Design can do much for social and environmental change

2013 - Issue 3

News from the local design front



Design can do much for social and environmental change

Sune Stassen, independent creative consultant and coordinator of Design Can Do Cape Town, considers the different realities and perceptions about what design(ers) can do. She also reports through a very exciting video, on a weekend of “Design Can Do” which happened last year in Cape Town. Read more



Brand Predictions for 2013 

The Brand Council of South Africa (BCSA) aims to create a vehicle to represent the whole Brand Marketing industry, dealing with issues pertaining to the way business is conducted and how the industry ensures sustainability of quality and of talent. Four of BCSA's board members share their thoughts and predictions for brands in 2013.
Read more  


World Design Capital News

Four inspiring themes to put the global spotlight on local creativity in 2014

Alayne Reesberg, CEO of Cape Town Design NPC, the implementation company of World Design Capital Cape Town 2014, introduced the four themes which will focus on projects that bridge historic divides, reconnect the city in structure and in spirit, rebuild social and economic inclusion, and reposition Cape Town for a sustainable future.
Read more


Design Indaba News

Most beautiful object in South Africa 2013

A dress from Gavin Rajah’s Spring/Summer 2013 couture collection, created out of leather pieces that were moulded into pebble shapes and then embroidered onto mesh by hand, was voted the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa for 2013 at the Design Indaba.
Read more


Design Indaba 2013 Innovation Award

This year’s Innovation Award was awarded to Wintec Innovations for their STRATFLEX™ furniture that was on display at the 2013 Design Indaba Expo. The award encourages Design Indaba Expo exhibitors to push their own creative limits to a whole new level.
Read more


Cool Capital News

Cool Capital is alive and well!

You can now go to to submit a project, an idea or to join as a sponsor.  Read more about the Cool Capital initiaitve here 



Californian, Capetonian Collaboration

Congratulations to …XYZ Design from WDC Cape Town 2014 and LUMIUM a Palo Alto based design company, that signed a partnership agreement to pursue new design opportunities. Through this agreement, a host of User Experience design and related User Interface development will be presented to clients in South Africa.  Read more



IDESO amongst the world’s most innovative design studios

Congratulations to Cape Town-based product design consultancy, Ideso, that has been ranked 11th in the 2012 Red Dot design ranking of the most innovative design studios in the world.
Read more



The National Arts Council invites applications for project funding

The National Arts Council invites individuals and registered organisations to submit their applications for project funding for the France - South Africa Season 2013. The goal of the Season is to create opportunities for exchange, collaboration and innovation in a range of fields. The South African Season in France will take place between May and December 2013. Deadline for application is 28 March 2013
Applications forms and moe information can be found on or



The Alchemy of thought - Creative thinking and idea management workshop

How do you distance yourself from common ideas, convenient solutions and the risk of copying yourself under time-pressure? Mario Pricken in cooperation with the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography, hosts by popular request the workshop: „The Alchemy of thought” on the 4th + 5th of April 2013 in Stellenbosch.
More information here



Idea Design Conference 2013

Hosted by the Pretoria Institute for Architecture (PIA), the 2013 Idea Design Conference investigates how inspiring design can influence architecture. The conference topics cover a wide range of disciplines - from advertising, architecture, animation and branding to industrial and visual design. The interesting list of speakers includes Gary Harwood, Callie van der Merwe, Haldane Martin, Nataniël and Pieter Mathews.  The conference takes place on 23 and 24 May in Pretoria. Read more



Call for Abstracts for 2013 DEFSA Conference

Contributions for the next DEFSA Conference that will take place on the 2-3 September 2013, are now invited. The overarching theme of the conference is "Design Cultures: Encultured Design" (Encultured: Considering the behaviors and patterns of society). Deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 April 2013. Go to for more information



Cobra Design Competition 2013

Cutting-edge, functional designs that speak to the needs of next-generation consumers are at the heart of Cobra Watertech’s 2013 Cobra Design Competition. Read more



Fragile – an exhibition by The Porcelain Collective

The Liz Loubser Gallery forms part of a working jewellery workshop and aims to promote artists and art forms that do not usually have a platform in mainstream art galleries, including cutting-edge design and fine objects.
More here

General design news




A new eBook series on design writing and research launched

DesignFile is a new line of e-books on design writing and research launched by Cooper-Hewitt and published in consortium with academic and institutional partners. People passionate about design practice, theory and the pure aesthetics can now have great design content quickly on a mobile device. Read more



Design Tools

The Collective Action Toolkit (CAT) by frog

Design company frog developed the Collective Action Toolkit (CAT) to help groups of people create positive change in their communities. CAT empowers non-designers to use design-thinking to find solutions to problems that impact their community. It is a package of resources and activities that enables groups of people anywhere to organize, build trust, and collaboratively create solutions for problems impacting their community.
Read more and download the toolkit here



Design Challenge

OpenIDEO has announced a new opportunity to collaborate for social good - the Atrocity Prevention Challenge

USAID, Humanity United and OpenIDEO have partnered to pursue ways to prevent mass atrocities – that is, deliberate mass violence against civilians. Often the perpetrators of these crimes try to conceal their actions – barring journalists and humanitarian organisations from entering the area, blocking internet and mobile access, etc. How could the needs of victims in these situations be listened and responded to even though physical access may be limited? Find the complete brief here