Most Beautiful Object in South Africa 2017 Finalists!

MBOISA 2016

It’s our pleasure to present the much-anticipated Most Beautiful Object in South Africa (MBOISA) 2017 finalists. Featuring a mixed bag of finalists including film, fashion and art, the MBOISA finalists were nominated by ten local celebrity influencers and tastemakers. Beauty is so subjective and sometimes the chosen objects can seem so arbitrary and unconventional. Fortunately, a short video was made of each finalist to better explain why the object has been nominated and what makes it beautiful.

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“Every year Design Indaba invites the public to engage with the question of what constitutes beauty through the MBOISA award. More than just an object of visual delight, MBOISA encourage a wider definition of beauty – one that encapsulates attributes such as social significance, economic impact, usability, sustainability and even humour.” – Design Indaba

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This year the various Most Beautiful Object in South Africa nominations will be exhibited at the Artscape in Cape Town as part of the annual Design Indaba Festival in next month. While Design Indaba Conference and Simulcast-goers can view the exhibition throughout  course of the Festival, the exhibition will be open to the public as part of the Design Indaba Nightscape programme at the Artscape Theatre each day from 1 to 3 March from 17:30, or enjoy a free visit on Saturday 4 March from 10:30 until 16:00.

{The winners will be announced the 3 of March 2017. Go to the Design Indaba website (here) for a full description of each finalist’s design and to VOTE!}

View the 10 Most Beautiful Object in South Africa nominations below:

BUTTERFLY WALL INSTALLATION: by Mark Rautenbach

Taking inspiration from the 19th-century practice of collecting butterflies for display, Mark Rautenbach designed this vast installation using a material that is traditionally thought to be disposable – burnt paper. He wanted to create something that is both delicate (fragile wings suspended by thread) and banal (destructed pieces of paper) in nature.


GQAMA NTYATYAMBO: by Loyiso Mkize

Gqama Ntyatyambo is a painting by fine artist Loyiso Mkize that was spotted by Alinah Seloane on social media. It captivated her instantly as she saw a reflection of her own life in the artwork’s depictions of female stoicism. Various statuesque scenes are portrayed in minute detail around the face of the main subject that represent the various social dynamics that women face in a modern South African context.


INDALO BACKPACK: by Inga Gubeka

Gubeka’s backpack design, ‘Umthwalo’ (meaning ‘baggage’), is simple and detailed. Using basic woodcraft and surface-finishing techniques, he creates wooden backpacks that are ready for the real world of wear and tear. The form consists of a sturdy wooden box as a base, hand-dyed leather straps and a lid mechanism made of wooden bands.


JOE SLOVO WEST COMMUNITY PROJECT: by Kevin Kimwelle

The Joe Slovo West Community Project, a haven for small children on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth, was nominated by SA filmmaker Hanneke Schutte. The small school’s design was managed by Kevin Kimwelle, an architect with an affection for alternative building methods and sustainable design. The project was a total renovation of a previous nursery that had become too small to host the growing number of toddlers that relied the nursery on a regular basis. A local non-profit organisation, Love Story, stepped in and drafted the help of a number of architects to revamp the space.


KARIBA TRAILER: by Blue Forest Collective

“Kariba is a film project in the making that originally started as a graphic novel by Cape Town-based Blue Forest Collective. It tells the story of the Zambezi river and the mythical spirit that guides its waters. The plot is driven by the construction of the Kariba dam wall, a barrier that causes disturbance in the natural surroundings where the rules are bent by magic.”


MOROCCAN MAGIC DRESS: by Nandi Mngoma

The Moroccan Magic Dress is the culmination of the collaborative effort between two young South African fashion designers, Nandi Mngoma and Inga Madyibi. Taking inspiration from the architecture of Morocco and the country’s vibrant approach to colour, the fashion duo created a range that would express the ethos of a new Africa.


SCULPTURE FROM LEFA LA NTATE INSTALLATION: by Mohau Modisakeng

In an effort to solidify photographic imagery in material form, South African visual artist Mohau Modisakeng cast his own likeness in resin and bronze. It forms part of a larger travelling exhibition known as Lefa La Ntate. It was the unsettling attention to detail in the artwork that caught the eye of musician Nakhane Toure: the facial texture, expression and life-like form of the bronze figure that moved Toure. As he puts it, ‘I like my beauty to be a little bit more… rough.'”


