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CONTENTS 11 > PREFACE 11 > Preface: Edge 13 > Editor’s foreword


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Cover illustration by Chenette Swanepoel.

14 > Mister Walker: Walking the edge 22 > Tales from the African Diaspora: Chaz Mayivane-Davies  arin Smuts: Sustainable architecture 32 > C should improve the lives of people and communities

40 > Cute-as-a-button pulls a mighty punch 46 > Barefoot & all 54 > How I learnt to stop worrying & love the box


64 > The President says it all

84 > Michelle Son: An independent creative

72 > Jim Chuchu: Stories & music that combine ideas for Africa’s future

90 > Pixeluxe 94 > African fabrics weave the continent’s HIV/ AIDS story


132 > Tales from the African Diaspora featuring Malene Barnett

157 > “I am an archholic...”: The life and times of Andrew Maserow

143 > Cobra Watertech

175 > Stay Easy, Pietermaritzburg

152 > Illuminating the world

183 > King Shaka International Airport: KZN’s economy set to take off


232 > Stiaan Louw: A narrative genius 240 > Condoms on the catwalk


242 > A perfect example of design thinking: World Design Capital 2010


98 > Mapping August: An Inforgraphic challenge

 IAD: Defining the ultimate hospitality 110 > D experience

103 > African Diaspora in LaLaLand  urprise is always on the cards in egg 124 > S Design’s product collection

210 > ART & CRAFT

210 > IMISO Ceramics: Setting high standards for the day of tomorrow

224 > The art of paintertainment 226 > Mielie: A staple food for creativity

218 > Tempest van Schaik: Plush toys, a PhD, bio-mimicry and the macabre


 void the red card: Legal do’s and don’s of 248 > A the 2010 FIFA World Cup


252 > C  henette Swanepoel: An artworker operating in a multidisciplinary world 259 > Design awards and competitions calendar



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PUBLISHER > Cameron Bramley EDITOR > Jacques Lange CONTRIBUTING EDITORS > Jennie Fourie & Bev Hermanson CONTRIBUTORS > Clint Abrahams, Dirk Durnez, Jan Erasmus, Melanie Foxcroft, IrinPlus News, Zelda Harrison, Julie Knatten, Travis Lyle, Adrian Maserow, Lana Myburgh, Jacques Robbins, Miliswa Sitshwele, Suné Stassen, Anri Theron, Kelly Thompson and Kelda van Heerden and Hannerie Visser

SALES TEAM > Geri Adolphe, Jason Bramley, Rachel Harper, Chenesai Madzvamuse and Anine Scholtz PRODUCTION ASSISTANT > Charl Lamprecht ADMINISTRATION & ACCOUNTS > Claudia Madurai & Michelle Swart CREATIVE DIRECTOR > Jacques Lange DESIGN & LAYOUT > Bluprint Design PUBLISHED BY > DESIGN> Information Tel: +27(0) 82 882 8124


Fax: +27 (0) 86 678 8448

© 2009 DESIGN> Information. DESIGN> magazine is produced by DESIGN> Information. No material may be reproduced in part or whole without the express permission of the publisher. No responsibility will be accepted for unsolicited material. The publisher accepts no liability of whatsoever nature arising out of or in connection with the contents of this publication. The publisher does not give any warranty as to the completeness or accuracy of its contents. The views and opinions expressed in DESIGN> magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher, its endorsers, sponsors or contributors.

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PREFACE: EDGE I own a T-shirt which reads, “If you are not living on the edge you are taking up too much space”. Whenever I wear it, it renews my opinions of things and makes me re-assess how much space I do take up. Having owned it for at least 14 years, my ‘edge’ more than ever has to change. Without ‘edge’ there is no fall, nor flight. In these times, I am compelled to live, create, design, market, produce and think on the edge. I believe edge, education and environment is all we have left to capture the hearts and minds of the consumer, and ourselves, for that matter. As much as I enjoy 4-wheel driving, magazines in my reception areas, eating junk food and the other things I have become used to, I am unable to carry on with a good conscious. I am wearing my T-shirt as I write this. It is too often in the business I am in that I witness statements issued by the ‘we are concerned about our environment and customers’ companies. Ones that profess to carbon savings with the paper they use, yet they fly their magazines in from another country. Most companies on the JSE, claim to practice these ethics, yet they print their annual reports to impress their shareholders – shareholders that won’t be around when the planet gives in. And of course, it isn’t enough that companies and people don’t walk their talk, they visually pollute our environments and give everyone the finger when we demand better service or at least expect to see advertising that really commits to the edge.

