27 Feb Field Notes from Design Indaba 2015 | Day 2
Selly Raby Kane
And that’s a wrap for an incredibly inspiring Day 2 of the 2015 Design Indaba conference. We’ve been furiously note-taking all day to bring you the best that was shared. If you missed out on Day 1, find our recap here. Remember to check in again soon for an overview of Day 3.
The straight-talking founder of Nando’s, Robbie Brozin, addressed the Design Indaba audience in his entertaining Gauteng-slang, letting us know about how the proudly-local global brand got started 28 years ago, but most importantly where it’s going. Leaving gems along the way like, “if you’re not in business to change people’s lives then what are you doing?”, a lesson we learnt from this entrepreneurial inspiration is to have fun while making money, as he says, “I have mates that have a lot of money, and they are miserable fucks”. An overnight success that was 15 years in the making, Nando’s current focus is on bringing beautiful South African product design to its restaurants around the globe.
Selly Raby Kane
Selly Raby Kane is a Senagalese fashion designer who spoke to us about making work where you are that’s rooted in the energy of an African city but that has echoes around the world. Her surreal collection, ‘Alien Cartoon’ was a challenge to herself to not be afraid to create something fantastical in Dakar, a city that is so stuck in reality.
Omar Victor Diop
Also from Senegal, Omar Victor Diop is a photographer on the rise who shared his journey with us. His photo series ‘Re-mixing Hollywood‘ imagines what some of the biggest movies ever made would look like if they’d been shot in Africa. Meant purely as an homage to the movies that he grew up with, the work hit a nerve and was a point of realisation for him; he could produce work that said something. His more recent work, ‘Project Diaspora’, “delves into and exposes less spoken narratives of the role of Africans out of Africa.” It was also the first time he turned the camera on himself to produce self-portraits. The message he left us with was to always have fun, no matter how serious the subject matter is that you’re working with. Look out for an interview with Omar coming soon to 10and5.
An image from Omar’s first fashion shoot – “What if we as humans decide that newness is out of fashion, and instead we start to talk about sustainability, recycling…”
As an exercise in improvisation, artist/designer Dominic Wilcox challenged himself to ‘speed create’ 30 things in 30 days. He talked us through some of these inventions, as well as some of his other highly creative, highly unusual, humorous work. More of his original thoughts can be found in his book, ‘Variations on Normal‘: the book of absurd and odd yet perfectly logical inventions.
A stained glass, driverless, sleeper car for Dezeen and Mini Frontiers
Oblivious iPhone User
If you’ve watched ‘Chef’ then you’ll know the story behind LA based chef Roy Choi’s career gamble that turned out to be a raging success, and started a movement. Calling what he does ‘social design’, his medium is food and we wants to change the world with it. Loco’l is an excellent concept that brings together world-renowned chefs, but this is hardly the point. The admirable aim of Loco’l is to revolutionise fast food using real, local ingredients. Roy says, “we want to take on the McDonald’s and the KFCs, the company’s that are poisoning our communities.”
Visionary Rosita Missoni took to the Design Indaba stage for the final session of the day. To a backdrop of rotating images of her vibrant homeware design, she shared her life’s journey. While since the late 1990s her main focus has been on the lifestyle collections that Missoni develops, it was a video she shared of a Missoni Africa collection from 1990 paraded at a Johannesburg stadium to Miriam Makeba’s Pata Pata that was a highlight for us. In her 80s and still working on new collections, Rosita says she tried retirement once but it only lasted for a month. She credits daily work for the quality of life she enjoys. She says, “who knows, maybe I will continue for another 100 years!”
Find out what happened on Day 1. Look out for our coverage of Day 3 coming soon!
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