2017 Design Indaba Wrap Up

The 21st Design Indaba festival kicked off last week where there was a widespread use of natural elements as a source of inspiration, tackling issues of misrepresentation & examples of how beautiful data can be. Below are a few of the highlights from the 3 day conference.

  1. TAPPUTI AND THE SEA by Kaja Solgaard Dahl

Dyed natural sea sponges hold the handmade solid perfume made of only natural oils sourced from the African continent and around the Cape. Simple & beautiful design.


Kaja-Solgaard-Dahl.Photography-by-Magda-Gyda-Johansdottir-22. gt2p

Great Things To People is a Santiago, Chile based design firm involved in varying projects that focus on architecture, art and design. One of which blew us away – the invention allowed them to produce delicate, individually unique ceramic pieces.The Chilean firm and Eastern Cape-born ceramic artist Andile Dyalvane teamed up to collaborate on a never never-before-seen installation also featured below.

PERSPECTIVE-009 7 printed-pottery-c-gt2p-victor-imperiale 0031_31

3. UNWIND by Marko Ahtisaari

Tech entrepreneur Marko Ahtisaari is the CEO and co-founder of The Sync Project, which investigates the therapeutic effects of music on the body and mind. Music that can literally put you to sleep.

Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 9.43.18 AM Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 9.43.23 AM

Check it out on your mobile here: ‪http://bit.ly/2m8rJ4f

4. WHAT3WORDS – Chris Sheldrick

Chris Sheldrick is the founder of what3words, an addressing app that assigns a sequence of three simple words to any location in the world. Simply brilliant. Now everyone is the world has an address – from the peak of Kilimanjaro, rural landscapes in KwaZulu-Natal to the dance floor at ERA.

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 2.14.04 PM

precaustions.playable.gallows – Ogilvy Cape Town’s 3 word address. Find yours here: https://map.what3words.com/amused.thunder.wins

5. Lernert & Sander

Ever since they began collaborating in 2007, the artists and filmmakers Lernert & Sander have been known for their high-conceptual art films, eye-catching installations and keen fashion aesthetic. These two were a solid highlight from the conference. Hilarious, kind and brilliant.

a36745ec8d7d9ebe2faf602ab9a03860 EVERYTHING_Lernert-and-Sander_02

See more incredible work here: 


6. Kate Moross

Kate Moross, London based unicorn in the illustration world. She and her team have brought multiple projects to life – from Disclosure to Lorde, One Direction, Katy Perry & The  MTV Video Music Awards. Pretty much portfolio that any designer DREAMS to have.

Check out one of Studio Moross’ latest pieces:

7. Georgia Lupi & Kaki King

Giorgia Lupi interrogated the humanity behind big data. By removing the computer and forcing herself to imagine data in a different way. She is able to reveal patterns and nuanced aspects of the human experience that data would otherwise drown.

She collaborated with the INCREDIBLE Kaki King’s magical guitar playing to bring her data to life – an example below:


8. Wage Islands by Ekene Ijeoma

An interactive installation about wage and housing inequality in NYC. It’s a 3d topographic map of monthly housing costs submerged in water to show where New Yorkers can afford to live based on hourly wages.


There were SO many incredible moments – Check out the Ogilvy Instagram handles to see more. Thank you to the Joburg & Cape Town teams who co-curated this article!

Cape TownJoburgSA


DESIGN INDABA 2012: Overview Day 1

Design IndabaOne of the great things about living in Cape Town is the Design Indaba. Since 1995, the Design Indaba Conference has been inviting the world’s top creative minds to address professionals from the creative, corporate and educational sectors alike. Each year at Ogilvy we send a selection of our staff to listen to the talks on topics focusing on graphic design, advertising, film, music, fashion design,and more. This is an invaluable chance for us to soak up, and be inspired by some of the best creativity from around the world.

Day 1 kicked of with the founders of local agency FoxP2 doing a talk entitled “Why wookies don’t wear pants; a study in the art of better practice”. The talk focused on how if you want to do great work you have to use better practice, and not best practice. This meant simply that it’s hard to change the world if you conform to existing norms, you have to think outside the box and fight for your original idea to make a difference. Star war was used as an analogy. When George Lucas pitched the Star Wars storyboard, studio bosses were concerned that people would be offended by the nakedness of the character the world has come to know as Wookie!