> It is without doubt that I, as a consumer, am seldom impressed with anything I see anymore, mostly because I have become educated on the environment and its pain. I look at my children, being boxed into the same thing I was boxed into – how does a 7 year old boy understand the words ‘carbon footprint’, especially if his sight is excited by all the colour he sees and all the gadgets in the stores? How does one filter out the truth from the lies? I question things like’ Vitamin Vawter’, brought to you packaged in plastic and taken from a glacier that may need the water more than us. I ask, is that really the truth bestowed upon the environment-conscious consumer? Creatively, technology continues to provide many more opportunities for us to live on the edge. Provided this is done with a conscience, not at the expense of the environment, we can celebrate this. The movie, Avatar, is an excellent example of how children can be encouraged to honour and respect their environment – and, for that matter, relationships. It’s no wonder Avatar won three Oscars. It was a technologically advanced movie made with the edge in mind. <

Cameron Bramley DESIGN> Publisher

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EDITOR’S FOREWORD This is the 16th edition of DESIGN> magazine. In many cultures, 16 marks the ‘coming of age’ and the rite of passage where a person moves from youth to adulthood. It is also associated with the arrival of maturity and acceptance of responsibility.

We also explore the often ostracised ‘cute’ movement in design and art. In interviews with multi-talented Crystal Campbell and Tempest van Schaik, we explore collaboration and the emergence of a new generation of metadisciplinary design thinkers who exemplify the ‘edge’.

To celebrate our ‘coming of age’, DESIGN> 16 focuses on the theme ‘EDGE’. Dictionaries offer many meanings of this word. The ones that we liked and aimed to reflect in this edition include: “the degree of sharpness of a cutting blade; a penetrating and incisive quality; keenness, zest and a desire for enjoyment; the point at which something is likely to begin; an extremity; a margin of superiority; a provocative or discomforting quality stemming from audacity or innovativeness; a margin of superiority; an advantage; and a state of keen excitement to face danger or risk”.

Kelda van Heerden, an emerging creative, provides a hard-hitting commentary on the designer’s role in popular culture and The President shares their radical ideas on design, and so too does the Kenyan designer/photographer/musician/cinematographer, Jim Chuchu.

We opted to interpret this ubiquitous theme from different angles and DESIGN> 16 features individuals and companies that exemplify these diverse qualities in their many guises. The master raconteur of African communication design, Garth Walker, shares insight into his new venture, Mr Walker, where he takes a 90 degree turn to not just focus on developing the contemporary vernacular visual language, but also on sustainability. Carin Smuts explains why she has a passion for developmental architecture and heritage projects and how she goes about turning low-budget projects into memorable legacies in townships and rural communities.

In a new addition to the DESIGN> scope of editorial coverage, Zelda Harrison introduces a series of articles focusing on the African design Diaspora in the USA, in which we feature leading designers with African heritage, starting off with Chaz Mayivane-Davies, Malene B and Zelda herself. Furthermore, we also feature exclusive interviews with the dynamic Dry team who founded egg Design, Stiaan Louw, the leading light in South African menswear design and a retrospective of AMA Architects’ work and that of DIAD. Yet, this is just a small snapshot of what this edition of DESIGN> covers. On behalf of the editorial team, I wish you an exciting and informative reading experience. Jacques Lange DESIGN> Group editor

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16 > On arrival you’re greeted by a sign that reads ‘Mister Walker Design Salon – Rise Up African Spirit’. That alone should confirm that you’ve just walked into Garth Walker’s new design studio, but if that’s not enough, consider what comes next: an eight-foot semicircular pyramid of milk crates that function as the library, a series of weed eaters strung from the ceiling that work surprisingly well as light fittings and a long line of doors which zigzag across the industrial space doing duty as a screen between studio space and the boardroom area. Welcome to Mister Walker.

furniture and the other icons of conspicuous consumption are entirely absent. In typical Walker style, the studio reflects the DIY ethic that made i-Jusi such a standout from the crowd and a vibrant reminder of African self-sufficiency. Everything from the studio desks to the library shelves and on to the kitchen counter have been created from reworked, second-hand and reclaimed materials. In the process of moving into the new premises, discarded materials from the renovation of the building have been snapped up and enlisted in the creation of this unique workspace.

In keeping with the unique design style his name has become associated with over the past couple of decades, Walker’s new studio is anything but ordinary. Never one to toe the line in design or, for that matter, in the interiors of his workspace, Walker’s new company opened in late 2008 and marks his departure from the Ogilvy stable of which his well-known Orange Juice design agency was part for just over a decade.

Mornings spent at the Sunday Morning Car Boot Market at Greyville have yielded gems that now perform necessary functions – three weed eaters have been repurposed as light fittings, a folding camp table with chairs (in itself a marvel of compact design) becomes the coffee station and so on. Is this an indication that Walker’s new studio is a 100% organic, free-range endeavour to toe the sustainability line? By the sound of it, you’d be forgiven for thinking so, but the truth is – as always – more complex. Always having been at the forefront of design, Walker has been known to be outspoken when it comes to trends. It’s this take on modern design which is fuelling both his approach to shaping his working environment and some of the work undertaken by the studio to date. Out on the edge would seem to be where Walker is most comfortable.

