A new year, a brand new list of Emerging Creatives revealed by the Design Indaba team (find the full list of forty).
Every year Design Indaba releases their pick of standout young local designers in celebration and support of those brave enough to pursue a creative career. The forty Emerging Creatives are mentored by the Design Indaba team and given the opportunity to exhibit alongside some of the country’s most accomplished designers and artists at the Design Indaba Expo.
The Expo will be taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 27 February to 1 March 2015. Be sure to stop by all the Emerging Creatives’ exhibitions for brand new ideas and projects. For now, here’s a quick look at some of the work by the young creatives we’re most excited to see.
Movement and intricacies inspire jewellery designer Uté Francke. As part of her graduate exhibition at the University of Stellenbosch, Uté created a collection of intricate jewellery pieces from wood, precious and semi-precious metals and stones. The collection, titled Hornet’s Nest, is based on old illustrations of flying objects and artist Ernst Haeckel’s detailed botanical drawings. Voluminous shape and detailed structure are elements included in all her pieces – thus combining simplicity with fine details. Uté wants her jewellery to be interactive and accomplishes this by adding moving elements to many of her designs. Moving, standing still, simple or complex, we are anxious to get our hands on some Uté Francke original pieces.
Amanda van der Walt
Amanda, a Pretoria based designer and illustrator, draws from different typically South African spaces and objects to create her stunning textile designs. Currently studying at North West University, her latest range of textile designs, titled Dorp, are inspired by her university town of Potchefstroom. We were especially inspired by Amanda’s doodles and mood boards and can’t wait to see them come to life in her new range of pillows, wallpapers, lampshades and more at the DI Expo.
Carla Erasmus & Christa Botha (Bofred)
When two fine artists combined their skills, curatorial eye and appreciation for beautiful things, a beautiful brainchild was born. Christa and Carla established their artistic collective Bofred last year. Bofred specializes in the designing, making and restoring of proudly South African interior items and furniture. Bright colours, clean lines and innovative contemporary design are present in the Bofred collection. More than just a pretty face, Bofred is also a socially conscious company, working closely with local craftswomen and organisations in the production of their designer items. They also donate a percentage of all profit to their Shop for a Cause initiative. Shop for a Cause aims to help and support the team of Bofred crafters both socially and economically.
Lesedi MJ Mogale
Pretoria based photographer Lesedi MJ Mogale, is showing some of his black and white film photographs at this year’s Design Indaba Expo. Lesedi received a National Dipolma in Photography from Tshwane University of Technology and is inspired by perceptions of light, the past, present, nature and his surroundings. What started out as experiments with his camera phone has lead to a passion for photography and subsequently, a portfolio of mature and touching photographs that range from studio portraits to candid shots of friends and surrounds. New work by Lesedi is definitely something to look forward to.
If the work of fashion designer Lukhanyo Mdingi looks familiar, it’s because he is no stranger to Between 10 and 5. The sheer drive and creativity of this Cape Peninsula University of Technology graduate is a source of endless inspiration. Not only are his collections impeccably designed and made, but each collection is presented in a beautifully styled and photographed look book – with every presentation more surprising than the next. Collections like Granite and Basics included both ready-to-wear and avant-garde pieces and caused the first waves on SA fashion’s radar. In 2013, Lukhanyo went on to be a finalist in the Elle Rising Star Awards. His graduate collection, Iridescence (shown above), challenges the design of menswear in South Africa through avant-garde aesthetics. Innovation and unconventionality are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Lukhanyo designs – watch this space (closely!).
Ground breaking technology, nature and fashion meet in Durban University of Techonology graduate, Kiara Gounder’s Digital Nature collection. Through this collection Kiara explored the wonders and possibilities of using 3D printing in fashion design and beyond. She says, “I used my Btech study as an opportunity to explore my own curiosity about 3D printing technology and to introduce the concept of 3D printed fashion on a local platform. My aim is to motivate more South African fashion designers and students to incorporate innovative technologies into their design practice.” Digital Nature is a capsule collection featuring garments embellished with 3D printed pieces. Kiara, initially inspired by Dutch Designer Iris van Herpen’s 3D printed collection shown at 2011 Paris Fashion Week, turned to natural science (microscopic images of plants and insects) to inform her designs.
