Design Indaba 2014 day 2

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.Design Indaba 2014

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.”michel Rojkind
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).

Marcello SerpaOne 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.

Design Indaba Day One

For those of you who have never heard of the Design Indaba it’s an organisation that drives for a better world through design, creativity and innovation.
Each year over a few days they hold a conference in Cape Town where some of the worlds brightest creative minds get together to share inspirational 1

Day one traditionally opens with a talk from a South African Agency, and this year it was from our very own group ECD Chris Gotz. Chris told our Ogilvy Cape Town story of a rebirth through fire. Together with Gavin Levinsohn, Chris helped transform the agency from a rather traditional but good agency, into South Africa’s number 1 integrated agency. The key message focused around divine discontent, and a need for us all to stop just telling stories, and to start making them instead.

next up was  Juliana Rotich from Ushanda in kenya, she spoke about some of the incredible innovation coming from Africa that helps democratise information such as the BRCK, and shared that for every 1% growth in internet penetration, most countries will see on average a 1.63% growth in GDP.

Amsterdam based graphic design studio  Experimental Jetset, shared some of their inspiration on how they got to some of their most famous work such as the graphic design for the Whitney Museum in NYC. One key takeout was that you have to create your own freedom, it will never be given to you.

Probably my personal  favourite speaker of the day was Jake Barton (watch this video of Jake talking at Wired), founder of interactive New York design house Local Projects. He shared some of their wonderful work and talked a lot about how we need to make more platforms that allow people to create their own authentic stories (See below). The other main point was to stop always trying to just conceptualise ideas and wait for briefs, and rather mock things up then actively go sell to clients as solutions.

Ije Nwokorie MD of Wolff Olins in the UK talked about how great design inspires people to do things differently, and how creativity tends to work best in messy environments.

This years Pecha kucha talk were as always a mixed bunch from all over the world as normal, the standout talk was by Dave Hakkens who invented the Phone Bloks ( have a look at, and then turned down a job with Motorola to follow his own path.

The last two talk were from Tom Hulme from Open Ideo and famous UK designer Thomas Heatherwick. Tom told us we are all designers, and how great design addresses a human need and in a low friction (easy to do) way.
Thomas took us through his iconic work creating the UK Olympic Cauldron, the new London Bus, as well as the UK Pavilion in China.

The day ended with a special surprise as they announced a new Heatherwick design project at the V&A Waterfront that will create Africa’s first public contemporary African art museum.

Volkswagen: Drive a New Golf R . In Sweden. On Ice.

VW Golf R
Experience the thrill of extreme driving and conquer the arctic with an Ice Driving Experience in Sweden for two in the New Golf R. It’s the best way to experience how Golf R’s 4Motion®, all-wheel drive system keeps stability on every surface imaginable.

Create and submit your own thrill video and stand a chance to win an Ice Driving Experience for two in Sweden’s Lapland.
Go to to create your own video and enter the competition by Thursday 20 February.

Super Bowl 2014 Ad highlights

Below are some of the better ads from the 2014 Super Bowl. This year each 30 seconds of airtime cost $4m, yet somehow none of them seemed to get the kind of buzz that previous years ads have got. Watch them below an let us know if you have a favourite.
On another note the game was between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos (Seahawks dominated and won).

Chevy Silverado : Romance

Maserati: Ghibli – Strike

Bud Light: Ian up for whatever

Hyundai Genesis: Dad’s Sixth Sense

Esurance: Giving away $1.5 dollars

Volkswagen: Wings

Jeep: Restless

Smart: Electric Drive Offroading

Axe Peace: Make Love, Not War

Duracell: Trust Your Power – Derrick Coleman

Kia: The Truth (Morpheus)

Coca-Cola: America Is Beautiful

Heinz Ketchup: Hum

Budweiser: A Hero’s Welcome

Chrysler: Bob Dylan

Microsoft: Empowering

Budweiser: Puppy Love

Jaguar: British Villains ‘Rendezvous

T-Mobile: We Killed The Long Term Contract