Design: There’s a new partner on the block

The SABS Design Institute is the official design partner of the 6th SA Innovation Summit. Being right up there with the giants in the South African economy like the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Telkom, Sasol, Eskom and more, offers the Design Institute the opportunity to promote the role of design in innovation. This partnership will also create awareness of the essential role that design plays in the innovation value chain.

With a rich history of more than 40 years, the Design Institute’s strategy is to address current national priorities (job creation, poverty alleviation and equality), focussing on facilitating design support and design capacity building, while creating a general awareness of the value-adding quality of design.

In keeping with the primary message of the Summit, Designed to Fly, the Design Institute is ready to take on its role as design partner and to facilitate design interventions as part of innovation.

How does design fit into the innovation picture?

Design refers to how we create the things (products, systems, services) we make. Because it is a user-centred activity, it entails the process of making an idea acceptable for the market. Design is therefore essential for moving an invention towards becoming an innovation and includes design research, concept development, iterative prototyping and the commercialisation of ideas.

Design Institute’s stand: A hive of activities

The Design Institute’s stand at the Innovation Summit promises a hive of activities that will cover a range of design disciplines.

Not only will there be industrial, fashion, interior and graphic designers at work, there will also be audio-visual presentations on the Mandela 95 Poster Project and South African design achievements. A talk showing how design has addressed a local need will focus on the Arivi stove and Lodox Statscan. Then there will also be a discussion of beauty, titled The essential part.

On 27 August there will be a discussion of the Mandela 95 Poster Project.

More about the Mandela Poster Project

Very seldom in South Africa’s – or even the world’s – history have we seen the power of design as it has been embodied through the Mandela Poster Project, says Gavin Mageni, group manager of the Design Institute.

What started off as an idea of two South African designers to honour Nelson Mandela through a simple social media exercise, became an international initiative involving more than 700 poster entries from more than 70 countries and an endorsement of Icograda –the International Council for Communication Design - as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations.

The poster project, in honour of Nelson Mandela’s life-long contribution to humanity, was an independent volunteer initiative that aimed to collect 95 exceptional posters from around the world and then donating them to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust towards establishing a dedicated children’s hospital in Johannesburg. A digital version of the poster collection will be seen at the Summit as part of the Design Institute’s stand.

Workshop presentation

The Design Institute will participate in the conference through a 30-minute workshop on design, presented by Tasos Calantzis of the design company Terrestrial. The theme of his presentations is Designing a competitive South Africa.

“Design can be seen as a problem-solving process or an improvement process and this could apply to business, to civil society or to government. Harnessing design in the broadest sense of the word holds a social benefit, as well as adding economic value. The role of the Design Institute is to help all users and executors of design in all spheres of society to improve their ability to produce socio-economic value for the country,” says Calantzis.

A short summary of the SABS Design Institute’s involvement

The Design Institute's exhibition stand will be open to the public throughtout the three days of the summit, with design students from the University of Johannesburg’s Industrial Design department and students from Inscape Design College designing at workstations on the stand. You are welcome to visit us from 07:30 - 17:00 without any cost.

Tuesday 27 August is reserved for visiting school groups.
Two talks about the Mandela 95 Poster Project will be presented to school groups visiting the summit.
A design career counsellor will be available on the Design Institute exhibition stand to inform about design career options. 
Gavin Mageni, the Design Institute group manager, will participate in the judging at the Pitching Den throughout the

Wednesday 28 August, the first day of the Conference
The SABS CEO, Dr Boni Mehlomakulu will  participate in the CEO spotlight, a panel discussion facilitated by Peter Bruce from the Business Day, where top CEO’s will debate challenges companies face when innovating.
A talk on Beauty - The essential part, will be presented by Pierre du Plessis and will be delivered by Pierre du Plessis.   
Delegates will be invited to give feedback on a visual representation of the Design Process, shown as part of the innovation value chain, which will be available in the conference venue, ready with post-it notes for comments.
Thursday 29 August, the second day of the Conference
The Design Institute will present the workshop by Tasos Calantzis on How to design a competitive South Africa
Tasos will also present a talk on Design for local need referring to the Arivi stove and the Lodox Statcsan

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