It’s going to be hard for this year to get much better then this, it may have peaked. I am currently sitting in Cape Town in my second hotel room in as many weeks, in a rare break from the intense schedule of the YPO Conference, which I will write about soon.
What I want to write about now, before the moment fades too much from my mind, is last weeks conference, Design Indaba. It is very easy to say, with out any doubt in my mind, that it was the most inspiring design conference I have ever taken part in. I often hear about aiming to bring ‘diversity’ into the design world, this conference and it’s amazing team of organiers did not aim, it struck a bulleye, at least for me. Never have I been treated to such a range of dynamic speakers, designers and thinkers, from Cyborgs to African Mermaids. Never has the absolute worth of the buzzword ‘diversity’ been so clear and apparent to me. I really felt the impact on my mind of feeding it so many new visions, I have been changed.
Inspiration for me often comes from sources far away from my own field of design, in my Masters I was deeply criticized by some of my teachers for not looking enough at studios working in similar areas as me. My experience at Design Indaba illustrates why that is, for me I am less inspired by those like me, then by those working in a totally different world, with a background that is so alien to mine that I really have to use my imagination to understand where they came from.
I am so grateful for chance to view, meet, talk and dance with the fine fellows of the conference, thank you for having me.
A few of my highlights:
Pumzi, dystopic Afrofuturism sci-fi film by Wanuri Kahiu
Oho, edible, plastic free water by Rodrigo García González
Earth Mother, Sky Father: 2013, optimistic myth driven future vision by Kordae Henry
Leaves, re-designing death and our relation to nature by Shaina Garfield
Orange Culture, challenging toxic masculinity with beautiful clothes by Adebayo Oke-Lawal