Design Indaba 2016 was as stimulating as ever

Cape Town’s globally acclaimed Design Indaba Conference, which we participated in last week, was once again an incredibly inspiring event. The conference brings creative leaders from around the globe to the mother city every year. Not only did we hear about beautiful creations, but we also discussed the responsibility designers have in the context of a planet stretched to its limits with our population growing another one billion by 2025.

DI AlfredoShack

Alfredo Brillembourg and his team from Urban Think Tank are doing incredible work right here in Cape Town. The Venezuelan architect, who we wrote about in an earlier blog, has developed a design for a low-cost two-storey shack for Khayelitsha resident Phumezo Tsibanto and his family.

Several homes have now been built and the designers are exploring different configurations that will allow the basic design to adapt to the needs of different residents, extending up to three storeys when necessary.

DI Change

Benjamin Hubert is a British industrial designer and founder of Layer, an agency focused on experience-driven design. We particularly enjoyed hearing about his experiment in analysing how the company uses its time and how the company is now spending some of that time in acts of kindness back to society. The team created a new ergonomically-shaped change collection box for the UK cancer charity Maggie’s.

“Design is a tool for change, it’s a tool to make things easier to make things better, to make things happier and healthier,” says Hubert. “Designers have a responsibility, we’re not just here to create the next nice thing.”

DI Mass

Mass Design Group is a non-profit design studio based in central Africa where programmes manager and architect Christian Benimana has been assisting communities in Rwanda and Malawi.

The studio has facilitated the building of multiple successful public buildings in central Africa generating a positive impact on surrounding communities by using local labour and materials only.