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.

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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.

Design Indaba FilmFest: The Human Scale

If I were to mention the word “FilmFest” to you, what would come to mind? Bearing in mind that the Design Indaba FilmFest is largely driven by design and as such mainly documentary films? Probably not expecting any Oscar award-winning movies hey?

Well, I am going to be honest with you, in the past two years that we have covered Design Indaba, both Marica and I showed very little or no interest in the film side of the Indaba. My mind conjured up images of boring doccies.

This year we were generously given a complimentary ticket to a film of our choice and that is what inspired me to dig deeper. I selected my movie coming out of my interest and off I went Monday night.

I viewed the screening of The Human Scale directed by Andreas Møl Dalsgaard. What is that all about? The growth of cities, the social impact that modernism design has had on city dwellers and the solutions offered by a visionary Danish Architect and renowned urbanist Jan Gehl and his inspirational team, to “use design to create a better world for all to inhabit.Gehl Architects has played big parts in developing city infrastructures for social prosperity in such cities such as New York, Dharma India, and Copenhagen etc.

Why is this the movie of my choice – because it has been claimed that in the year 2050, 80% of the world’s population will be living in cities! Go figure dudes, go figure! And we who are working in the field of design are able to become more involved in creating a better space for city dwellers.

As a thoroughbred Capetonian, I have to talk about the hectic Cape Doctor (the infamous south east wind). The “Doctor” was so hard at work last night that the normal screen used by the Indaba FilmFest team had to be ditched. They obviously had to chase their tails in an effort to get a temporary screen up and running – from where I was sitting, it looked like hard labour by nicely muscled men. BUT THEY DID IT – and I say KUDOS TO THE TEAM!

 You will see from the images, despite the wind blowing at 90 km per hour, the spirit there could not be dampened at all. It was very festive indeed! The venue – the central courtyard of the Castle of Good Hope – oldest building in South Africa. We were surrounded by plenty of history there. Because it is an open air theatre set up, we had huge back cushions and grass floor mats to sit on. Comfy enough! There were food vendors on site, wine for sale and what movie does not have popcorn. As I said – very festive, once the movie hit the screen, peeps were tucked under their blankets to keep warm. The sound and the quality of the movie were really spot on.

Despite the fact that at the end of the movie, I had enough of the wind, it was an amazing experience and I will do it again next year.

Just as a teaser – the last movie on the Design Indaba FilmFest program is Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. It will be screened at the Nu Metro movie house at the V & A Waterfront. Am I going to be there?  You bet your bottom dollar on that. To quote Vicki Sleet of I Want That – “Race you there!!”

Check out the rest of the Design Inbaba FilmFest line-up: here

{Images via Design Indaba}