Design in South Africa is thriving and our artistic talents are expressed in many different ways – in our buildings, our furniture, the art we hang on our walls, our airports and our public spaces. We believe that design can make a difference and constantly seek innovation.

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The Design Indaba 10x10 low-cost housing project offers an affordable, yet stylish response to low-cost housing.

Design in South Africa continues to grow and reinvent itself, and the advent of numerous design events and competitions  such as World Design Capital 2014, won by Cape Town, is helping to fuel local creativity even further.

The design landscape is an ever-changing one, and in a country like South Africa we are not limited in terms of inspiration. South African design is exciting because of the country's mix of cultures and the different visual languages that offer input to our designers. Whether it’s the sexy lines of the Nelson Mandela bridge, Haldane Martin’s Zulu Mama chair or a life-size wire giraffe being sold on the side of the road, South African design is eclectic and interesting.

South African design is layered, and complex – yet is also quite simple in that it is often solution-driven. Our designers are continually seeking new ways in which to deal with the challenges of an emerging economy and to find new ways to redefine tired, old spaces. We know that design can make a difference to the lives of many and that innovation can change the way we exist. Programmes such as the Cape Town Dignified Spaces initiative and the revamp of the Windybrow Theatre and surrounds in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, highlight the fact that innovation can change the way we view and experience our cities.

We have a unique viewpoint on design from the southern tip of Africa, and international events hosted in our country help put our architectural talents in the world spotlight. Few can doubt the creative brilliance of the stadiums built in honour of the FIFA 2010 World Cup soccer event.

South African designers include ‘rock stars’ such as Heath Nash, Gregor Jenkin and Haldane Martin who are being hailed on the world’s stages. However, local crafters and artists now have a platform to put South African design into the global arena.

In some instances, our designers have made ‘junk’ meaningful and the focus on going green continues to dictate the way forward. For visitors to the country, there are design districts in our urban areas that offer exceptional value for money in terms of local design.

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Who to contact

Design Indaba
Tel: +27 (0)21 465 9966

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