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Infestation Twitter chat

When: Wednesday, 15 April from 12 noon to 1pm (GMT+2)
Co-hosts: @FriendsofDesign, @CreativeCT and @opendesignct

Through design, we can create solutions to local challenges.
Join us on Wednesday, 15 April as we chat on Twitter about design that really matters.

Q1: What role does #designthatmatters have in your life? #DZNChat

Q2: What can we do as designers, design lovers & supporters to encourage & create #designthatmatters in future? #DZNChat Continue Reading →

CTT_BlogFeat_head

For a long time we did too. We know how long they take to create, how much effort goes into making sure every page is perfectly designed, every figure excruciatingly accurate and exactly how many rands it costs to produce. But we’ve never really known who actually engages with them.

That is, until we focused our publishing, brand and digital expertise towards the reinvention of the good old annual report from an old bogey printed item, to an online, mobile-friendly experience. Continue Reading →

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Infestation in collaboration with Tsai Design Studio have been selected as a top sixteen finalist for the Public Art Competition launched by the Western Cape Government. The artwork will be installed on the newly established plaza, corner of Dorp and Long streets, within the WCG precinct.

To mark the 20 year anniversary of living in democratic South Africa, the Western Cape Government (WCG) launched this competition for an exceptional, permanent artwork that embodies, celebrates and reminds us of the 20 years of Freedom in our City and in our Country.

The concept of our work is rooted in the memory of the first democratic elections and the journey of casting our vote. Visuals of long winding queues and the symbolism of broken shackles is combined in a seemingly weightless column with a curved bench that offer seating on the plaza.

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Visitors are welcomed into the space to reflect on their own journey and experience since 1994.

If you would like to see our work on permanent display e-mail the Western Cape Government at  westerncape.events@westerncape.gov.za and let them know your thoughts!

 

V&A[2]

Over 350,000 people representing 60 different cultures attended the London Design festival, and everyone who visited experienced it differently. With over 300 events throughout the festival, all exhibiting design that is an assault on the senses, there are limitless opportunities to experience design.

Being a South African, and seeing the creativity through the cultural lens of someone accustomed to different styles, budgets, timeframes and context, provides an entirely unique perspective on the festival.

Juxtaposition of Traditional vs. Modern

London design is all about marrying old with new. London is a city with a huge amount of history, you can see this in its century old buildings and art works. Old brick structures next to new glass buildings. Traditional art next to experimental design. The Victoria & Albert museum, which served as the hub of the festival (pictured above), provided an excellent platform to showcase the English style of contrasting old with new.

IMG_3019 IMG_3143 BMW mirror

Culture vs. Culture

South African design uses juxtaposition as well, and in an entirely different way. Popular South African design celebrates our different cultures that live and breathe within the nation; Xhosa and Zulu and Afrikaans are put next to each other to create eclectic, colorful design.

SA style combined 6a013483832c3b970c017eea46a521970d-800wi 3917605708_7c26091fef_o

Pure Design vs. Contextual Design

South African and London design differ in fundamental ways as well as in the aesthetic.

English graphic designers are primarily male, while South African’s are mostly women. In London, design is viewed as academic as much as it is creative, where as in South Africa, the theory behind the design is not as valued as such. London design is incredibly considered and planned out whereas in South Africa style is eclectic and diverse and messy in a good way.

The largest fundamental differences between the two lie in the resources available to each country. This is the most shocking difference that a South African will notice at the London Design festival. Everything is done on a blue sky scale. Designers have huge budgets and long stretches of time to explore and experiment. It’s not unusual for a designer to get funded for a year at a time to explore a design concept. The Candela pictured below was a huge exhibit, using traditional and cutting edge materials to show the standard unit of luminous intensity on a large scale.

IMG_3012 chair

 

In South Africa the luxury of time and budget to create massive projects like this do not exist, designers must often work out of very small budgets with little time. This results in the use of resources in an out-of-the-box creative and innovative way. The majority of South African design focuses on using materials and budgets towards solving societal problems. In a country with a developing economy it is important to use limited resources to advance economically, socially or politically.

In London design exists for designs sake; in South Africa most design cannot exist without a purpose. South African design is always full of meaning and context.

All of these fundamental differences can easily be seen when looking at how the different styles each manifest themselves. England with pure, clean minimal design aesthetic and South Africa with contextual, raw design.