Starting out again as an independent after ten years, Walker’s new venture isn’t about to stake a claim as a 100% recycled, methane-powered organic design hub. Well, not yet at least, but the unique approach that produced i-Jusi magazine and a string of award-winning campaigns and design classics is alive and well at Mister Walker, and is manifested in Walker’s vision of his new studio as being ‘the world’s first totally recycled office environment’. As Walker himself says ‘We’re not about to start powering our Macs with methane from our toilets, but it’s high time the design industry pulled its head out its ass and took stock of what’s going on the wider world.’ As a starting point, the trappings of modern agencies such as ostentatious interiors, ultra-modern

Among the sustainability-minded projects in which Mister Walker has been involved over the past year-and-a-half are some that may not immediately sound particularly juicy as far as design goes, but therein lies the rub. To quote the plaque which greeted visitors to Orange Juice in the old days – and which still informs the Mister Walker work ethic today – ‘There’s

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ABOVE: Second-hand and reclaimed materials were used for the interior of Mister Walkerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new studio. BELOW: The Axum Stelae Field, Ethiopia. Working in conjunction with the World Bank and a team that consists of distinguished architects and artists, Mister Walker is involved in developing marketing collateral to promote the preservation of the built environment of a religious culture which stretches back 3 000 years.

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19 > no barrier to doing great work.’ With this in mind, Mister Walker has produced work for a variety of clients which shows that projects that are strong on sustainability don’t necessarily need to be dressed in hemp cloth or come loaded with a prerequisite to look and feel like they were designed by Greenpeace. If anything, these are the projects that require the eye of a sharp designer in order to make them appealing. Take, for example, the recent work done by the studio for the Environmental Management Department of the eThekwini Municipality. Drawing from a huge technical document on the biodiversity of the region, prepared over a period of years by numerous scientists, the brief for Mister Walker was to create a graphically-driven document that would render the admittedly pithy and complicated source material accessible to a wider audience. Through the use of eye-catching images and snappy headlines, the subject matter has been made interesting and thoroughly enjoyable, from intricately-illustrated cover to cover. The result is Our BioDiverse City, which to the untrained eye resembles a graphic novel more than a document that clearly outlines the importance of biodiversity to the metro region’s citizens. The end result is a dense subject which has been transformed into an easy-to-read and engaging book that will undoubtedly open many eyes to the importance of sustainable practices in Durban and surrounds, all accomplished through sharp design. In the same vein Mister Walker are currently putting the finishing touches to a project which would see the studio’s work literally cemented Our BioDiverse City publication for the Environmental Management Department of the eThekwini Municipality.

into place and viewed by countless visitors to Durban. Commissioned by the City Architects, and taking a visual cue from the indigenous species of coastal vegetation used in dune rehabilitation along the city’s coastline, a series of plants have been rendered in ceramic tiles cut with ultra-high-pressure water jet. The end result will grace the tunnel that links the Moses Mabhida Stadium to the new Marine Parade Boulevard, and will serve to not only beautify an otherwise utilitarian element of the city’s beachfront revamp but also inform visitors and locals alike on the botanical heritage of the coast. Measuring roughly seven square metres each, the plants are rendered in perfect detail and, much like a botanical illustration, feature their common names, botanical nomenclature and isiZulu names, ensuring their relevance is understood by both locals and visitors of all stripes and kinds. Apart from graphically-driven projects, Mister Walker is also currently working on projects which have a distinct sustainability bent: among these is a project to showcase the cultural and historical value of the Inanda area of Durban. Framed by the heritage of the area – notably the settlements established by Mahatma Gandhi, John Dube (the founding president of the ANC, founder of the Zulu newspaper Ilanga and the Inanda Seminary Institute for Girls) and the Shembe citadel of eBuhleni – the brief to Mister Walker is to design the brand and collateral for use throughout the envisaged Inanda Heritage Precinct. The precinct project seeks to combine the various heritage elements to form a coherent whole, which will function as a tourist attraction and be instrumental in creating employment for the previously disadvantaged and transferring skills in order to create a sustainable economic hub in the area.

20 > Going much further a field, Garth Walker’s recent trip to Ethiopia was in aid of familiarising himself with the situation in the ancient city of Axum, famous as the purported resting place of the Holy Grail and known worldwide amongst scholars of religion and archaeology as the centre of African Christianity. Working in conjunction with the World Bank and a team that consists of distinguished architects and the artist Andre Botha, Walker has been involved in developing marketing collateral to promote the preservation of the built environment of a religious culture which stretches back 3 000 years to the early days of a dynasty which is most famously known for being started by the legendary Queen of Sheba. If all of this sounds quite mind-boggling and far removed from the mundane day-to-day work done by other designers in advertising, bear in mind that despite the unique nature of projects on which Mister Walker as a studio works, there are always the bread-and-butter jobs which keep things ticking over in quiet times – from packaging for a range of medication to bioassay labels, corporate logos and annual reports. The year may yet be young and Mister Walker as a studio only relatively small, but work is steadily keeping the team busy. It can’t all be i-Jusi magazine and getting D&AD nominations (which Walker scooped last year for his 2008 ‘Home Affairs’ project), but rest assured – if it’s coming out of the Mister Walker studio, it’s bound to have an element of cutting edge. <

ABOVE LEFT: Designs for murals at the tunnel that links the Moses Mabhida Stadium to the new Marine Parade Boulevard in Durban. LEFT: Concept inspiration and signage design for Durban’s Twin Cities initiative.

