Another day at Design Indaba and more inspiration from around the world including speakers from the USA, The Netherlands, Brazil, and more. The days themes revolved around the power of collaboration, and the importance of using your upbringing to help guide your day to day work.
The day kicked off with a talk from Pentagram partner and designer DJ Stout. DJ gave a wonderful presentation looking back at his career designing for Texas Monthly, and shared an incredible story of Cowboy Poetry accompanied by music from talented musician Graham Reynolds. DJ talked about the importance of sense of place, saying “If you don’t pay attention to where you’re from, you’ll get lost trying to be global.”
Next up was Mexican Architect Michel Rojkind. Working in Mexico he has learned to deal with politics, and advised people that in this overstimulated world we need to just to get out there, make things and let it all out. He talked about his love of collaboration, saying that even it is good to be contaminated by outside ideas for projects. When designing he said to remember to “Look at your surroundings, not just what’s in front of you.”
Food lovers got a treat with a talk by two famous local chefs, Margot Janse, and David Higgs. They shared their story of how they made it to where they are, and how their heritage has informed their cooking. A chefs role is now much more than just the food, it’s about creating experiences.
After the break Dutch design firm Scholten & Baijing shared some of their incredible work using in-house made colours and textiles. Stefan Scholten spoke about how with any design the function is just as important as the looks, and then took us through their collaboration with Mini to create a deconstructed Mini One, and really look at cars from a fresh perspective (see video below).
One of the most awarded Creative Directors in the world spoke next, Marcello Serpa, a partner at AlmapBBDO in Sao Paulo. Marcello’s career kick-started when he designed the branding for the now global brand Havaiana.
He shared his two rules for making great work;
1. Be Simple,
2. Be Unpredictable.
Marcello also talked about the two most important questions to ask at any creative meeting / briefing, namely;
1.What do we want to say?
2. Is this relevant?.
Marcello then shared some of his favourite work (Getty Images, VW Spare Parts, Cesar and more)
In advertising most agencies have an odd hierarchy dictated by job titles, he said “People want titles, what they should want is great work, & then be properly financially rewarded for it.” (cue lots of cheers from the audience).
Some of his other words of wisdom were;
Never work for someone who isn’t better than you. Everyone should work for someone they respect, admire and can learn from. // Be hard on work – not on people. // Don’t make unreasonable demands or be vague about what you want. // Be wary of marketing intelligence – in particular, costly research and reports that can lead to clichéd campaigns or unnecessarily complicated concepts. // Not everything that’s new is good and not everything that’s good is new. Great work is timeless, and trends pass.
The next session was a total departure from advertising and instead was a group chat by 3 South African Artists. Photographer Nandipha Mntambo shared a project where she explored mirror images of herself. Performance artist Athi-Patra Ruga who talked about his latest project – The White Women of Anzania. And finally GLBT Visual Activist Zanele Muholi, who showed us the video below against gender violence in South Africa.
The final 2 speakers were LA based Architect Clive Wilkinson who designed the Google’s headquarters, and local successful fiction author Lauren Beukes who talked about her writing and telling stories.
Clive shared his latest incredible project for the Barbarian Groups new office (see below), and offered several tips and words of advice; Hierarchy kills creativity // In office design you need to create free flowing & open spaces // In large companies you need to create natural spaces where tribes and communities can form.
Lauren put on an arty light and sound show talking about the importance of storytelling in our everyday lives. When talking about how she got into writing Lauren said “Some people go to therapy, I write books”. Another interesting point she raised was that it’s scientifically proven that reading fiction improves our levels of empathy.