THE HAWKERS ROCKING CHAIR: by Thebe Magugu

The Hawker’s Rocking Chair is a product of cooperation between fashion designer Thebe Magugu and craftsman Emile Millward. These disparate designers each brought their expertise and sense of style to the creative process – an odd relationship that culminated in the unique rocking chair. Magugu derived inspiration from powerful and distinct women for this project, exploring both masculinity and femininity, quirky textiles and the relationship between metallic textures and hues of green.


THE ROCKPOOL COFFEE TABLE: by Caroline Vieira

The RockPool Table is a natural seawater scene enshrined in ceramics. It is an affinity for the Earth and professional craft that drew Roger Ballen to this design by ceramics-guru Caroline Vieira. Passionate about organic development, Vieira describes the fact that some of the RockPool surfaces broke during creation, resulting in flaws that she would keep as part of their new design as small tables with help from her husband.


THE SANKARA RUG: by Nkuli Mlangeni

“The Sankara Rug by textile designer Nkuli Mlangeni is an expression of southern Africa’s modernity as well as its rich history of craft, according to interior designer Bielle Bellingham. She was drawn to the work of Mlangeni and her artisan team, not only for their high level of weaving skill but also the cultural research and historic imagery that informs Mlangeni’s designs.”

So what do you think, see something you like? Who is going to get your vote?

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DI2016: Emerging Creatives – Part 1

It’s still all things Design Indaba 2016 here at The Design Tabloid.

And a quick little indemnity here: This is a longer than normal read, please bear with me.  South Africa is loaded with talented creative folk – that has always been the belief of The Design Tabloid.  Our philosophy from the outset has been to use this blog as a platform to reveal these creatives not only to the locals in SA, but further afield. Design Indaba affords us this opportunity and we take advantage of it, to share with our readers.

Design Indaba 2016: Emerging Creative #DI2016

I attended the launch of the 2016 Emerging Creatives at the V & A Watershed.  I must say, it takes a bit of doing to get my head around these Creatives being presented outside of the Expo environment. It seemed a little drab by comparison. Yet, despite that nothing could take away from the standard and quality of the creatives that were featured this year. The upside of this different venue was that I had time enough to absorb the exhibited works, which was previously something of a struggle in the crowded Expo Hall.

The Class of 2016 are serious contenders in the world of design. Since there are quite a number of Creatives it is always so very difficult to give all of them mention in our review. As they are to be found among the few selected Exhibitors, is credit indeed to them. That already sets them apart from the herd.  For this reason alone, I have decided to work in categories and present you with some of each category. Marica and I have always used this criterion “What and who made a lasting impression on us.” Those are the ones to be featured here. Naturally this is quite a subjective way of doing things, but then that is what blogging is all about.

However, before I launch into my “first impressions peeps” I just want to add that I stand in awe of these young, emerging creatives.  Being a creative business person, I know that it take resolve, faith in your product/service, money and risk to get out of the starting blocks.  Along come these young creatives, put their money and trust into their talents, take the risks and put their products out there for all to view. Long may their business spirit and ventures last and kudos to them.

Being so entrenched in the world of interiors, I am naturally drawn to any piece of Object‘d Art, furniture, fabric or image without much effort.  This year however, I have to confess that I was drawn to a fashion creative, cultural explorer, followed by an illustrator.

LACED by Dhiantha Achary:

First up (probably because I am such a sucker and fan of sneakers or as locally known – tekkies) a young lady by the name of Dhiantha Achary.  She has taken her artist skills and applied it onto casual footwear. Yes – I know that the branded sneakers are out there. Nevertheless, the kind of hand-crafted, customised footwear pattern she creates, gives the unique flavour. Her brand is called LACED.  Her business started out as a way to create unique gifts for select family and friends. However, as the popularity of her shoes grew so did her orders. She tells me that each shoe takes at least 9 hours to paint. Wow!  Dhiantha is developing new strategies on how to collaborate with other artists on the LACED project and expand the business to incorporate more than footwear. I say – You Go Girl! All the best going forward!

