Celebrating a Very Creative South Africa

It is no secret – South Africa is brimming with tremendously talented individuals.

From the time that our blog, The Design Tabloid, was conceptualised back in 2010 it has been our desire to create visibility around the creative essence and power to be found in South Africa. We think of it as unearthing hidden gems to show off to the world at large. Instead of lions roaming our African streets, we have a crowd of dynamic and talented creative designers who are able to take their place on the international stage.

We have done that over the past 6 years and will continue to do so because here at Design Monarchy we are #ProudlySA and honoured to count ourselves among the South African creatives.

It is for this very reason that we have decided to introduce a new and regular blog post series to The Design Tabloid. We have found that like with our other regular features, Decorating Dictionary and Decor Quick Tips, a regular topical series not only creates something to look forward to each week, but is also fun and easily digestible.

Each month we will feature a local South African creative, be that an artist, designer, or something altogether different. Our chosen creatives will range from relatively unknown emerging creators to more established designers. We might even throw in one or two local entrepreneurs who have founded successful design-related dynasties and big business brands.

So, keep your eyes peeled for the first instalment of our “Creative SA” blog series and celebrate South African design talent with us. #CreativeSA

Image: 100% Design South Africa

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.

SA Blog Awards: Vote For Us!

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The Design Tabloid has once again been entered into South African Blog Awards! We have registered for the Lifestyle as well as the Arts & Craft category which means we are up against some tough competition. We therefore need YOUR vote! No matter who you are or where you are from if you have enjoyed reading our blog as much as we have loved sharing our passion and knowledge with you – feel free to show your appreciation by voting and passing it on!

Now, the public vote phase will run from today, Tuesday 1 December 2015, until Monday 8th January 2016 at 23:59.

Voting is super easy – just click on the VOTE badge – you will be directed to the SA Blog Awards website where your vote for The Design Tabloid will automatically be entered. Yay!

VOTEAfter placing your vote, you will be sent a confirmation email, which you have to respond to in order to confirm your vote… and, I suppose, to ensure that you are not some programmed robot.

Also be warned – you can only vote for ONE blog per category. Should you decide to vote for another blog in the same category as The Design Tabloid (which is the Lifestyle / Arts & Crafts categories) you will lose the original vote, as your new vote will override the initial vote.

{So go on… vote for us! DO it, click the button!}

D.I.Braai This Heritage Day

Tomorrow South Africa celebrates National Heritage Day (oh and yay public holiday)!

Thanks to Jan Braai‘s National Braai Day initiative it has now become semi-traditional to celebrate our rich individual AND shared heritage with a braai!

“The National Braai Day initiative aims to position National Heritage Day as South Africa’s annual day of celebration. We call on all South Africans to unite around fires, share our heritage and wave our flag on 24 September every year.”

No matter our race, language or religion, we as South Africans share one common custom – to celebrate around a cooking fire. It is known by many names: Shisa Nyama, Braai and Ukosa to name but a few. When we want to celebrate, relax or make merry we light a fire and start grilling – this is what we, as a nation, share.

Looking for some unique braai ideas? Check out the clips below:

Want to try and braai something a little different this Heritage Day? In this clip SuzelleDIY will show you how to make “Boerewors Bagel Dogs“. It may sound kind of weird but it looks delicious – think bread-on-a-stick meets boerewors roll. Furthermore, she is absolutely hilarious in this video – as the Afrikaans folk would say: “sy is op haar stukke“! The “I’m the Wolverine!” and “…now I’m Edward Scissor(s)hands” comments had me in stitches!

Who said the braai is just for chops, steak and wors? Why not try a dessert on the braai?! In this clip SuzelleDIY and Bush Cook Guru, Justin Bonello, illustrates how to make “Braaied Brandy Banana Splits“. Looks yummy! Shame poor Justin – remember jealousy makes you nasty Suzelle!

D.I.Braai – “becauseanybodycanmakecreativedessertsonthebraai

Hope you all have a happy Heritage Day tomorrow!

 

World Design Capital Awesomeness

The year is quickly racing to a close and so also Cape Town’s stint as World Design Capital 2014. With over 460 recognized WDC projects it was (and still is) quite difficult to keep track of all of them. We find it sad and somewhat frustrating that some awesome projects slipped past us without so much as a whisper.

HOWEVER, the year is not over yet! There are still fabulous projects in the pipeline not to mention some stunning ongoing project. AND of course, our very own Design Monarchy studio is still hard at work with our World Design Capital project: #WDC323 the makeover of the Acute Care Surgery Unit at Groote Schuur Hospital…

To keep the yellow design fires burning we would like to share some of our favourites WDC projects with you in the weeks to come. Today I would like to single out two official World Design Capital projects that are still in motion… and might I say, pretty awesome. Though both projects sprouted from the temporary World Design Capital platform they are said to become permanent fixtures.

#WDC344  |  Stable:Stable on Loop

“stable: A collaborative exhibition space where Designers, Artists and Artisans have the opportunity to showcase their work.”

Located on 65 Loop Street in the CBD, the purpose of stable is to create a link between talented local designers and the everyday consumer.

The concept of stable is the brainchild of designer Aidan Bennetts and the shop features a boutique collection of innovative South African design. Designers, Artists and Artisans from every corner of South Africa showcase their work alongside one another in a professional retail environment. There is a wide range of items including chairs, tables, lighting and accessories all curated under one roof for your convenience.

stable is a long term initiative, with plans to open new outlets and growing beyond 2014.

#WDC533  |  Table Mountain Frames:download

“This project celebrates nature’s beautiful design: Table Mountain. Seven frames will be erected around Cape Town that perfectly frame Table Mountain from well known & unusual views.”

I am so in love this concept – it gives folks an opportunity to “interact” with Table Mountain.

The Table Mountain Frames were designed by Porky Hefer. Each frame was optimally positioned to perfectly frame a view of Table Mountain. Visitors can travel to all 7 sites to collect an image of themselves & Table Mountain. By setting up framed views from some unusual locations, people will be reminded of the beauty of the mountain from within the city, and convey a sense that it is a mountain for everyone, not just for visitors to the “usual” tourist locations. This is a great way to celebrate Cape Town’s New7Wonder of Nature and to encourage people to share images of the different views on social media.

Frames has already been set up at the V&A Waterfront, Blouberg Beach, Signall Hill, Khayelitsha and Cape Town Station.