 

Circular Influence of Design

London design may be very different from South African design but it’s inspiring to see how we can influence each other despite the differences. For years South Africa has looked to the rest of the world as leaders in design. The large-scale, innovative designs in London have and will continue to inspire us. But now it’s time for London and the rest of the world to turn to South Africa for something they may be missing – meaning and context behind every design. We have seen this borrowed by the maker’s movement and in the changing goals of the D&AD to focus on sustainability through design (The white pencil award). We hope to see it throughout many new design projects across the world. Design inspiration has come full circle. South Africa is being looked at as the next, fresh, inspiring design capital. The London design festival showcases striking design but it also shows us that we can all influence and inspire each other.

 

By Nix Harwood and Shelby Szuba

Walking Tour

For those that have seen crowds of people walking the city streets on guided Cape Town walking tours and always wondered what was going on, every First Thursday of the month, Future Cape Town organises walking tours through various part of the city as one of their World Design Capital projects. Along with a group of other curious individuals, this is your chance to explore galleries, stores, architect, city design, public spaces and much more. Of course it’s not all on the one evening, otherwise we would’ve been going until midnight.

Each of the Cape Town walking tours is themed with a planned route of some of the cities iconic – and not so well-known – landmarks and buildings, with a bit of history lesson thrown in. This month the tour focused on city design and architecture.

What makes a livable and sane city? What is the function of public spaces and how do we get people to engage in the use of public spaces? These are just some of the questions that came up during our meander through the city.

 

Our experience of one of the Cape Town walking tours

Starting at Green Market Square, the first public square in Cape Town, our guide gave us some background into this historical square, such as the square itself was originally used as a slave market and as a market for fruit and vegetables and that at one point it was the location of the well that was the town’s main water supply during summer months when streams from Table Mountain dried up. Although there was a lot happening on the square around us, everyone huddled together listening eagerly. We learned about the architecture, the history and the buildings; I never realized so many styles and types of buildings existed in such close proximity of each other.

Each of the guided Cape Town walking tours is different because there’s just so much to see – so don’t worry about getting bored by seeing the same things. Everything from the theme to the route – and even the group changes. But there are the few die heart fans that you can meet up with each week and enjoy a nice walk through the city and catch up.

Check out their website and save the next date – be adventurous and explore the city.

You can follow Future Cape Town on Twitter: @FutureCapeTown and Like them on Facebook: Future Cape Town

Written by Anna Sinnige
2014-02-rebel-theme

To be honest, I had never heard of Creative Mornings until someone in the office told me about it – and as a student in the creative industry, I can’t believe I’d never been while back home in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, I finally found myself at my first Creative Mornings in Cape Town. The theme was Rebel and the speaker was Drew Madacsi, one of the three owners of The House of Machines.

Drew was born in Australia, lived in America and has been living in Cape Town for five years. While Drew manages and owns the bike shop at the back of The House of Machines, his co-founders Brad Armitage preside over the coffee shop, and Paul van der Spuy, of bluecollorwhitecollar fame, manages the fashion.

The bike shop makes custom-made bikes, as well as sells bikes they make themselves. You can pretty much choose anything you want for your bike, as long as it’s safe to ride. You drop by and tell them what your dream bike looks like, and they bring in the best people and products to build it for you from scratch. That’s what makes this work. While it might not be cheap, they are always bringing in the best ensuring a perfect bike each time.

Amongst the booming coffee industry, the coffee shop has managed to get itself ahead of the pack if the booming morning trade is anything to go by. Their 100% organic coffee beans are imported from Honduras after they are roasted in Spain. What a trip! Take this and the fact that they are the only company who has a license for selling these beans, and you can understand what makes them special. In the evenings, you can transition from coffee to the best bourbon from America. You may pay a little extra, but you’re getting the best bourbon experience in Cape Town.

And last but not least, the fashion. Here you can buy t-shirts made from the best cotton imported from Japan. The cool thing is that, in true bluecollarwhitecollar tradition, you can design them yourself. Come by, show them your design and if they like it, they will print it and split the profit 50-50 with you. I think that is a great way to get your designs on the market.

The shop is in evolution, Drew says. They look at what is happening around them, what the market is asking for and see how they can provide it. Because of this, they company will continue to change, which means you’ll never know what to expect and what they’re selling this time round!

It’s really cool to see somebody’s dream become a reality. The questions I have though are more about the financial aspect. They don’t want to overprice themselves, so they don’t make a lot of profit, so how do they ensure they can pay their overheads? Nevertheless, I have a lot of respect for somebody who just goes out and does it regardless of what people are telling him.

Written by Anna Sinnige
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It’s pitching season and we’re all invited!

