A bevy of brains on show at Design Indaba 2020

The three-day creativity festival takes place from February 26 to 28 2020

03 February 2020 - 07:46 By Andrea Nagel
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Dutch fashion designer Bas Timmer is changing the world one Sheltersuit at a time.
Dutch fashion designer Bas Timmer is changing the world one Sheltersuit at a time.
Image: Supplied/Design Indaba

One of the prerequisites of attending all the events associated with the annual Design Indaba (DI) is that you do not sleep, and this year SA’s foremost creativity festival is turning 25 — so start stocking up on the caffeine.

This year’s theme is Think Tank: Do Tank, which references the uncanny ability that some of the world’s best thinkers have to turn their ideas into reality.

Bas Timmer's Sheltersuit.
Bas Timmer's Sheltersuit.
Image: Supplied/Design Indaba

The DI has already made a name for itself as the best conference in the world by, among other things, actively pursuing change and seeding more than 200 impact-driven projects into the public square. But it is the great speakers at the DI conference who keep the design-savvy booking their tickets year after year.

Design Indaba 2020 will be a three-day multisensory, thought-provoking and expansive experience that includes a series of captivating talks by day and a festival by night, featuring live music, theatre, exhibitions and master classes.

Bas Timmer has designed an item of clothing that he hopes will bring dignity to members of vulnerable communities and provide work for the unemployed and refugees. His Sheltersuit is an attempt to fuse fashion and philanthropy.

Honey & Bunny create deconstructive performance art to challenge closely held beliefs. From designing edible goods — essentially creating “eat art” performances — to directing films and writing books, they push audiences to rethink cultural traditions and taboos around food.

Ibrahim Mahama makes enormous installations that represent the fabric of Ghanaian life, while making a postcolonial statement.

Ibrahim Mahama.
Ibrahim Mahama.
Image: Supplied/Design Indaba

Kinya Tagawa has a big idea for the next decade. His mission is to personalise data to solve problems. Some of his work has already convinced governments to change some of their policies.

Natsai Audrey Chieza explores the use of synthetic biology in sustainable design, from dying textiles with microbes rather than toxic chemicals, to using algae as a building material.

Nhlanhla Mahlangu is an actor who chants biography and sings his research.

This is just a taste of what the DI will be bringing to Cape Town and via its simulcast service to Potchefstroom, Nairobi, Durban, Johannesburg and Namibia.

The Design Indaba is one of the year’s most exciting highlights and takes place in Cape Town at the Artscape Theatre from February 26 to 28 2020.

Full three-day conference tickets from R6,180 – available on Webtickets.

For more information, visit designindaba.com.

This article was paid for by Design Indaba.