Meet the designers and innovators imagining a better world through creativity at the Design Indaba Conference 2020.
Bas TimmerSheltersuit, from garment to global movement.
Bas Timmer's Sheltersuit fuses fashion and philanthropy. His design has brought dignity to members of vulnerable communities and also provided work opportunities for the unemployed and refugees. The Sheltersuit Foundation has a surprise in store for South Africa, with the help of seed funding from Design Indaba. Watch this space!
Debbie MillmanRejection, creative insecurity, and the decisions that influence who we become.
The brand guru and podcaster par excellence has a resumé second to none, but despite having worked with more than 200 of the world’s largest brands, she is the first to segue into a discussion on rejection, creative insecurity, and the decisions that influence who we become.
Hanif KaraA design maverick working at the intersection of architecture and engineering.
This maverick structural engineer designs a better world. As an educator, Kara’s challenging the next generation of structural engineers to think outside the box – no small accomplishment.
Honey & BunnyDeconstructive performance art challenging convention.
Honey & Bunny's deconstructive and provocative performance art challenges convention. From designing edible goods and developing ‘eat art’ performances to directing films and writing books, Honey & Bunny force audiences to rethink cultural traditions and taboos around food. Their latest projects involve sustainable food design and the rituals of cleaning.
Ibrahim MahamaThe fabric of Ghanaian life
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.
Kinya TagawaDesigning The Future
Kinya Tagawa personalises data to solve real-world problems. 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.
Lyndon Neri & Rossana HuMultiple award-winning Shanghai-based ‘starchitects’.
Neri&Hu are altering the built environment. Their work is reshaping Chinese visual identity while profoundly altering the built environment around the world.
Natsai Audrey ChiezaNatsai Audrey Chieza
Founder and CEO of Faber Futures, Chieza works at the intersection of design, technology and nature. Her 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 as she foresees a future in which we return to nature to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.
Nhlanhla MahlanguAn actor who chants biography and sings research.
Mahlangu was a recipient of a Naledi Theatre Award for Best Choreography for the ground-breaking African musical TAU in 2017. Interrogative and experimental, he prefers to sing, dance and speak his research, particularly as he is dyslexic – so look out for a profoundly transformative presentation.
Patrick ThomasArt as modern-day activism
Thomas believes art has a social function and artists should bear witness to the key events of the age. With is finger on the pulse of socio-political movements, Thomas is poised to formulate graphic responses to current events that spark public interaction.
Selassie AtadikaExperiential Chef and Culinary Nomad
Chef Selassie Atadika’s joyful culinary story evolved out of nomadism and nostalgia. Atadika launched food enterprise, Midunu, as a unique platform to bring food, culture and community together to preserve the bonds of communal eating.
Award-winning Dutch artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta (founders of StudioDRIFT) - believe that technology should be used to reawaken a sense of awe and wonder in humankind. As a multidisciplinary collective, DRIFT draws on new technologies to create their unique experiential artworks.
Sunny DolatOpening up a more nuanced discussion on African fashion.
Sunny Dolat challenges what it means to be an African Man. 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.
Paul CocksedgePaul Cocksedge’s people-centred designs make life more joyful
Blurring the lines between art and function, Cocksedge reimagines social spaces and ways of interacting that challenge the status quo. Building inclusive communities is one of design’s more interesting challenges, and Cocksedge lights the way.
Manu PrakashManu Prakash’s low-cost inventions make science accessible to everyone
Physical biologist and MacArthur Fellow Manu Prakash sets out to democratise science, believing that even those in low-resource environments should be able to explore and experiment. Prakash designs devices that empower frugal science.
Olimpia ZagnoliOlimpia Zagnoli’s joyful illustrations bring optimism back into vogue
Citing influences as diverse as Art Deco, Futurism and The Beatles, Italian illustrator Olimpia Zagnoli has cultivated a cheerful, relatable style that makes everyone happy – but she’s also acutely aware of the power of representation.