Find LACED on:  Instagram  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

+NESS by Max Melville & Jamil Randera:

Have you ever been completely drawn in by the subject matter of an exhibition stand you were viewing? Well that is how I felt when approaching the work of Max Melville & Jamil Randera. Their work falls into the Illustrations category (for me anyway). The name of their brand is +NESS. Quirky hey!

This splurb on the Design Indaba website says it best: “The project and its artworks present an array of architectural projects that help define the skylines, culture, and history of South African cities. Accurately drawn facades of different buildings are paired with unique colour schemes to express their particular character and context and ultimately uncover each building’s essence, charm, and ‘+NESS’. Displayed together, the collective body of work reveals the ‘+NESS’ of our cities.

Again – these images / artworks, so beautifully illustrating our local iconic buildings and culture, so did it for me. I could easily include their works of art into any relative interior project that we undertake.

Find +NESS on:  Instagram

Totamma by Galerekwe Maimane:

The third creative that attracted me was the work of Galerekwe Maimane, in the category Multi Media Design. She is an aspiring film director whose body of work is inspired by irrational fears and insecurities. Her exhibit held my attention the longest. I could not pull myself away from the film on view. This is probably because the diversity of cultural practises and heritages throughout South Africa appeals to me. The digital project is named “Totamma”.

Galerekwe had this to say about the project: “This is about exploring African identity and culture. An attempt at undressing nuanced and complex experiences not unpacking them. It currently consists of a YouTube series ‘then/now’, plus a companion book called ‘U+’ and can be accessed from www.totamma.co.za…”  If this is your kind of interest, then go take a peek for yourself.

Find Totamma on:  Youtube  |  Instagram  |  Twitter  |  Website

Okay – so this was Part 1 of a possible 3 instalments. What do you think of these creatives? Tune in again next week for Part 2.

Cheers for now all.

Design Indaba Expo is Dead!

Design Indaba Expo (1)

The Design Indaba Expo is dead. Did you know? It was announced in June of last year already but somehow we missed that little titbit. Our tight work deadlines last year meant that several of the Design Indaba newsletters went straight to the trash bin unread.

Earlier this week we received confirmation of our press accreditation to attend the Conference Simulcast as we have done previous years. While sifting through the info and programme we were slightly puzzled as to why no mention was made of the Expo. I checked the website and to my utter astonishment found that the Expo is no more.

I thought I read wrong. It must be a mistake. This makes no sense.

Sure enough, an Indaba representative later confirmed the sad fact via telephone.

What is the reason behind this decision? Well, to the two of us, their explanation seemed “lig in die broek” – a little feeble to say the least.

Seemingly, Design Indaba feels that the Expo’s platform has gotten too small for the large demand: “The limitations of hosting one event, in one venue, in one city have become more apparent and we want to drive our platform to become even more inclusive.

However, we will console ourselves and trust that the collective wisdom of Design Indaba that brings to South Africa some of THE foremost Design brains and personalities has a plan going forward.  Yet, having said that, the hole that is left by the passing of this exceptional Expo is still felt.  I feel sure that we speak for many, many of the pubic and the creatives alike. In this sad frame of mind, one almost wants to believe that a public vote might have been the order of the day, when making the choice to kill off the Expo or not.

The Expo was the “public face” of Design Indaba. It was the event that guaranteed the most “feet” – i.e. public exposure. More than six hundred exhibitors, covering every aspect of design, under one roof.  What an amazing convenience.

Only two years ago Design Indaba was boasting with their massive income earning potential. 48 700 people, both local and international, visited the Expo in 2014. Exhibitors taking part in that same year’s Expo earned an amazing total of R 201.9million – yes, million – from business orders and sales.

That fact aside, the most appealing factor about the DI Expo for those of us resident in Cape Town, creatives and public alike, was that it really was one helluva grand showcase of SA design and crafts. For once the creatives from Jozi flocked to Cape Town, instead of the other way around (Jozi being host to some SA’s premier design showcases).

