Humble Impressions from Indaba

Lernert & Sander, Giorgia Lupi and Kaki King, Kate Moross, Dokter & Misses, gt2P (Great Things to People) and Andile Dyalvane, Yinka Ilori, Marina Willer, Stuart Forrest, Blinky Bill, TL Uglow, Nelly Ben Hayoun, Osborne Macharia, Winy Mass, and Luis von Ahn.
The list of creative genius @designindaba is exhaustive. It could be exhausting for number crunchers but for us, the sense making from every speaker was deeply inspiring.

The message was overwhelming and overwhelmingly clear: Art for all is where it’s at as It takes an artist’s eye, logical perspective, and brave vision and determination to blow apart non-belief that the world cannot change for the better.

In a Tweet: #abetterworldthroughcreativity.

While we learnt that there are lessons to be taken from chairs, which weirdly worked their ways into many presentations this year, we learnt so much more.

Creativity is not an ‘out there’ overcooked idea of intangibles. It is very real and in spite of Nelly Ben Hayoun’s Space Vikings trip that challenged the boundaries of thinking, this realism hit home and a home run.

As Creatives our job extends to challenging ‘life as usual’.

Yes, we are the dreamers but we are the rebels to the norm. As such we need to make our mandate of enabling expression a mission. Be it through music, fashion, imagery or words or most likely, by bringing these all together.

We learnt that our rebellion starts on a granular level.

As individuals, we should notice just one thing that needs to be solved. Step 1 is simple. Study the problem without judgment or linear thinking. Step 2. Do the thinking work but move on to do it and thank you Indaba, we have permission to blame it on you as this year’s theme was ‘Design Indaba made me do it’.

‘Do it’ we must and do it with humility even more so.

Humility was the over-arching (pun intended, Liberty) take out that we bring back with us. As the Honourable Archbishop Desmond Tutu entered the stage to be presented with the Arch for the Arch that had been designed and bent into shape to honor his spirit, so did his shared warmth for humanity.

Humanity was shown as each speaker, each project on display held ego at bay to create results of beauty and hope. In our Creative comfort zones ego tends to be our undercover confidante. These #designindaba originals are proof that if we let go of ego’s fake news, we can get out of the door and make a difference.

In the words of a tailored voice on branding, Brian Collins: “Designers don’t make the future. We’re the competition to it”. That stopped and restarted thoughts.

While we loved the @what3words solution that can give every person in the world an address, it was in discussing the collaboration between Koen Vanmechelen and Chido Govera with our Cape Town driver to the airport that we felt the biggest impact of the week.

“They have the spirit of not giving up,” he summed up our summary of this talk.


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