Design your life in 2013!

2013 - Issue 1

Design your life in 2013!

According to Tim Brown from IDEO, great designers don’t just do design, they live design. Like them, we can learn how to practice design thinking principles both at work and at home.

He suggests five ways to begin designing your life in 2013

1. Be optimistic, collaborative, and generative.
There’s something wonderfully gratifying about creating something new, whether it’s an award-winning design or a home-cooked meal.

2. Think of life as a prototype.
Conduct experiments, make discoveries, change as needed. Any process can be re-examined and tweaked. Look for opportunities to turn a process into a project with a tangible outcome.

3. Don't ask "what?" ask "why?"
Instead of accepting a given constraint, ask whether this is the right problem to be solving.

4. Demand divergent options.
Don’t settle for the first good idea that comes to mind or seize on the first promising solution presented to you. Explore divergent options—and then set a deadline so you know when to move on.

5. Once a day, deeply observe the ordinary.
Make it a rule that at least once a day you will stop and take a second look at some ordinary situation that you would normally look at only once (or not at all). Get out in the world and be inspired by people.


News from the
SABS Design Institute

Smart ways for SMMEs to add value through design

It will soon be possible for small businesses to access expert design services to take their product offerings to the next level. The SABS Design Institute has been negotiating with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), an agency of the South African Department of Trade and Industry, to help SMMEs that need product and packaging design services.

The SABS Design Institute signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Seda in November that will see SMMEs that are part of selected business incubators call on packaging and product designers to help them boost their products’ desirability through design. The MOU includes an agreement that the SABS Design Institute will facilitate design expert services to SMMEs currently in the following business incubators: Soshanguve Manufacturing Technology Demonstration Centre (SMTDC), SA Essential Oils Business Incubator (SEOBI) and eGoLiBio that serves as a development agent for the commercialisation of biosciences products. Watch this space for news of the first pilot project that has benefited from this process.


First win for Africa at the China Red Star Design Award

The Modular Traffic Light System, designed by Barry Geer and ...XYZ Design, is the first product from Africa to win a China Red Star Design Award.  It was selected from 5,348 products entered by 1,279 enterprises from 25 countries. The Modular Traffic Light System was the only winner from Africa. See the video here

The Modular Traffic Light System, that also won a SABS Design Excellence Award in 2008, is a collapsible traffic light that offers very low impact resistance and causes no injuries to motorists and minimal damage to pavements and vehicles on impact. The system requires no maintenance and has a low replacement cost. After an accident the system can be repaired rapidly and the lights are energy-efficient LEDs

The China Red Star Design Award was established in 2006 and is organised by the Beijing Industrial Design Center (BIDC). It has become the supreme industrial design award in China and is endorsed by Icsid (International Council of Societies of Industrial Designers)

The 2012 China Red Star Design Award Ceremony was held in Beijing on 19 December 2012.

See what is happening on the design front


TED2013: The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered

Saki Mafundikwe, a contributor to our website and founder and director of the Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts (ZIVA) a design and new media training college in Harare, was selected as a speaker for TED2013: The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered. Saki is also the author of Afrikan Alphabets: the Story of Writing in Africa.  TED 2013 presents more than 70 of the world's most exciting unheard voices who matter most right now.
Read more about TED and find out about the Afrikan Alphabet


10 Trends That Will Shape Digital Services in 2013

Fjord has released its annual trends predictions, showcasing 10 trends that will shape digital services in 2013. The report forecasts the major shifts that will impact the way we work and live, and offers practical advice to help business leaders interpret the opportunities that lie ahead. Read More


Gravity Light: The $5 lamp powered by gravity that wants to replace kerosene lamps

Gravity Light is powered solely by gravity and does not use batteries or fuel. It is set to provide reprieve for people frustrated with the high cost and health dangers of kerosene lamps. Read More


Call for proposals for project ideas for WDC 2014

Cape Town Design, a non-profit organisation mandated by the City of Cape Town to manage the planning, co-ordination and roll out of the 2014 programme,  has announced that the call for proposals around World Design Capital 2014 will open in January 2013. Read More


2013 International Design Alliance Congress in Istanbul

The congress will take place in Istanbul (Turkey) from the 15-17 November 2013 with the theme "Design Dialects", encouraging a dialogue about the value of design-based collaboration between the disciplines of industrial design, communication design, interior architecture/design with government leaders, INGO's, business, science and technology, education and the social sciences. Read More


Fabricate 2014: International Peer Reviewed Conference and Publication

Fabricate 2014 will bring together researchers and practitioners in design and making within the areas of architecture, construction, engineering, design, manufacturing, material and software design. The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2013. Read More


Product Design + Innovation 2013

The third edition of Product Design + Innovation conference will take place on May 15-16, 2013, in London. The conference will explore how product design can drive economic growth. Read More


CORE77 Design Awards open for entry

Recognizing excellence in all areas of design enterprise, the Core77 Design Awards present 17 categories of entry, open for designers, researchers and writers. Read More


7th Radical Innovation in Hospitality Award

The competition acts as a catalyst for new ideas in hotel design and aims to discover, identify, and explore radically innovative hospitality concepts. Read More


App to the Future Design Challenge

App to the Future challenges designers to imagine an app for Windows Phone that helps create, connect or delight your future self. Deadline for entries is 3 February 2013. Read More


Jump the Gap : 5th Roca International Design Contest

The competition aims to discover new talent from around the world within the context of architecture and design for the bathroom space and related products. Read More


Masterclass - Product Design

As a guide to the world's leading graduate schools, this publication offers an in-depth overview of 30 leading graduate schools from all over the world that offer a master's degree in product design.
Read more



D.E.S.I.G.N. by Ewa Solarz is a fascinating review of 69 of the most innovative household items from the past 150 years - from the classic to the most crazy. Read more


Colour forecasts

PANTONE's 2013 Colour of the Year: PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald.
Read more about Pantone’s colour of the Year. Read More

Brentano's Annual Colour Forecast 2013
BRENTANO has released its colour forecast for 2013, pinpointing six colours that will shape interior design in the coming year. Read more


The Innovation Hub Open Solution Exchange

New innovation challenges have been published, read more.

This web-based platform connects innovators, inventors and solution providers with solution seekers in government and the private sector.