By Marica

Another emerging creative stand that caught our eye at this year’s Indaba was that of product designer Blaire Rieger. The story of Milkshed, a recently registered NPO, is a heart-warming one. They transform reclaimed wood, offcuts, and other discarded potential-filled materials into cute and quirky handcrafted furniture pieces. The best part – 100% of the profits (that’s right, every single cent) is pumped back into the local community where it is most needed.

“We care about the integrity of wood. A lot. Our products are all made from reclaimed wood and when each piece arrives at the Milkshed its destiny is determined not by some preplanned design but rather by its unique character. This process is facilitated by the ‘The Wood Whisperer’ aka Douglas who transforms the wood into something truly special whether it be a lamp that will cast light onto the pages of an avid reader’s book or a young’uns very first little tricycle.” ~ Blaire Rieger, Milkshed

One of these community projects includes the renovation of a school on the outskirts of Cathcart. Previously little more than a ramshackle outbuilding, Milkshed facilitated the school’s simplistic and inexpensive transformation. Found objects such as an old shopping trolley and some shipping pallets, now with the help of a fresh lick of bright paint and some TLC, became quirky toy storage and colourful upholstered activity/sleeping mats. Like Blair says on their Facebook page: “It’s about small changes that have a big impact. And that’s our story.

To find out more about Milkshed please visit their website: here, or the Facebook page: here.

Milkshed @ Design Indaba 2013 ǀ The Design Tabloid

Image via

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Milkshed @ Design Indaba 2013 ǀ The Design Tabloid (5)
Milkshed @ Design Indaba 2013 ǀ The Design Tabloid (3)
{All other images via Milkshed}

Farah Hernandez Porcelain

By Marica

Last week we featured surface designer Tersia Fisher as one of our favourite Emerging Creatives at this year’s Design Indaba Expo. As promised, this week we’ll introduce you to yet another creative, a talented lady by the name of Farah Hernandez

Farah creates fresh individual porcelain pieces that range from paper-thin vases and framed porcelain “canvases” to dainty planters – both wall-mounted and hanging.

Her current range allows her to combine her three loves: illustration, porcelain, and plants. Staying true to the ancient porcelain tradition of “cobalt on white” (first popularized in 14th century China), her latest collection makes use of blue as its only colour. Farah however keeps the overall style contemporary – clean and elegant lines with light-hearted whimsy illustration.

She uses the white porcelain as a blank canvas, emphasising the hand-painted designs – intricate patterns that evolve into simplistic shapes and landscapes. Farah paints the illustrations free hand, without pre-sketching the designs. This “doodling” as she calls it, insures that each item is an unique once-off – she has no desire to become a mass-producer.

To find out more about Farah and her beautiful creations please visit her website: here, or her Facebook page: here.

FH Porcelain ǀ The Design Tabloid (4)

FH Porcelain ǀ The Design Tabloid (5)

FH Porcelain ǀ The Design Tabloid (1)

FH Porcelain ǀ The Design Tabloid (3)

FH Porcelain ǀ The Design Tabloid (6)
{Images via Farah Hernandez}

Design Indaba 2013: Through Rose-Tinted Glasses

Time flashes past so unbelievably fast. It’s almost scary. Right now, to me, it feels as if Design Indaba 2013 was long ago, instead of a month ago. Nevertheless, we are keeping it alive going forward into 2013.

Marica has done her take on the Expo (read it: here) and now it is my turn to deliver my take on the Expo, highlighting a few exhibitors that stood out for me. Saying this though, by no means diminishes any of the other many exhibitors. They were without exception, totally amazing in the presentation of their products.

Design Indaba buzzes with the most astounding creative energy and the exhibition stands are mind blowing in their presentation. I really mean that!! The only pity is that due to the immense number of visitors to the stands, being able to get up close and appreciate all the details of not only the exhibition, but the product, is not always possible. And also there is that unspoken pressure brought on by the same crowds (plus the achy back and feet)… to move on. These very same missed details, I was only able to fully appreciate when I sat down to work through all the images taken by our fab photographer, Laurita Smal. All that is left to say is: KUDOS TO EACH CREATIVE EXHIBITOR. YOU GUYS ROCK AND MAKE OUR CHESTS SWELL WITH PRIDE.

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THE ABSA GALLERY:  Artists participating in the exhibition were previous top 100 Absa L’Atelier entrants – some have travelled abroad whilst others have only travelled locally. They then presented the story of their travels in a small vintage suitcase, of which there were so many to view. The one that I could relate to was this one in the image – it obviously tells of an interesting time spent in Italy. So clever.

ELIZABETH GALLOWAY ACADEMY OF FASHION DESIGN:  Their exhibition stand took the form of a ‘laboratory’. It was fascinating, enchanting and captivating. They had a good few design workstations going on, with fashion designers working on their craft, surrounded by the tools of their trade. I went back to their exhibition twice, just to ensure that the gorgeous little details I missed first time round, had another opportunity to be enjoyed. This exhibition spoke absolute volumes about creative flair and inspired leadership in the world of fashion design. I just could not get enough of it.