Jeanne GangMultidiscplinary designer pushing the boundaries of what architecture can achieve
Jeanne Gang is one of the most important architects of her generation. She was named one of the 100 most influential people of 2019 by TIME magazine and 2016 Woman Architect of the Year by Architectural Review,. Her award-winning multidisciplinary practice, Studio Gang, is driven by an ethos of ‘actionable idealism’
Robert WongOne of the most influential designers in the US
The creative director of Google Creative Labs never leads with tech, preferring to figure out what end-users need, then build clever solutions. Robert Wong's award-winning work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, was named one of the 50 Most Influential Designers in America by Fast Company magazine
Rick BrimAdvertising superstar
Rick Brim is the Chief Creative Officer of adam&eveDDB, which was named Advertising Agency of the Decade by Campaign magazine. Brim has over 20 years’ experience in the UK ad industry and is one of the most applauded names in the game
Led by DonkeysDesigning disobedience
Led By Donkeys. The British quartet was formed in January 2019 as a direct response to lies propagated by pro-Brexit politicians.
Anna TalviMicrogravity-wear for interplanetary living
Talvi’s ingenious range of microgravity-wear has been designed with space missions in mind. Her multidisciplinary project involves working with scientists, doctors, researchers and private companies to solve design challenges like how space suits can combat bone loss and muscle atrophy in space.
Sacha Buliardleveraging design to foster wellness
Sacha Buliard’s responsive mat, Unlearn, provides a uniquely somatic experience for users.
Catalina LoteroSolving real-world problems with synthetic biology
Lotero and her multidisciplinary team are tackling the global energy crisis with a simple, off-the-grid, plant-based solution.
Enni-Kukka TuomalaChannelling radical empathy
Empathy is often seen as an abstract and intangible emotion. Tuomala’s approach aims to transform empathy from an individual feeling to a practical and powerful collective tool for positive social change
Alexandra GenisUsing food as a biochemical and visual tool
Alexandra Genis is an artist and the principal designer at TAS2R, a studio propagating Gastro-Intestinal Design-Fiction. She uses food as a biochemical and visual tool to transmit challenging ideas about ecology, innovation and science.
Ananya KhaitanExploring the intersection between design and law & policy
Ananya has an affinity for matters of import and impact, and his work deals with subject matter such as child rape,drug addiction, data privacy, etc.
Antya WaegemannDesign for when no one believes you
Antya Waegemann exploratory project,When No One Believes You:Redesigning Rape Kits and Responses to Sexual Assault.The project aims affect how the world responds to sexual assault and sexual assault victims.
Kathryn LarsenArchitectural Technologist
Larsen’s designs explore ways to create innovative solutions for a greener building industry
Ratchu Vaan SurajarasLandscape Designer
Surajaras explores the canal and flooding issue of Bangkok in a project called "Recharging Bangkok: a climate-adaptive vision for the Saen Saeb Canal"
Vukheta MukharThe nexus of academia and the green economy
Vukheta is working as amember of the projectteam that created the "World's First Bio-brick made from urine". This project is finding sustainable ways of recovering valuable resources from our "waste".
Elissa BrunatoExploring where human demands meet wider ecological systems
With a Masters in Material Future from Central Saint Martins, Elissa explores the material landscape that our future could hold.
Jakob TrollbäckBranding powerhouse
He’s the founder of both the branding and design studio Trollbäck + Company and sustainability agency The New Division. The Swedish graphic designer is the main architect behind the communication language for the United Nations’ 17 Global Goals.
Sho MadjoziMusician, writer, humanitarian and actor
Madjozi has a deep love for the African continent which she translates into her work. Sho Madjozi uses her art to challenge the notion that there is only one way of being African.
Architecture Social ClubMesmerising interactive experiences
Satyajit Das is an architect who developed his own art practice through the Architecture Social Club art collective. Satyajit has a unique perspective projected through his research based spatial kinetic and light based practice.
Sunu GoneraAfrofuturist and Storyteller
Sunu Gonera is an afrofuturist filmmaker with one foot in African filmmaking and the other in Hollywood. Gonera has directed award winning feature films along with episodes for acclaimed series ‘13 Reasons Why’, ‘Madame Secretary’ and Snowfall.