Design Indaba Conference 2014: Day 2

Last week I shared my feedback on the speakers I was privileged enough to see on Day 1 of the Design Indaba Conference (see it here). Today we will carry on with wise words of the speakers from Day 2…

DJ Stout:

I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation of DJ Stout, a graphic designer and art director at Pentagram – the world’s largest independent design consultancy. His unusual presentation was an ode to his beloved home state, Texas, and how it has shaped him and so shaped his work. It was probably my favourite of the whole conference…

Now let me set the scene… Heartbreaking yet captivating footage of the massively destructive 2011 Texas wildfires flashes onto the big screen whilst on stage musician Graham Reynolds plays a dramatic composition on a grand piano. Afterwards, cowboy hat-wearing DJ Stout discusses the fire’s devastating effects and one thing is abundantly clear – DJ’s heart belongs to Texas. He shares stories, old black & white photographs of rugged cowboys, and clips of “Cowboy Poets” reciting their beautiful (yet slightly corny) poetry.

“Everyone I’ve met from Cape Town loves it here; they actually love to brag about it!” – DJ Stout discussing the similarities between Texans and Capetonians.

“Sense of place is so important to designers… If you don’t pay attention to where you’re from you’ll get lost trying to be global.” – DJ Stout on the importance of knowing your roots.

Be proud. Be local. Be real. – a 6-word summary of DJ Stout’s presentation at the Design Indaba Conference 2014

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Margot Janse & David Higgs:

The next speakers to grace the stage were masterful South African chefs Margot Janse and David Higgs. Margot is the executive chef at the award-winning The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français Hotel in Franschhoek and David is the executive chef at the Saxon Hotel’s Five Hundred restaurant in Johannesburg. After they introduced one another with a great deal of both professional and personal respect, they spoke about their personal life journeys and how (through very hard work) they became the chefs they are today. It was also interesting to hear how childhood experiences with food have influenced them and flamed their love of the culinary.

Margot Janse: Chefs need to find their own food language from Design Indaba on Vimeo.

David Higgs: The chef’s role is so much bigger than just food from Design Indaba on Vimeo.

“Search for adventure and excitement in every moment in life.” – Margot Janse at the Design Indaba Conference 2014

“I’m Dutch by birth but South African by choice” – Margot Janse calling South Africa home.

“Unforgettable dishes always have an element of surprise and nostalgia about them.” – Margot Janse

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“Joburg has always been about the gold rush. Joburg is all about opportunities” – David Higgs discussing his move to Johannesburg and the Saxon Hotel’s Five Hundred restaurant.

“The chef’s role has become greater than the food itself – it’s about the experience.” – David Higgs at the Design Indaba Conference 2014

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Michel Rojkind:

Award-winning architect Michel Rojkind introduced himself via a little drum solo – turns out the founder of rojkind arquitectos based in Mexico, was something of a rock star in his youth. The dynamic Michel spoke of his love for chaotic Mexico City as well as the challenges and difficulties architects and developers face in regards to the country’s unpredictable politics. He also shared some of his awesome, out-of-the-box, jaw-dropping projects including the Nestlé Chocolate Museum, Cineteca Nacional, and Liverpool Department Store.

AD Interviews: Michel Rojkind from ArchDaily on Vimeo.


Jeanne van Heeswijk

“If I don’t make the client understand what he’s not seeing, I’m not doing my job.”  – Michel Rojkind on reading between the lines and guiding the client to see something they wouldn’t otherwise have seen.

“The worst crisis is not an economic crisis. It’s a mental crisis. Any crisis can happen. If we’re good thinkers, we’ll think our way around it.” – Michel Rojkind at the Design Indaba Conference 2014

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Marcello Serpa:

Brazilian ad legend Marcello Serpa doled out some of the very interesting and useful advice he has acquired in the span of his admirable career and as the creative director of AlmapBBDO. Marcello also shared some of their ingenious and successful campaigns including a hilarious Volkswagen Brazil ad that took the mickey out of Forrest Gump. For 17 years Marcello has been the mastermind behind the award-winning advertising of Havaianas and has played an integral role in launching this famous brand into international super-stardom.

Havaianas – Identity from AlmapBBDO Internet on Vimeo.

Alex Atala

“Never work under someone who is not better than you.” – Marcello Serpa at the Design Indaba Conference 2014

“Complicated seems clever only to stupid people. Be simple, but unpredictable – being simple and predictable will be the death of you.” – Marcello Serpa at the Design Indaba Conference 2014

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Hanging out with Weylandts at Dutch Masters Launch

About a week and a half ago I was one of the very fortunate guests at an event hosted by Weylandts at their Green Point Store. Their mission was to celebrate their collaboration with Dutch Master contemporary furniture designer, Jan Linteloo.  And boy did they do it in total style.  From start to finish, it was entertaining, magical, mysterious, tantalizing and I could go on and on, eventually running out of adjectives with which to describe this fabulous evening.

What made the evening so spectacular for the guests was the food and the presentation of the food.  It was nothing short of a magical experience. Thanks to the talented Margot Janse from The Tasting Room fame.

I am no foodie and cannot even begin to go into any sort of explanation of the style of food etc, suffice to say that it was a celebration of fabulous food design. The theme of the food experience was ‘woody’ – that was my impression anyway, which makes such sense to me.  I found myself being exposed to food that I had no idea existed. Food presentation done in a way that blew my mind away, with the highlight of that food journey for me being the cheese table – behind it was a big plywood board, with toasted pieces of Ciabatta breads hanging from nail pins.  How awesome is that!!  All I had to do (when I got my breath back again) was unhook my toast and pile on the delicious cheeses and jams.  (OMG – I’m salivating here!)

One thing that became very evident during the speeches was that Jan Linteloo, Chris Weylandt and Margot Janse were very comfortable with each other.  In fact there was a depth to this collaboration that warranted this special celebration – these were good friends working using their respective talents to work in perfect synergy.  Bringing to the public products of outstanding design and manufacture quality. The collaboration between Weylandts and Jan Linteloo is not a new one.  What is encouraging is that the standard of our local manufacturers is good enough to meet Jan’s high expectation. The result is that he is extending his range of furniture with Weylandts.  And believe me, this furniture has been well designed, soundly fabricated, is aesthetically appealing and    very comfortable

Both Marica and I are huge Weylandts supporters and we would like to take this opportunity of thanking them for THE MOST OUTSTANDING celebration event. Long may this collaboration last – standing as an example for other collaborations between designers.

Fellow Blogger Vicki Sleet from I Want That has written a fabulous account of the event as well.  If you want to see more images of the amazing food experience, pop over and take a look

Weylandts (4)
The food “trough”
Weylandts Food Trough ǀ I Want That
Gorgeous images of what you could find nestled in the food “trough” | Image: Vicki Sleet
Weylandts (3)
In keeping with the foraging theme this tree was hung with all kinds of delicious delicate bites!
Weylandts
A little food nest…
Weylandts Bead Wall & Cheese Wheels ǀ I Want That
The bread wall and rustic cheese wheels | Image: Vicki Sleet
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What an unusual and amazing food experience
Weylandts Dessert Wall ǀ I Want That
The dessert wall – hundreds of spoons with sweet treats on them! | Image: Vicki Sleet