DEEP SHEEP:  Their product – WOOL. Oh man – they had dem sheep dressed up as various and intriguing characters. Quirky always catches my eye and allows my imagination to develop my own story. I simply admire the ingenious imagination of marketing their product using these sheep characters. I was so sorely tempted to walk away with one of dem sheep. Particularly the gal flaunting her pearl necklace.

CERAMISTS  –  SANDY GODWIN  &  STOOR In fact, as I sit here and write, I realise that the work of these two ceramists were on opposite ends of the spectrum. Amazing what one is attracted to and shows that there is indeed a market of each. Sandy Godwin’s work is ‘laced’ (excuse the pun) with detailed intricacies – lace work that is delicately classy and yet totally sassy. My mind could not cope with how much time such fine work must take. Stoor’s work on the other hand is more rustic and rugged looking. It is has that kinda ‘handsome rugby player’ appeal to it. When applying that antiqued, worn look to a piece of furniture, the technique requires one to rub on some dark finish to make it look as if the grit & dust has become lodged in the little nooks. Stoor has created that same type of finish to their ceramic pieces.  So cool in my books.

LI EDELKOORT’S AFRICANA MEMPHIS:  I am such an admirer of Li Edelkoort and this year she curated an exhibition stand (sponsored by Woolworths). Short of repeating the same ole adjectives to find expression, I have to say, it was something else. It was so different and one had to take time out to read about the arising Neo Memphis trend that Li is opening up to public awareness, to be able to appreciate the vibrancy of the display. The added value was that Africana flavour and style. If I say ‘totem’ what comes to your mind? American Indian totem poles?? Think again – the totem in this case is all about the layering of textures, colours, styles, designs and more.

Did you attend the Design Indaba 2013 Expo? If you did what or who was it that caught your eye? And if you didn’t manage to get there this year, do all you can to get there in 2014.  Sell whatever of your stuff to get a ticket, but just get there.  You will be blown away by the level of creativity that is to be found in South Africa.

Emulate by Tersia Fisher

By Marica

Rose and I found the Emerging Creatives section at this year’s Design Indaba Expo so utterly amazing and talent-filled that we are breaking The Design Tabloid tradition and featuring each Creative individually. Over the next few months, hopefully once a week, we will share our favourite up-and-coming designers from the Emerging Creative bunch with you. Keep your eyes peeled – these guys and gals are muchos talented!

First Creative up – surface designer Tersia Fisher and her range of soft furnishings and fashion wear. Tersia found inspiration in nature, especially in the highly textured ocean-dwelling organisms, and named her handmade range “Emulate“.

Admirably, she set out to create a truly sustainable product. The fabrics used to create her cushions and accessories are 100% off-cut and waste materials she salvaged from office furniture manufacturers. Tersia then hand-stitches each cushion, creating an organic once-off product. This process is extremely time-consuming – the bigger floor cushion took her a whopping 72 hours to complete!

The result is highly tactile – my first instinct was to reach out and run my fingers across the cushion’s textured surface. In fact, I saw a good few people at the Expo to exactly the same – but like Tersia said: “go ahead, they are made to be touched!

To find out more about Tersia and her beautiful cushions please visit her Facebook page: here.

Emulate by Tersia Fisher ǀ The Design Tabloid (7)

Emulate by Tersia Fisher ǀ The Design Tabloid (2)

Emulate by Tersia Fisher ǀ The Design Tabloid (4)

{Images via Tersia Fisher}

Design Indaba 2013 Awesomeness

By Marica

Okay, so I know you guys and gals are just dying for some Design Indaba Expo feedback! As both Rose and I had to juggle the Design Indaba Conference, Expo, and our day job, I did the Expo circuit in a new personal best of two hours! Let me tell you something… you can only say “wow” and “that’s beautiful” so many times in the span of two hours before you head explodes at the sheer awesomeness.

The Emerging Creatives, for instance, where so super dooper talented this year that Rose and I agreed that to write one summary post for them all just won’t cut it. So in the months to come we hope to feature our favourites individually and that way keep the spirit of Design Indaba burning a little longer. But, in the meantime, here are some things I oohed and ahhed about at the Design Indaba Expo 2013…

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I thought the fashion section was especially well planned this year, particularly the Cape Town Fashion Council (CTFC) exhibit – don’t you just love the gold coat hanger chandeliers!

ARTYMISS:  I absolutely adored the Artymiss stand… and so did everybody else – that stand was B.U.S.Y. It’s not surprising though as you could not help but notice the beautifully backlit stand from a distance. Artymiss specialises in most extraordinary whimsical laser-cut paper artwork and stationery – her attention to detail is amazing.

Another ingenious addition to the Expo this year was the food truck convoy which stood amidst strings of twinkly lights. Gourmet street food anyone – YES PLEASE!

IKHAYA:  Have you very stumbled across a shop where you just want to say: “I’ll take it ALL thank you! Ring it up while I get my credit card” Well, that’s how I felt when is saw the iKhaya stand. From the adorable chest of drawers and little cabinets, to the whimsy wood and ceramic figurines and awesome pendant lights… I want it ALL!