By Zelda Harrison



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Not many designers leave their country of birth because they have no other choice. This has, however, been the case with Zimbabwe-born designer-in-exile, Chaz Mayivane-Davies. For more than three decades his work has taken on issues of consumerism, health, nutrition, social responsibility, the environment and human rights. Until 2000 he was the principal of The Maviyane-Project, a design studio in Harare. A hostile political climate turned a temporary leave from Zimbabwe into a nineyear sojourn in the United States. “I felt compelled to leave because of the social, humane and confrontational nature of my work...” Currently professor of Design at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, Mayivane-Davies has been widely acknowledged for his efforts against human rights abuses. In 2009 he was conferred an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He also gave the prestigious Dwiggins lecture in November 2003, sponsored by the Society of Printers and the Boston Public Library. He is also the first recipient of the Anthon Beeke International design award, Amsterdam, and recognised by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, with an award for outstanding innovator in his commitment to the struggle to transform society and create a just future. Simmons College, Boston gave him an award for courage and integrity in using art to stimulate activism for social change.

Numerous international magazines and newspapers have published Mayivane-Davies’s work and his name is found in the Who’s Who in Graphic Design, First Choice: Leading International Designers, Rewriting the Rules of Graphic Design, Graphic Agitation 1 & 2, Graphic Design Timeline – A Century of Design Milestones, World Graphic Design, History of Graphic Design, Anatomy of Design, Design of Dissent, Area: Showcasing 100 of the world’s most innovative emerging graphic designers. It was also included in the list ID Forty, ID magazine’s first annual honours list profiling leading-edge designers from around the world in 1998. Mayivane-Davies has also worked in film. He wrote, directed and produced the award-winning After the Wax — personal view of nationality and identity (1991). Mayivane-Davies shares some thoughts with DESIGN > D > How did you end up becoming a designer? M-D > I had an unorthodox beginning in design in that I first started out as a trainee draughtsman for the local telecommunications corporation in Harare. While I was there I was asked to work on a few design projects outside of the domain of my vocation, as they felt I was the only one who could ‘draw’ the job. While I knew I was more ‘artistic’ than technical, these experiences made me aware that I was probably in the wrong profession – even in pre-independent Zimbabwe,

24 > where very few opportunities existed for me to pursue anything outside the life that a racist government had planned for me. In 1974 I fled Zimbabwe and went to study in neighbouring Zambia, where I did an art and design foundation course before heading to London to study graphic design. I returned to a fledgling and upbeat Zimbabwe in 1982, determined to participate in the growth of the region. After a short period of re-acclimatisation as a free citizen on my home soil, I realised that there were no design consultancies, so I established the Maviyane-Project in the midst of an advertising/design industry owned by whites and still dominated by pre-independent values and imagery. In the beginning the studio’s pro bono and self-initiated projects were also supported by commercial assignments. Our work became more visible because we observed what was going on around us, as we used our work to express what we felt about it. While many found what we did risky on several levels – most of all, going against the grain of much of the conventional advertising/political wisdom of the day – it also stood out and attracted organisations needing work of this nature, who eventually became our mainstay clients. D > Have you noticed a significant change in direction in your work since you took up residence in the United States? M-D > I do not think I will ever have an American idiom but in many instances I do what any designer should do when they want to communicate and that is to ‘employ the cultural shorthand’ (as Katherine McCoy would say) of that audience. D > Your work would indicate that you are an advocate for Zimbabwe, a cultural ambassador of sorts: Is this a fair notion?

M-D > While I am an advocate for Zimbabwe, I am also an advocate for design. I have never seen myself as a cultural ambassador. I do the best I can when I get the chance and should people notice that and associate it with the fact that I come from Zimbabwe, then that is a good thing. As you can see from my career profile above, the outside world has responded very favourably to my work. My most fervent supporters are my fellow countrymen and women with whom I have managed to have a visual dialogue ever since I returned to Zimbabwe after my studies. They know my message is one of courage and determination in the face of adversity. D > Do you think design is thriving in Africa, and in Zimbabwe in particular? How would you advocate promoting the role of design within Africa and internationally? M-D > Ah! Africa, our huge continent, how can I speak for all of it, when I know so little about so much of it? I can talk about being an African in the world and some of our challenges but I cannot subscribe to all of us being lumped and generalised together as a homogenous mass. We are way too big and too diverse for that. In a modern sense, I don’t believe that design is ‘thriving’ on the continent and it is not the designer’s fault alone. There are pockets where design is appreciated and embraced more than others. Art and design can derive its energy and dynamism from reflecting and commenting on our own predicament, including resistance to consumerist culture and the tyranny that abounds, thereby resonating it, with an energised attitude and power. The imposing nature of the systems we have to work with contributes enormously to the breakdown of truths, integrity

DISSENT IS A RIGHT. Human rights poster. Client: Bienal Internacional del Cartel en MĂŠxico. 2009. | CREATIVE DEFIANCE. Poster for the Dwiggins lecture. Client: Society of Printers. 2003.