For me it is almost unthinkable that this standard has been lost to Cape Town. We do have a few other design-related Expos held here, but they just don’t cut it in terms of new creative thinking, designs and product.

The biggest DI Expo draw was that it was all under one roof. We did not have to schlep around town to the various venues and markets to catch a glimpse of what was hot and no hot. Is this now the only recourse left to us? If Design Indaba thinks that this is going to happen, I would venture to say – think again!  A one-stop-shop like DI Expo has a far greater marketing impact than driving feet to the individual creative outlets (which is what I hear is planned by the Design Indaba marketing team).

What a total and utter shame.

What will take its place? Well, Design Indaba is still working on some new ideas. So who knows? Maybe they will surprise us with a new, better and more innovative platform.

Let us console ourselves with the fact that Cape Town remains the host city for the power-packed Design Indaba Conference and the Emerging Creatives exhibition.

Rest in peace Design Indaba Expo. You were the cream of local design-related expos, and will be sadly and greatly missed.

Design Indaba FilmFest 2016

I’m a little put off by myself. You see, my head was so in the clouds last week that I completely missed the start of the Design Indaba FilmFest last Thursday. Now I have snoozed through all the films I really wanted to see.

Like last year Design Indaba teamed up with The Labia Theatre, Cape Town’s oldest independent cinema, to present the annual Design Indaba FilmFest from the 11th to the 20th of February. Ten days, ten movies to inspire and entertain you.

There were three features, two doccies and one movie, I was dying to see. Two of those have already been screened (sad face). Fortunately, Design Indaba has saved the excellent options for last. Here are some of the films you can still attend before the event closes on the 20th…

Anomalisa:

Anomalisa, directed and produced by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, is a stop-motion animated film that tells the story of a downcast self-help author’s unexpected encounter with a telesales girl.

Dubbed “the most human film of the year” in 2015, Anomalisa presents a world where everyone is identical from the perspective of the protagonist, Michael Stone. Every character, including Stone’s wife and son, has the same face and the same voice until he meets a seemingly ordinary women who he perceives to be extraordinary, an anomaly. The story unfolds as Stone’s cynical perspective on his mundane life starts to change.

Anomalisa will be screened as part of the FilmFest on the 20th of February. Book your ticket: here.

Very Semi-Serious:

Described as “quick-witted treat” by the Hollywood Reporter, Very Semi-Serious takes a behind the scenes look at one of America’s most established publications, The New Yorker, which is known for iconic and often controversial cartoons.

Directed by Leah Wolchok, the documentary film looks at the cartoons that “make the strange familiar, or the familiar strange,” and the cartoonists who make it happen.

They succeeded in many aspects of the newspaper, which now includes fiction, journalism, and cartoons that poke fun at the sections of society who “take themselves too seriously”, says Wolchok.

Very Semi-Serious will be screened as part of the FilmFest on the 18th of February. Book your ticket: here.

The Infinite Happiness:

The Infinite Happiness is a feature-length documentary by filmmakers Ila Bêka and Louise Lamoine. The film follows them as they spend 21 days in and among the apartments and tenants of the “8 House”.

The two explore, investigate, interview and experience the lives of those living and working in this postmodern dwelling.

The “8 House” is a mixed-use housing development in Ørstad, Copenhagen desinged by the Bjarke Ingels Group. Shaped in the figure 8 it mixes residential and commercial and office space in what Ingels describes as “Architectural Alchemy”. Bjarke was a speaker at the 2012 Design Indaba Conference which I was lucky enough to attend. The “8 House” was one of the projects I spoke about – it was immensely inspirational.

The Infinite Happiness will be screened as part of the FilmFest on the 18th of February. Book your ticket: here.


If you want to take a peek at the FilmFest program or you want to book tickets, see the Design Indaba website: here.

Most Beautiful Object in South Africa 2016 Finalists!

MBOISA 2016

It’s our great pleasure to present the much-anticipated Most Beautiful Object in South Africa (MBOISA) 2016 finalists. Featuring a mixed bag of finalists including film, fashion and photography, the MBOISA finalists were nominated by a variety of South African design journalists and cultural commentators. Beauty is so subjective and sometimes the chosen objects can seem so arbitrary and unconventional. Fortunately, a short video was made of each finalist to better explain why the object has been nominated and what makes it beautiful.