“Sometimes I start with an illustration and the theme follows. Other times, I will have to go somewhere or do something and decide to make an illustration about it.” Inspired by the everyday, illustrator and photographer Matthew Bradley creates bold images that are both easily apprehensible and highly appealing. Matthew studied illustration at the Stellenbosch Academy of Photography and Graphic design after which he obtained his honours in curatorship from the University of Cape Town last year. Matthew is interested in printing processes and hopes to further develop his illustrations and designs into new textiles and clothing – we can’t wait to see what the results will be at the DI Expo!
Rich Mnisi (OATH)
New to the world of fashion design, Rich Mnisi has already accomplished more than most. He graduated from Leaders in the Science of Fashion (LISOF) where he won the Best RTW Collection award as well as the award for Best Fashion Media Student. In 2014, Rich went on to win the AFI Fastrack Young Designer of the Year award at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Johannesburg. This achievement initiated the launch of OATH, a fashion label run by Rich and his business partner Shane Childs. OATH’s collections contain futuristic sport-luxe wear for men and women. Rich is inspired by pop culture and street style and often uses clean silhouettes and printed textures in his designs. For the Design Indaba Expo 2015 he will be teaming up with Trevor Stuurman to create a new line that promises to stay true to OATH’s distinct aesthetic.
Celeste Theron (SHE)
Performance artist Celeste Theron studied at the University of Pretoria and, together with architect and photographer Ilze Wessels, founded the SHE design collective. SHE’s main goal is to “design products that encourage positive and constructive ways of life”. They also work in collaboration with other artists who have insufficient resources to promote their work. The SHE project consists of three parts: daily urban interventions in which Celeste and Ilze cleaned the Apies River in Arcadia; a performance art piece in which Celeste floated on a raft made of the collected waste from the interventions at Magnolia Dell; and finally, the Range One collection of products created from the collected waste material. Range One, products designed by Ilze and Celeste and made by Nelly Mokhondo and Joanna Kubayi, are a collection of unique products made from crocheted recycled plastic. Inspired by the tale of South Africa’s Rain Queen, Modjadji, SHE’s initial aims were to create awareness surrounding the importance of groundwater, especially in Pretoria’s history. Today, all the projects launched by SHE focus on empowering women, celebrating life and contributing to social change.
Nikki Onderstall (Design Heard)
Architecture Masters student Nikki Onderstall took her homework to a whole new level in creating these amazing architectural models of Cape Town and Table Mountain. Currently studying at the University of Cape Town, Nikki wishes to further investigate the architectural model as a form of sculpture. The topographical models were created using maps of the city and assembled using 1mm pieces of card in 10mm intervals. GIS data was used to lazercut the contours of this 1:20 000 scaled model. Niki hopes to expand her project to include the greater peninsula and maps of Hout Bay and the Cape Winelands. Nikki’s smart photography makes her projects seem larger than life. We see endless possibilities for this venture.
Michelle Liao (MichL jewellery)
Africa meets Asia as jeweler Michelle Liao draws from her combined cultural heritage in her unique contemporary designs. Michelle moved from Taiwan to South Africa in the early 90s and, after receiving her degree in Jewellery Design and Manufacturing from the Ruth Prowse School of Art in 2014, combines the cultures and images from both countries in her jewellery collections. Michelle started her own company, Michl Contemporary Fine Jewellery, where she creates and sells her unique art pieces. MichL jewellery is made from materials ranging from precious metals to the distinctly South African Scooby wire. By combining brass and Scooby wire with clean and simple shapes, her This is My Africa (TIMA) range balances perfectly on the very fine line between “traditional craft and contemporary transformation”.