QUESTION MARK (Fuel). An environmental poster from a series of six asking us to consider the things we take for granted. Client: Self. 2004 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2009. | CO2 (Consume). From a series of two environmental posters on carbon emissions and our lifestyle. Client: University of Tennessee. 2007.

26 > and spirit. No one can make truly creative decisions without understanding this, and without a real participation in the constructive spirit of his/her time. My destiny as African designer is bound up with the necessity for profound social change. To explain/tell/ represent is to give of myself. So long as there is misery, illiteracy and injustice through exploitation, which fosters collective imbecility through the mass media, graphic design must strive for full communication first and not be part of the driving mechanics behind the greed, ignorance and selfishness that debase us. In terms of Zimbabwe, in September 1994, a few of us got together to form the first graphic designers’ association in Zimbabwe – GRAZI (which means ‘window’ in the Shona language). Our aims were similar to most professional design associations around the world, but specifically to address the above ills and hopefully help in defining where we should be. By raising the standard of design in Zimbabwe and confronting and working with the establishment to recognise our efforts, GRAZI hoped to promote design in our culture for the betterment of all. Things have not been smooth due to the political upheavals we have witnessed that affected much more important things than design along with many professionals dissipating. Then again the struggle continues on all fronts, as design hopefully tries to find its place again in our development and for democracy and progress. D > What, in your opinion, is the ultimate symbol and icon of Zimbabwe? Do you see a distinct characteristic in Zimbabwean/southern African design? M-D > The Zimbabwe bird based on ancient stone carvings, which stood on top of Great Zimbabwe city – a national monument. It is on our flag and money.

Being immersed in a globalised world and trying to establish any specific character in our work is easier said than done, especially as we do not have the historical precedence that gave birth to design as we know it, like the industrial revolutions of the West. The culture of graphic design as we know it – the commercial derivative of art for communication – is a newer phenomenon that indigenous Africans were excluded from until recently. Sadly outside of imitation, we seem presently limited to appropriating and stylising traditional iconography and ethnicity as a cosmetic hard-sell without investing in the vibrancy and vitality from whence it came, thereby subduing the cultural and personal idiosyncrasies we are capable of contributing. While there are a few examples from people attempting to break away from that tendency, very little of it resonates and emerges into clear bodies of work that I honestly admire. D > In a few words, what thought or inspiration would you share with members of the African design community and its supporters? M-D > I basically believe that in our quest for progress, we have relegated huge chunks of our culture into recesses of our subconscious as opposed to using it to define our role in the world we want to live in. This is true of most developing countries. Hopefully more distinct design languages will begin to emerge that explore any icons or visual manifestations of our traditions and past which are waylaid and considered inferior and discarded as we readily adopt the global (American) lifestyles and attitudes that surround us. I do not believe that we should live in the past, but we must adapt and develop our traditions and values to

27 > suit us, thus, defining our truly independent future. As a result we create a symbolism and visual language that is meaningful not only to us, but enriching to a world that has run out of ideas other than market forces (the new world order). D > As a full-time professor in a college with a diverse student body, do you have thoughts about how culture and identity are impacting design education? M-D > I can only speak from my personal scope of the subject and how it is practiced in institutions that I am aware of. I feel design education is failing to truly address issues of cultural diversity amongst the student populations it serves. Dominated by Eurocentric ideas, it continues to reinforce generalisations that devalue the role of non-Western social, cultural, aesthetic and other creative traditions that shape our environments. Design education, like everything else, evolves and needs to expand to be more inclusive and develop a confidence that it fits into a future that doesn’t regard it as a pedagogical anachronism. To quote Beth Tauke and Alex Bitterman from the University at Buffalo: “As designers, if we imagine the wide array of possible values, we can uncover an equally wide array of possible design approaches and solutions that might manifest and support other ways of thinking and being. And that might be the way design becomes a primary catalyst for social and cultural change.”

GLOBALISATION. Poster on the effects of global homogenisation. Client: Self. 2005. | MANY RIVERS TO CROSS. Poster for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in the USA. Client: Self/The Hurricane project. 2005.

“Making design choices that ensure both sensitivity and the possibility for challenge and enrichment for others and ourselves, involves a level of tolerance – a willingness to explore ideas and ways of being that we don’t necessarily believe in or admire. Developing the ability to explore and understand issues in as many contexts and from as many points of view as possible, is a crucial part of this endeavour.”

DIVIDED CITIES. Poster for a conference on cities in conflict. Client: John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies at University of Massachusetts Boston. 2009 | LANGUAGES MATTER. Poster for International Mother Language Day. Client: Self. 2009. Collaboration: Marianne Schoucair.

END GENITAL MUTILATION. Poster against the practice of genital mutilation in some parts of Africa. Client: Self/50x70 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Italy. 2009. | HUNGER. Poster for an exhibition on eradicating world hunger. Client: Design Centre of Rosario, Argentina. 2009.