Over the next seven months, the World Design Capital will be hosting project pitching sessions to expose recognised WDC 2014 projects to potential funders, mentors and collaborators. And we’re rather excited because we’ll be pitching our own shortlisted project – The Official Cape Town Design Guide. But more on that later.

The first pitching session will be taking place TODAY at 17:30 at The German Club (6 Roodehek Terrace, off Hope Street, Gardens) with 23 WDC 2014 projects hoping their pitches will seal the deal. If you can’t make it today, don’t fret, you have another seven pitches to choose from: 25 February, 25 March, 28 April, 27 May, 24 June, 29 July and 26 August.

You can buy your tickets through Quicket. They cost R50 ticket, and it also gets you one free craft beer and free popcorn. There is a cash bar and food for sale.

 

The WDC 2014 projects pitching tonight are:

1. Safe Township Lighting (#WDC608)

This project supplies individually charged, modular and multifunctional
LED task-lights (NURU lights) and the world’s first commercially available
pedal generator, the NURU POWERCycle. The cycle provides reliable
clean, sustainable power that is more efficient than current solar
solutions.

Vijay Mitha: vijay@shaktienergy.net

2. Mzansi Store (#WDC516)

An e-marketplace that enables small-scale handcrafts producers to
design their own e-commerce platform. This provides easy access to
online selling as a sales channel, where they promote their own brand,
sell and ship directly to buyers.

Deidre Luzmore:  dluzmore@gmail.com

3. Shopstar (#WDC290)

Shopstar enables anyone to create and manage an online shop with little
technical expertise. Developed in Cape Town by a team of industry
professionals, it’s a homegrown solution for South Africa’s entrepreneurs.

Jens Herf: jens@shopstar.co.za

4. The Business Bridge (#WDC280)

The Business Bridge Initiative is an enterprise development organization,
which enables the sharing of core business skills between the formal and
informal economies.

Thomas Parry: tparry@thebusinessbridge.org

5. The Motion Project (#WDC559)

This film and photography project uses the City as a backdrop to
showcase the diversity of talent in the dance industry. All dance styles
are photographed within the City’s beautiful urban spaces. The project
culminates in a photo exhibition, a dance film and a performance event.

Louise Coetzer: louise@darkroomcontemporary.com

6. Ceramics United South Africa 2014 Competition (#WDC345)

Working with some of South Africa’s most prominent ceramicists,
Ceramics United ZA will hold a ceramics design competition among
students, potters, and artists to unlock the country’s rich and dynamic
ceramics history and share it with the world.

Ceramics United South Africa: ceramicsunitedza@gmail.com

7. Youth Design Studio (#WDC640)

In Youth Design Studio, secondary school learners will collaborate with
university students, educators, local elected officials, and city staff to
create a practical, implementable design project that will have a
demonstrable benefit for their particular Cape Town neighborhood.

Katie Hawkes: katiehawkes@gmail.com

8. City of Rainbows (#WDC518)

The City of Rainbows is a public art installation project. Real rainbows
appear magically in public spaces, glass crystals hang from lampposts
creating flashes of color in the sky. Pedestrian crossings become
rainbow crossings; coloured heart stickers stuck to lampposts.

Michael Elion: elion888@gmail.com

9. Live Eco Remade Design (#WDC547)

Live Eco Remade Design is an upcycled design competition comprising of
dress (fashion design) & objects (interior design). This project requires
students to upcycle old clothing & used materials into eco chic garments
& objects.

Nikki Seegers: nikki@liveeco.co.za

10. Learning Innovation Design Lab (#WDC251)

The Learning Innovation Design Lab will comprise of a design studio,
usability test lab, model classroom, think tank and showroom that will
foster and showcase African innovation in education.

Marco Rosa: marco@formula-d.com

11. Open Streets (#WDC207)

Open Streets is a citizen-driven initiative. It is both an organization and a
philosophy for public life, working to design and promote streets that
embed and generate respect for people, regardless of who they are, and
how they move. It was founded in 2012 by a group of volunteers.

Marcela Guerrero Casas: marcela@openstreets.co.za

12. Nino’s Bereavement Toolbox (#WDC335)

A friendly and attractive set of tools to help parents and children
overcome the loss of a loved one. It encourages the users to pay
attention to their senses and sentiments, discuss different aspects of
death and express their feelings.