20EIGHT:  Okay so I’m a total sucker for gorgeous lighting and the Expo was dripping with abundance of beautiful lighting designs. One of my favourites: a gorgeous geometric pendant light made from lightweight concrete designed by 20Eight – they use the same concrete to make amazing jewellery and funky geometric serveware.

MAKERS OF STUFF:  Then there was the Makers of Stuff (MOS) stand – a whole wall filled with beautiful pendants lights and chandeliers. It became an unintended “photo booth” as one can not walk past the amazing display without asking someone to snap a picture of you striking a pose in front of it!

NINA DU PLESSIS:  I also loved the trendy wall-hung geo pendant lights and gorgeous wooden wall hooks they were hung from designed by interior designer Nina du Plessis. I never had the chance to ask Nina what the lights are made, but I’m assuming it’s some kind of concrete or earthenware.

HALDANE MARTIN:  Lastly, I found the “evolution” of the Haldane Martin Source Chair quite interesting – I’m absolutely loving the newest addition, the Source Upholstered Chair with those stunning wooden legs!

{So who attended the Expo? Buy anything? Tell us about your favourites!}

One week to Design Indaba Expo 2013!

“Today marks exactly one week, or seven sleeps if you like, until Design Indaba Expo 2013 kicks off – South Africa’s biggest and most prestigious showcase of 100% local design!”

Design Indaba 2013

AND as you can imagine, Rose and I are super dooper excited! The Design Tabloid has, like last year, graciously received media accreditation for the 2013 Indaba and we will not only be attending the Expo but the Conference Simulcast as well *happy dance*

Now if you think the Expo is cool, eish, you should experience the conference… it’s a-freaking-mazing! It makes me all lyrical! Featuring over 30 local and international speakers – it’s three unbelievable days of inspiration and design overload to get your creative juices flowing. The speakers are masters of their industries and disciplines, with knowledge that you will not find on the internet or in a book. Attending last year’s conference was a life-highlight… no kidding.

Design Indaba Conference 2013 takes place from Wednesday 27 February to Friday 1 March 2013. Now, the conference is a little pricey but if it is in you means to go – do it! Alternatively you can attend the Simulcast which is cheaper. You will never regret it.

This year’s EXPO promises to be even bigger, cementing the platform’s position as the go-to destination for taking the pulse of South African creativity. To get you all psyched for this year’s Indaba here is some highlights from the horse’s mouth…


“For 28 hours, over three days next weekend (Friday 1 March to Sunday 3 March) the Cape Town International Convention Centre will be abuzz with things to see, do, experience, make, create, shop, eat – it’s the ultimate inspirational indulgence.”



Design Indaba Expo’s distinguishing characteristics are two-fold: it showcases exceptional design across all the creative disciplines (from architecture to jewellery design, fashion, visual art, craft, industrial design and everything in between); and it sets an exceptionally high professional standard. More than 400 exhibitors will be strutting their creative stuff this year with some 20% of these being first-time exhibitors at Expo. The always-popular Emerging Creatives platform again promises to bear testament to the scope of ingenious young designers in South Africa.


There’s simply too much entertainment happening on the Expo floor to mention it all! From a Miniplex screening three-minute documentaries to all-day fashion shows and music by top South African artists, there’s entertainment for the whole family.


Food trucks are all the rage at the moment, and we’re excited to be having Cape Town’s biggest food truck contingent on the Design Indaba Expo floor! Limoncello, El Burro, The Good Life, Durban’s Finest Curry and The Juice Deli will all be pulling their mobile dining trucks to a stop at Expo.

Equally exciting are the pop-up restaurants that will be, um, popping up at Expo. Beijing Opera, Ma Mere Maison, Queen of Tarts and The Creamery will all be putting in a culinary appearance.

DIY Workshops

Stop-motion movie animation, wind sculpting, animal masks and design school sessions headline the Design Indaba Youth (DIY) workshops this year as the programme takes on an innovative new direction. Click here for the full DIY programme, more details and prices.


We like to give credit where credit is due and to promote the creative industries by recognising exceptional work. The Most Creative Stand award, the Innovation Award and the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa (MBOISA) award are all manifestations of this commitment.


See Pecha Kucha-style talks by top design graduates from around the world. There’s also a talk by Anthony Silverston of Triggerfish, the Cape Town animation studio that produced the country’s first feature-length animation film Adventures in Zambezia. Magazine doyenne Jane Raphaely will be talking about her autobiography and the independent UK-based Daniel Charny will be launching his new initiative, Fixperts, in South Africa at the Expo.

And this is by no means the comprehensive list! Here’s the full programme to further indulge your creative anticipation.


Design Indaba EXPO at the Cape Town International Convention Centre

  • Friday 1 March 2013 10:00 – 20:00
  • Saturday 2 March 2013 10:00 – 20:00
  • Sunday 3 March 2013 10:00 – 18:00

EXPO Tickets available at the door or through Computicket

  • Adults: R70
  • Pensioners and students: R50
  • Scholars (Ages 10 – 18): R40
  • Children under 10: Free