29 > D > What are the challenges currently facing design educators? M-D > Two of the largest challenges facing design education are technology and technology. In the first instance all the tools and software dumped at design’s doorstep leave educators as the caretakers of all the various new media and their occupations. From websites to interactivity, video games to iPhones, new knowledge requires more learning time for educators and students alike, as it scatters the discipline into ever more diverse areas that we are yet to define. The second is software-driven design. With the abundance of clip-art and Google to Photoshop filters and live trace, design students need to be very wary of how they incorporate computer software with its ‘oneclick-tricks’ in their design process. The fact is everyone has them, hence the homogenised blandness we are seeing more of these days, regardless of which corner of the globe they originate — it equates to technological imperialism! The design process is not an accidental indiscriminate exercise. It is a fundamental process we hone throughout our lives to imbue our expression with thought, skill and emotion. It is the most vital component of our toolbox. Until we realise this, we will crawl in the desert of mediocrity towards the pixelated mirage that computers promise those not willing to understand the ethos instilled in good communication and design.

STUBBORN HOPE. Poster for a peace awards dinner. Client: War Resisters League. 2009. | 100% AFRICAN. Poster on identity, dignity and solidarity. Client: Self. 2009.

D > Any advice for students and newly-minted designers? M-D > Believe in yourself, really believe in yourself, research, work as hard as you can at the process and not the ends, strive to realise your vision, feel with your eyes and see with your soul.

30 > Trust and believe the alluring power of the visual to respond effectively and spiritually to challenges, so those who cannot see through your eyes may hopefully be enriched by your vision. D > Word on the street has it that you are working on a book. Would you care to share more? M-D > Yes, I am working on a book of my design philosophy called â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Creative Defianceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Not an autobiography, but a narrative of a young southern African, hindered by prejudice, to discover the power of design to defend my dignity and rights and celebrate our diversity and humanity. D > If your book were destined to a wider audience outside the design community, what would be your primary message? M-D > My book will be aimed at a wider audience in that it will not be about style but substance. Hopefully the message will reach and also touch cultural workers, social and political historians, gender and ethnic groups, social workers and anthropologists, human rights and environmental activists, students and most importantly, policy makers. In short, anyone and everyone who may begin to realise that for myself and for others, design can be an effective weapon for social change, and the mind can be a shield; to put a creative face on dissent. D > What keeps you up at night? What gets you through the day? M-D > Consumerism, entitlement and the irreparable harm we inflict on our planet and towards each other every day. The challenge of trying to do something about it. <

GAZA. Poster on the violence afflicting the Palestinian people. Client: Self. 2006. | 2008? Poster for 2008 USA elections. Client: 30 2008.

WORLD AIDS DAY. Poster on AIDS awareness. Client: Centre of Design of Rosario, Argentina. 2007. | WARNING. Poster on religion and politics. Client: Pegge Hopper Gallery. 2006.

CIRCLE OF HELL. Poster for an exhibition on human rights. Client: AIGA Boston Chapter. Photography: Ian Murphy. 2002. | EJECT. Poster for 2004 USA elections. Client: Various. 2004

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Carin Smuts, architect extraordinaire and principal at CS Studio Architects, believes that sustainable architecture involves way more than just using environmentally friendly materials and construction techniques and smart technology. For her, people are paramount when it comes to sustainable architecture. She believes that sustainability is an integrative and engaging process that focuses on a simple concept: Local – local material, local details, local people and local labour. Commenting on the state of sustainable architecture in South Africa, Smuts says, “It is sadly linked to fivestar ratings, which is a code developed in Australia. We have totally different conditions. We believe sustainability includes three aspects; environmental, social


and economical. These are interrelated to produce holistic solutions.” Smuts has embraced this as a mantra throughout her professional career and in 2008 won the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture. In the same year she was invited to lecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design on Systems for inclusion, as well as at the Venice Biennale. In 2009 she was invited to be keynote speaker at the 11th Alvar Aalto Symposium themed Edge – Paracentric Architecture, as well as to present at the Conference Expo Habiter Ecoloqique – Cite de l’architecture et du patrimoine. Yet, these are just a handful of her recent accolades and since the early 90s, her practice’s

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work has been featured in more than 30 books and professional journals. Professional acclaim and media exposure do, however, not drive Smutsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s career or that of her architecture practice, which she founded in 1982. Her focus remains on utilising architecture as a means of improving the lives of people and communities and the portfolio of over 100 completed projects is testament to that: low cost housing, community centres, schools, prisons, restoration of historical buildings and other renewal projects, to mention just a few. These are surely not the kind of projects that appeal to ambitious architects who are intent on building grand names for themselves because such projects mostly have small budgets and

are located in places with minor prominence such as small towns or townships with no opportunity to design traditional monumental structures. Yet, this is exactly the domain where Carin Smuts thrives as a genius. Working with small budgets, she creates sustainable architectural magic in unusual places. CS Studio Architects has a record of producing innovative, cost-effective design solutions with a reputation of moving beyond conventional architectural practices because of its unique approach, which involves all stakeholders in the creative processes of planning, design and construction. The focus is on an interactive participative process rather than solely on an end product.

