Better and better | Design Indaba announces 2020 dates as it celebrates 25 years of exemplary events

Better and better | Design Indaba announces 2020 dates as it celebrates 25 years of exemplary events

Design Indaba’s yearly lineup is a highly anticipated event on the creative calendar. Having established itself internationally as one of the premier multidisciplinary programmes in the world, it consistently draws the globe’s luminaries to its stage, and attracts attendees from all age groups and walks of life. Over the last two and a half decades, Design Indaba has evolved from a dual talks and expo event, to becoming one the world’s leading conferences, presenting a hybrid of innovative and engaging events and experiences.


Celebrating a quarter century in 2020, Design Indaba is more committed than ever to offering a world-class event that not only equals its past stature, but also builds upon it. But this impressive 25-year milestone offers an opportunity too, to look forward, as well as back. And while its founders reflect on this landmark with immense pride, they also consider where to next.


With the world in a period of flux – some might argue crisis – solutions-driven thinking is more important than ever. And as we usher in a new decade as well as mark this significant achievement, we will look ahead to the next era.

As always this will be driven by Design Indaba’s unwavering commitment to opening the floor for an exchange of ideas and constructive thinking.


The conference will once again take place early in the calendar – kicking off the year with a high-octane programme of dynamic talks, exciting exhibitions and engaging workshops. It will run from 26 to 28 February 2020 at the Artscape Theatre Centre in Cape Town. Additionally it will be broadcast live via simulcast to major cities around the country, allowing design devotees in Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Potchefstroom to take part in this must-attend event.



With over 30 mind-bending speakers lined up for #DI2020 – most still to be announced – you simply can’t afford to miss the Design Indaba Conference’s silver jubilee! Instead of looking back at our last 25 years, we’re heading straight into the future by showcasing designers whose innovative thinking will shape the planet for the better over the next 25 years!

Neri&Hu are altering the built environment

Formulas are anathema to multiple award-winning Shanghai-based ‘starchitects’ Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu. Neri&Hu assert that trends are no longer relevant, and customisation and context are king.


What: Asia’s hottest architects run a multi-disciplinary design practice with global reach, spanning the built environment, creative direction, interiors, product design and branding. Expect a philosophically and visually rich presentation.

Why: Their work is reshaping Chinese visual identity while profoundly altering the built environment around the world.

Follow: Follow @neriandhu on Twitter and @neriandhu on Instagram.


Kinya Tagawa personalises data to solve real-world problems

Kinya Tagawa’s futuristic experimental design brings fresh artistry to the engineering discipline. His design firm Takram’s ‘products of the future’ are making people sit up and take notice. These include a moon rover prototype called the HAKUTO FLIGHT MODEL, and the LEDIX – a visualisation of Japanese economy traffic.


What: As part of his presentation, Kinya will use #DI2020 as the global debut for an interactive data visualisation project.

Why: Kinya’s work has already convinced governments to change policies. Data can be personalised, used to make better decisions, and leveraged to solve real-world problems.

Follow: @Takram on Twitter, and @kinyatagawa and @takram_ on Instagram.


Sunny Dolat challenges what it means to be an African Man


With his finger on the beating pulse of African fashion, Kenyan-born creative director, artist and curator Sunny Dolat is making waves by interrogating what African men can and can’t wear, what African fashion means, and what queer theory has to offer film and fashion.



What: With The Nest Collective, he’s telling stories through film, fashion, music and the visual arts to create inclusivity.

Why: He wants African fashion to encompass all 54 countries on the continent, not just work from the fashion capitals of Johannesburg, Nairobi, Lagos and Dakar. He challenges notions of masculinity in a gender-fluid world.

Follow: @dolatsunny and @thisisthenest on Twitter, and @sunnydolat and @thisisthenest on Instagram.


The transformational art of Ibrahim Mahama

One of the leading attractions at Ghana’s first-ever pavilion at the Venice Biennale, the young artist has a passion for interpreting Ghana’s complex past through striking, totalising artworks that comment on his country’s commercial legacy, migration, globalisation, labour and value.


What: Whether covering monumental buildings with repurposed jute sacks or documenting forgotten history by collecting a range of objects for exhibition, this restlessly intellectual artist engages with both memory and hope.

Why: Ibrahim Mahama’s gargantuan installations are both spectacle and representations of the fabric of Ghanaian life. Bold postcolonial statement and visionary artistry combine in his work.

Follow: @ibrahimmahama on Instagram.


Natsai Audrey Chieza’s extraordinary biodesign solutions

The Zimbabwean-born designer’s exploration of synthetic biology has led to a whole new take on sustainable design, from dyeing textiles with microbes rather than toxic chemicals to using algae as building material.


What: Expect a robust debate on the ethics and aesthetics of biotech from the founder and director of Faber Futures.

Why: Chieza foresees a future in which we return to nature to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Follow: @NatsaiAudrey and @faberfutures on Twitter and @natsaiaudrey and @faberfutures on Instagram.