creation of a city that is future-fit. Often, the word design is associated with glamour, luxury and exclusivity. In fact, socially responsive design is the key to a more sustainable future. Our bid to become World Design Capital 2014 is just one of the ways that Cape Town is staking its claim on the global design landscape and evolving into a top world city to live, work, visit, study and invest in.”
World Design Capital (WDC) is a title awarded every two years to a city that is dedicated to using design for social, cultural and economic development. The award is presented by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) based in Canada and focuses on developing a year-long programme of design-driven events. The 2010 recipient of the award was Seoul, with Helsinki to be WDC in 2012.
The City of Cape Town’s bid to be World Design Capital 2014 is being coordinated by Cape Town Partnership, and the City will hear whether its bid has been successful before the end of the year. To drive support for the bid, Cape Town Tourism will be sponsoring a “Cape Town for World Design Capital 2014” stand at the Design Indaba Expo.
Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana, Managing Director of the Cape Town Partnership, believes that the bid will not only be important for Cape Town in 2014, but also in the lead up and well beyond. “The bid book is proving to be a valuable resource and we are looking for a way to turn it into a public working document for the creative industries post the bid. Also, irrespective of whether or not Cape Town is World Design Capital in 2014, the process of bidding and in particular the educational process that is going on towards exposing design in all its relevance to the public, will go a long way in driving Cape Town towards achieving its goal of becoming a Knowledge Economy.”
For more information on the Design Indaba visit www.designindaba.com.