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Dawid Klaaste Centre, Laingsburg.

Smuts mentions two quotes that summarise the essence of what CS Studio Architects explore as an architectural practice. Juhani Pallasmaa writes: “The gradually growing hegemony of the eye seems to be parallel with the development of Western ego-consciousness and increasing separation of the self from the world.” Secondly, Kenyan, Wa Thiong’o Ngugi, states that: “Culture is the product of a people’s history. But it also reflects that history, and embodies a whole set of values by which a people view themselves and their place in time and space.” “I am intrigued by the African interpretation of space as opposed to the Western European one most architects are taught.” Smuts explains: “People traditionally lived in settlements consisting of round huts, rondawels or structures constructed of wattle and adobe. This lifestyle is in harmony with nature. There are many

lessons we have learnt through observing these vernacular solutions.” She highlights two of these that have particularly influenced the practice’s work: “Firstly, the placing of the buildings in relation to each other and the fact that the spaces in between buildings are the important social spaces and secondly, the sensitive manner of painting and decorating dwellings to express cultural identity.” “We believe that listening provides freedom from dominance and allows us to share our understanding of the three-dimensional world. We have come to the conclusion that participation leads to empowerment, which results in more sustainable environments. Furthermore, we believe that the implementation of local knowledge, resources and skills also reinforces sustainable solutions.”

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Smuts talks about a few projects

rich environment of the area, the devastating flood of 25 January 1981, the windmill as a symbol of the Dawid Klaaste Centre, Laingsburg, 2005 Karoo, the water scorpion and the train. Furthermore, we had to incorporate locally trained people in metâ&#x20AC;&#x153;The building of a multi-purpose centre was commis- alwork and electrical skills. sioned by the Laingsburg Municipality. The brief was to provide a space, which would stimulate economic A concrete ramp provides outdoor access to the first opportunities and provide social services. floor of the windmill structure. At the first floor of the windmill, an old railway goods carriage has been placed The site was chosen after a process of consultation with on railway tracks. The train has been designed to be a community, municipal and provincial representation. It restaurant to serve visitors. The two shed-like buildings was an old rugby field, which had two shed-like strucwere taken apart. The roofs were extended to become tures. We were tasked to transform these existing structures into a dynamic environment, which will single, mono-pitched roofs with large overhangs that create outdoor shaded areas at different times of the attract travellers and local residence alike. day. The existing roofing material was re-used as vertical The concept was developed over a series of design cladding to the spine of the building, as well as the meetings and the following had to be considered: the newly created first floor office component.â&#x20AC;?

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Helderstroom Prison, Caledon, 2008 â&#x20AC;&#x153;In 2000 the National Department of Public Works appointed CS Studio Architects in association with Sudhier Magan Architects. It was agreed that CS Studio would do the overall planning and layout for the project and then take the mess recreation and sports facilities, dry goods store and fuel station through the five work stages and Sudhier Magan Architects would do the 79 single family HB-type houses. The prison is an existing maximum-security facility situated on the Helderstroom farm in the Caledon District. Existing farm structures were used for most of the recreational and public facilities. As the need for accommodation expanded, temporary housing was provided. The large multi-purpose centre gently straddles a few contours and with shallow ramps in the building, one is hardly aware of the level changes. The single quarter buildings that look like ships against the landscape were designed with a ramp in the passage but each room is at a different level. This kept large portions of the buildings sticking out of the ground and the buildings rather hug the ground. The architectural language of the buildings, the colours and detailing were mostly derived from the surrounding farm buildings.â&#x20AC;?

Wesbank Multi-purpose Centre, 2008 â&#x20AC;&#x153;During a participatory process with the residents of the Wesbank Community, the need for a multi-purpose centre was identified. At the time (2000) an extremely high crime rate and a high rate of drug abuse were tearing the community apart.

Helderstroom Prison: Mess recreation and sports facilities, dry goods store and fuel station, Caledon.

The building is made up of three main components; the main multi-purpose space, offices and a youth area. These spaces are held together by a foyer which allows for the display of artefacts, crafts and more, and is also used for seating and other interactive spaces. The building is small, but due to splitting it up and juxtaposing the main elements, it appears much larger which also creates a better civic scale.

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Wesbank Multi–purpose Centre.

Due to the budget constraints, maxi brick – developed for low cost housing – was used with several positive implications: it reduces maintenance in the long term; it also allows for a larger cavity and as a result improves the thermal qualities of these walls; and the one-anda-half-brick scale also contributes in the building appearing larger. There are decorative ceramic murals and some colourful walls that offset against the red face brick, which give life to the street and reflect the cultural identity of the local community.”