They shared 7 tips for creating better practice work:

  1. Best practice cannot be applied to truly original work
  2. Have the courage to see your vision through
  3. Chose the right partners
  4. Better practice can yield better results (break the mould, risk failing)
  5. Better practice can set your business free
  6. Better practice can shape popular culture
  7. Don’t put pants on the Wookie

Alex BoguskyThe second talk was by the incredible creative facilitator John Beilenberg who started off with the quote "Don’t think out of the box, think wrong". He talked about our human tendency to think heuristically, and gave an example of how when a shark attack in Australia is reported on the news in the USA people stay out of the water in LA! His talk revolved around his Project M where he teaches students to how to think wrong to do good, read up on it at http://projectmlab.com. He shared three tips for life; 1. Get Out, 2. Fail Harder, 3. Make Stuff. The talk included a live streaming of his business partner,creative genius Alex Bogusky. Alex talked about their work with common pitch & social entrepreneurship.

Millenial ForestThe third talk was from UK Landscape Designer Dan Pearson entitled A Garden For a Thousand Years. Dan talked about how he has been working in Japan to help create the Millennial Forest. The forest is a place for urban people to get close to nature and to help children learn about the wilderness. Learn about and see his work at danpearsonstudio.com.

The fourth talk was from Copenhagen chef Rene Redzepi, the founder of the world best restaurant, Noma. He talked about how his biggest job as a chef is to distil one moment in time, and how he has been transforming the culinary world with incredible ingredients and a passion for design. At Noma he has taken the unique approach of making his chefs serve the food, and keeping the interior simple to keep the attention on the people and the food. Read more about what Rene is up to at http://noma.dk

Stealth PosterThe fifth speaker was the incredible Eddie Opara from Pentagram design. Eddie started by taking his shoes off and then launching into a talk on complexities & contradictions. He said “As a designer you are never meant to finish anything”, he then told us that was his excuse for not cleaning his room when young. Eddie’s work is truly inspiring, from designing 3D stealth posters and wall coverings, to creating interactive touch tables, and applications for a number of esteemed companies. Take a moment to read up on some of the incredible work done over at http://pentagram.com

Menstration machineThe six talk was a Pecha Kucha style presentation from 7 young designers from around the world. Highlights from the talk included Andy Chen talking about his "Love Is" campaign about sex, HIV, and old age. Brynjar Sigurðarson talking about coffee cup tantrums, stuffed cat incidents, and stuffed animal backpacks. Sputniko! From Japan talking about her menstruation machine for men to experience PMS, as well as a robotic talking crow!(see http://www.sputniko.com). Massoud Hassani from Afghanistan talking about land mines and how he has used wind toy design to create a solution (See http://minekafon.blogspot.com)

Cable CarThe seventh talk was by founder of Urban Think Tank, Alfredo Brillembourg from Venezuela. Alfredo was talking about the growth of informal cities and how his company has been helping them in Caracas by creating a cable car system linking the complex hillside settlement. Alfredo said a brilliant quote “If you want to solve housing problems don’t build housing, build services.” Read more about his wonderful work at http://www.u-tt.com.

To finish off the day we were treated to the phenomenal Aaron Koblin and Chris Milk. Aaron leads the Data Arts Team at Google’s Creative Lab and shared some of his incredible projects such as visualising flight paths around the USA (which practically kicked off the infographic trend), getting a collection of 10,000 sheep made by workers on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, and even creating the worlds first crowd sourced $100 bill forgery! Chris Milk is an incredible Director, best know for his music video work. Chris shared some of his early advertising work, as well as some incredible music videos for the likes of U2 and Kaye West. Then for the first time ever together Aaron and Chris talked about their interactive video projects they created for Johnny Cash, Arcade Fire, and Rome (see below).

All in all there are few places in the world where its possible to soak up so much inspiration in one day.

Design Indaba: Street Challenge Entrant

Recently the Design indaba held a competition asking people to try and design a solution that will transform an aspect the street-level experience of Cape Town, and be prepared to implement it using R50 000. Roxi from our creative studio entered the below idea for glow in the dark designer Zebra Crossings.

I know its not Ogilvy Cape Town work but as I am lucky enough to see so many great ideas in the studio, most of which we cant share, its nice to be able to show something a little different that we can share. Personally I love the idea of making zebra crossings more fun, + am sure florescent paint would help keep pedestrians a little safer when crossing the road at night.

Click on the images below to zoom in, or go to http://www.designindaba.com/yourstreet to read more about the competition.