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“Every year Design Indaba invites the public to engage with the question of what constitutes beauty through the MBOISA award. More than just an object of visual delight, MBOISA encourage a wider definition of beauty – one that encapsulates attributes such as social significance, economic impact, usability, sustainability and even humour.” – Design Indaba

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Interestingly, this year, MBOISA will be a travelling exhibition.  The Most Beautiful objects will be venturing to every part of the nation beginning at Rosebank Mall in Johannesburg, then Gateway Mall in Durban, and ending at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. The general population can vote in favour of the piece they feel signifies South Africa “beauty” best – that is, in whatever way you choose to interpret the concept of beauty.

Voting closes 19 February at noon. You can vote online or by SMS – see links below.

{Go to the Design Indaba website (here) for a full description of each finalist’s design and to vote!}

So what do you think, see something you like? Who is going to get your vote?

{click on image to enlarge}

{All info and images via Design Indaba}

Design Indaba Conference 2015: Quotable Quotes

The Design Indaba Conference is such an amazing inspirational (and motivational) experience – this year wasn’t any different. I’m always astounded by the talent and innovation – creativity truly has no boundaries for these design greats. I love to be surprised by a speaker – someone I would not have thought would interest me and then ends up blowing my mind.

As last year I left the note scribbling and just listened. Often the gist of a speaker’s talk or believe system can be summed up in one powerful quote. The folks at Design Indaba also create these super cute and quirky quote cards for each speaker (you can see the rest on their website: here).

Below are some of my favourite quotes and nuggets of wisdom from each of the speakers I had the privilege to listen to. I’ve also include a link back to the various Speaker Profiles – do yourself a favour and check out the unbelievable things each speaker has accomplished…

There’s just too much shit design in the world.Hella Jongeruis, renowned Dutch industrial designer,  issues plea to return to quality at the Design Indaba Conference 2015

When you have to redesign the same thing over & over again, you become just ‘garde’ not ‘avant garde.’Emily Oberman, a multidisciplinary design working for Pentagram (the world’s largest design consultancy), at the Design Indaba Conference 2015.

I believe that if you give people honesty & something to trust, they will want more of it.Roy Choi, creator of LA’s celebrated gourmet food truck culture, at the Design Indaba Conference 2015.

Fail harder. You have to be able to fail! – Dan Wieden, American advertising executive who coined the Nike tagline “Just Do It“.

I love imperfections. The flaws keep the imagination open. Perfection kills everything.Hella Jongeruis at the Design Indaba Conference 2015

Imperfection is beautiful and not just something ‘good enough for Africa‘”Studio Propolis, a husband-and-wife design team based in Kenya.

Colours are like musical notes. You can play endless games.Rosita Missoni, matriarch of the famous high-end Italian fashion house, Missoni.

The difference between fashion & the home is that designs for the home are meant to last.Rosita Missoni at the Design Indaba Conference 2015

Colour is a topic I can investigate for the rest of my life, it’s really an ongoing research. – Hella Jongeruis at the Design Indaba Conference 2015

Make the most of what you’ve got. Everything has potential, even if you don’t think it does.– British designer, Dominic Wilcox, at the Design Indaba Conference 2015

“I was a ‘cast out’ kid and that gave me some other perspectives” says Yoni Bloch, Israeli musician and co-founder of Interlude.

Architecture today is pornography. It’s all about beauty. My buildings are like your ugly friend. – Santiago Cirugeda, an activist architect from Seville, Spain.

“One thing I have learned is the work is so much better if you are having fun.” – Omar Victor Diop, a globally heralded photographer from Senegal.

Playfulness is the most powerful way of finding ideas. – Dominic Wilcox, at the Design Indaba Conference 2015

The nature of creativity is to not let your brain default to the known … creativity requires independent, unprecedented thinking. – Casey Neistat, a maverick American filmmaker whose wildly popular YouTube videos are redefining the industry.

{Images via Design Indaba}