Mathilde de Blois: deblois.mathilde@gmail.com

13. Too Good To Waste (#WDC274)

A collective group of 14 Western Cape Upcycle Designers all with similar
visions, recycling a variety of would-be waste items into beautiful
consumer products. This future design ethos reduces the impact on our
stressed landfill sites and demonstrates new creative possibilities in the
the consumer market.

Jenee Rosse: jenerosse@hotmail.com

14. 100 Bicycles (#WDC421)

Bicycles are not only functional by design; they have tremendous socioeconomic
and environmental benefits too. This project aims to use 100
Bicycles, each with a unique word on the yellow frame to harness mass
awareness about the benefits of non-motorized transport.

Warren Lodge: warren@LIFEbrand.co.za

15. The Migration #WDC537

Teaming up with The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and turning the
musical experience into an audiovisual one. A spectacle combining
traditional with cutting-edge projection techniques to bring original music,
story and animation to life.

Bernard Kotze: bernardkotze@gmail.com

16. Creative Edge #WDC353

Creativedge SA is an extra mural educational programme designed to
expose Grade 10-12 learners to multiple creative career disciplines,
through practical learning experiences. The aim is to overcome ignorance
about these industries, promote new developing sectors and augment
divergent thinking skills.

Mariechen Du Plesis: info@creativedge.co.za

17. Brainstorm the City #WDC570

An awareness campaign run throughout the year, showcasing the human
brain: the ultimate design story. Through a variety of activities, this
interactive journey will inform, inspire and educate communities about
the wonders and fragility of this miraculous organ.

Ross Balchin: balchinm@telkomsa.net

18. 1000 Drawings #WDC530

1000 Drawings – Doodle for a Difference is a community driven project
where everyone is invited to be an artist for a good cause. This nonprofit
initiative builds bridges across class, gender, age and race divides with
the simple message that we are all inherently creative.

Shani Judes: shani@shanijudes.co.za

19. Zamani, the past #WDC552

ZAMANI, “the past” in Swahili, is a documentary series project produced
in Cape Town. The ZAMANI series will highlight some of the most secret
and sacred archeological sites of Africa, some never seen before on
television, awakening worldwide consciousness for the conservation of
African heritage.

Joanna Tomkins: joanna@manmakesapicture.co.za

20. Community led spatial design for informal settlements (#WDC236)

The spatial reconfiguration of informal settlements to those that are more
rationalized leads to social cohesion, shelter upgrade and infrastructural
improvements. It builds community, acknowledges the positive aspects of
informality and helps bridge the urban divide, including not removing the
poor.

Siyavuya Nobaza: siyavuya@ikhayalami.org

21. Re-blocking Mtshini Wam (#WDC238)

Re-blocking Mtshini Wam showcases the co-production value in
upgrading informal settlements. Once threatened through evictions, the
community initiated a self-design process that re-organised shacks into
“clusters” with safer and more dignified public spaces. The City can now
install basic services.

Linda Gondo: linda@ikhayalami.org

22. Lentegeur Spring Project (#WDC331)

Bridging the divide between a mental health institution and deeply
scarred surrounding community by designing a mental health centre of
the future. This project utilizes permaculture design principles that will
engender an environmental regeneration. In essence the concept of
spring is brought to life through healing people and the environment.

John Parker: John.parker@westerncape.gov.za

23. Pecha Kucha (#WDC676)

Taking place every other month during 2014, PechaKucha – Japanese for
chit chat – brings together Capetonians to hear from, engage with, and
be inspired by 9 speakers who present on interesting projects or passions
using 20 slides, each displayed for just 20 seconds.

Andrew Cole: awayfromtheoffice@gmail.com

For more information on the World Design Capital Pitching Sessions and WDC 2014 Projects, visit www.wdccapetown2014.com

FOR BLOG

There’s nothing like starting off a morning by being taken completely out of your comfort zone…

And by a clown nonetheless. But we have come to expect the unexpected of Creative Mornings Cape Town, and with the first session of the year taking place Thursday, 30 January 2014 under the theme of CHILDHOOD, we were charged with embracing our inner child.

Professional clown and founder of non-profit Clowns without Borders, Jamie McLaren took the stage with a banjo and led the crowd through a series of songs, dances and interactions that quickly found everyone out of breath, laughing and silently cringing at the crazy antics going on.

It’s not easy singing “A ram sam sam, A ram sam sam, Guli guli guli ram sam sam” while jigging to the sides without feeling a little self-conscious. It’s a popular children’s song and game originating in Morocco, by the way.

 

Who Are Clowns Without Borders?

