23 February 2012 by Dianne Tipping-Woods

Endlessly inspired by design

Design Indaba: it has a mind and a life of its own … vast, inspiring, often unpredictable and always full of cool stuff.

It’s almost time for the annual Design Indaba expo and conference – and trying to sum up what that means in a blog post is like trying to capture the ocean in an empty Coke bottle. This annual design event is vast, inspiring, sometimes surreal, often unpredictable and always full of cool stuff. It has a mind and a life of its own and can literally make me dizzy (although sadly no ticket give-aways this year).

In 2011 I had my favourites, and no doubt this year I will again. The Design Indaba website has some fantastic teasers and I’m especially looking forward to hearing from and seeing the Handspring Puppet Company.  I also excited to hear from Hans Ulrich Obrist, known as the man who made curating an art. The Interview Project is enormously exciting.

Here is a sneak preview of some of the expected highlights of the event.

As a kind of warm-up exercise, I chose some of my favourite design-related blogs to share [with the help of three great designers: Andrea Eaton (@andreaeaton) , Lexi Fontein (@lexifontein) and Emma Gernetzky (@jetsetducky)].

My 1st port of call for all things design is 10and5 . I love the concept behind the site, which basically asks people to put up between 5 and 10 of what they think is their best work: “It can be work that was seen by everyone as a TV ad during the Currie Cup final, something that was sent out as an internal design document or a concept party that only 50 people attended.” This invitation results in dozens of really interesting contributions of great work by great South African designers.

One small seed is also a fantastic resource. It is “a platform for showcasing creative talent – no matter how big or small its seed – from small South African businesses and garage creatives to international artists, musicians, architects and designers.” In addition to its blog, it has loads of associated projects on the go that are worth checking out.

I also enjoy Beatnik Bazaar, a site that’s quirky, personal and full of beautiful things! And if you’re looking for quirky, personal and beautiful, you also have to follow SkinnylaMinx. I like her writing as much as I like her designs.

The Babazeka Blog is pretty cool too. I particularly enjoy its Green Talk Tuesdays, which look at ethical and sustainable design. Another blog that looks at sustainability, albeit from a different angle, is Mzansi Madame. This is a design blog with a strong focus on development through design, something I find really interesting and important. Design is not just about aesthetics after all: live design, transform life.

I also enjoy Beatnik Bazaar, a site that’s quirky, personal and full of beautiful things! And if you’re looking for quirky, personal and beautiful, you also have to follow SkinnylaMinx. I like her writing as much as I like her designs.

Fly Pitcher is a collaborative design studio that specialises in furniture, industrial design and interior architecture, and HIPPnotic is an online based magazine that focuses showcasing artists, design lifestyle trends and movements. Elephants and Easter also shares quirky, local design-related content, including event info, as does the inspirational Freeworld Design Centre, South Africa’s first trade-orientated design centre.

Gluebook is also a wealth of inspiration, and I just love She Wears Shweshwe because I love shweshwe. For fashion design inspiration, I enjoy Style Sketch Book.

Mark lives is totally up-to-date on graphic design and media in South Africa, while Freshly Found focuses on the old: “re-purposing vintage or found goods – giving them a fresh new and sometimes unexpected life.”

Also check out Ok Malume, Everything I heart (flighty and feminine) and the delicious Love Cupcake Couture, as well as SA Décor & Design (great interiors) and the inimitable Visi.

And don’t get me started in Pinterest – a whole new world of design inspiration…

Category: Arts & Entertainment

comments powered by Disqus