Clowns without Borders are a non-profit organisation with the very simple mission: help children be children again. The team, which consists of clowns, actors, jugglers and anyone willing to give of their time, go into communities affected by crisis, and through arts-based interventions enable children and families to play, laugh, and create, providing psychosocial support and well being.

McLaren’s performance touched on the ideas that by embracing a sense of play, providing love, and giving structure, you are tapping into the potential of a child’s imagination and giving them permission to embrace the spirit of childhood, to dream and to help them get through their current situation.

So next time things are getting tough, stress levels are high or you simply feel like you need to decompress, get up, take a deep breath and start singing this popular Clowns Without Borders ditty:

A ram sam sam, a ram sam sam
Guli guli guli guli guli ram sam sam
A ram sam sam, a ram sam sam
Guli guli guli guli guli ram sam sam

A rafiq, a rafiq
Guli guli guli guli guli ram sam sam
A rafiq, a rafiq
Guli guli guli guli guli ram sam sam

You may get stares, but only before everyone joins you, embracing their inner child with a good laugh and some silly actions.

If you want to donate your time or money to Clowns without Borders, you can visit www.cwbsa.org where you can find out more about the organisation and find out how to get involved.

Be part of Creative Mornings Cape Town by joining their newsletter, liking them on Facebook (Creative Morning Cape Town) and following them on Twitter (@CapeTown_CM). The theme for their February session is REBEL.

 

Taipei

With all the anticipation around Cape Town being the World Design Capital 2014, it’s hard to imagine that it was nearly three years ago that we were presented this accolade. Last month, the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) named Taipei as the fifth city to take World Design Capital in 2016.

Speaking at the acceptance event in Montreal, Canada, Taipei’s deputy mayor Hsiungwen Chen spoke of the how in the process of bidding for WDC, they discovered that embedding design into the city’s governance changed the face and the thinking of Taipei, and enhanced the quality of service to their citizens.

 

World Design Capital 2016: Adaptive City – Design in Motion

In just 50 years, the City of Taipei has reinvigorated its urban landscape to include a sophisticated transit system, specialised medical care and a bustling cultural infrastructure. Under the theme ‘Adaptive City – Design in Motion’, Taipei will demonstrate why cities must be able to adapt to meet citizen’s demands. Throughout its history, whether willingly or reluctantly, Taipei has constantly been in a state of change, which can be attributed to its success as the political, economic, cultural, and technological center of Taiwan.

“Our next step will be to fulfill the vision of the WDC, and Taipei’s programme will act as a catalyst for our existing industrial ecology, leading to the creation of more investment opportunities and job openings,” concluded Deputy Mayor Chen. “This in turn will allow us to develop more human resources and establish more market opportunities for our design industry.”

For more information on Taipei as the World Design Capital 2016, visit World Design Capital

Open Design website design

It’s quite possible that the high of Open Design Cape Town has never really left the team of Infestation, but has merely been collected into a small inspiration reservoir ready for the next Open Design because we know 2014 is going to be big. And how do we know this? The numbers don’t lie.

The inaugural Open Design Cape Town event set the tone and made its mark to show that it was here to stay – and as the brand and marketing custodians, we couldn’t be prouder of the success we accomplished in such a small space of time:

Anchor Events: 12 | Total Events: 81 | Venues: 38 (throughout Cape Town) | Visitors through City Hall: 5 815 (21 – 31 August 2013) | Visitors through participating events: 1500 (21 – 31 August)

Events that broke attendance records: Pecha Kucha Cape Town (680) | Creative Mornings Cape Town with Bruno Morphet (122) | Future Cape Town Open City mini-conference (120) | Open Architectural Studios (15 studios) |

Media Exposure: R5 million (July 2013 – August 2013) | Facebook Likes: Over 1000 likes before event had started | Twitter Followers: Over 500 followers before event had started.

Unique Visitors to www.opendesignct.com: 11 456 (July 2013 – August 2013) | Page views on www.opendesignct.com: 72 622 (July 2013 – August 2013) | Total visits to www.opendesignct.com: 20 263 (July 2013 – August 2013)

What’s happening in 2014?

We can’t let on to too much, but what we can tell you is that we’re looking at extending the duration of the festival and hoping to create more platforms through which creative minds can showcase their work.

The year of Cape Town as World Design Capital is around the corner, and with design media attention turning to Cape Town, Open Design Cape Town 2014 can only be bigger and better, a through-the-year platform for everybody to engage with.

So, what will you be sharing next year?

Subscribe to the Open Design Cape Town newsletter to make sure you’re the first to know what’s happening in 2014!