Wesbank Primary School, Kuilsriver, 2001 “Wesbank is a RDP housing area created to alleviate backyard shacks in communities all over Cape Town. It is therefore a totally new community with people from all walks of life. The school, situated on a square piece of reclaimed dune, has been designed in such a way that it provides public infrastructure as well as a learning environment. Furthermore, it is an environment which, from a scale point of view, copes with over 1 200 learners at a time and there is diversity in the spaces being provided.

38 > 38 > The overall concept reminds one a bit of a medieval city with a moat around it to keep out unfavourable elements (the area is known for gangsterism). This was exactly the idea, to pull the buildings away from the edges of the site and to create a learning village with the double storey classrooms for the higher primary learners and for the smaller ones, single storey classrooms. These classroom blocks are strung along a wavy walkway to form an inner public play square with the horizontal circulation and structure forming playful elements. We also tried to provide at least five different outdoor activity spaces, namely the smaller courtyards, the larger entrance courts, the main central court with the split PT slab, then the controlled play area at the north, with the basketball and soccer fields and finally the general outdoor space around the buildings.”

Guga S’thebe Arts and Cultural Centre, Langa, 2000 “In 1996 the Langa Development Forum approached us to work on an Arts and Cultural Centre in Langa township. Firstly, household surveys were undertaken to determine the needs of the local community. Workshops were then held with various local organisations and the outcomes were taken to large public meetings. A project committee was then elected who worked with us on the development of the design. The older generation requested a large thatch rondawel for the main multi-purpose space, while the youth insisted on a contemporary solution which would represent their ‘BMW and mobile phone’ aspirations. As a solution we designed the Golden Cone which made reference to the traditional rondawel while also being a contemporary solution for all ages.

Wesbank Primary School, Kuilsriver.

This is clearly a post-apartheid building. In the first place it deals with the community’s needs as principle guide to the design, and secondly the response is rooted on the site. The architecture is unique but it is generically closer to the fragmentation of a squatter camp rather that the monotony of the apartheid township.”

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Past and future Since 1982,CS Studio Architects has practiced in the poorest and most marginalised communities. Their work during the apartheid era often required many years of fighting to obtain land for clients even before any building work could be considered. In the 80s, during the state of emergency, clients were often detained and the design processes had to be put on hold. All the projects worked on prior to 1994 entailed the empowerment of communities, development of business plans and raising the funds for their building projects. “Strangely, this is still the case as very little development is happening in the poorest of the poor communities and settlements of South Africa today,” says Smuts. When asked why she has such great passion for developmental architecture and heritage restoration, Smuts replies: “Developmental work is rewarding as people participate and one learns from others to produce better solutions. Restoration of beautiful old buildings requires extensive research to understand the history of the building, which is something that we find extremely stimulating.” Reflecting on the present and future of the architecture profession, Smuts says; “The world today needs facilitators to restore a balance; not only in nature but in the built environment as well. I believe that by listening, architects can produce culturally appropriate, humane and dignified solutions.” <

Guga S’thebe Arts, Culture and Heritage Village.

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As Hello Kitty’s bland little face stares at you from a pink backpack it’s difficult to imagine that this Japanese icon could represent something more, something significant. But cute is big and cute is most probably here to stay. A group of five South African designers and fine artists, all of them doing cute, are currently exhibiting at Salon 91 Contemporary Art Collection in Kloof Street, Cape Town. The collaboration, titled The Cute Show, runs until 26 March and represents the work of Francois van Reenen (fine artist), Tracy Lynch (artist and decor stylist), Geraldine Fenn (jewellery designer), Jaco Haasbroek (artist and graphic designer), and Eric Loubser (jewellery designer). Fenn explains that the work on exhibit is varied and interesting, since each artist has a different style and a different approach to the theme of cute. The show represents a range of media: painting, sculpture, prints, jewellery and installation. “We all work in a language that is inherently cute, but we use it to say different things. I think the one thing we have in common, besides the cute aesthetic, is a love for characters – our work is very figurative and rich in personality; it’s at the opposite end of the spectrum from abstract art.” So what is cute all about? The best place to start is probably to look at the meaning of the word and see what the dictionary says. The Oxford Complete Wordfinder defines ‘cute’ as attractive or quaint, but also clever, shrewd, crafty, ingenious or cunning. The word ‘cute’ is short for ‘acute’ – defined as keen or penetrating.

Could we conclude that there is more to cute than meets the eye? According to Fenn cute is generally seen as a kind of creative approach that is all about surface and has no depth, and is therefore not taken very seriously. “I think it is a trend that’s growing – you can see it quite clearly in graphic design and advertising, and it’s strongly influenced by Japanese popular culture. Cute is often just what it seems, but it can also have a very dark edge, which can make it quite shocking. It is a good vehicle for communicating violence or irony, because it is so unexpected. We have all been conditioned (through animated TV programmes and movies) to see cute characters simply as one-dimensional, colourful and harmless. The work on the show in Cape Town is distinctly cute, but also contains more complexity than people might be used to.” But cute is not everybody’s cup of tea. In an article in Vanity Fair (December 2009), Jim Windolf laments the fact that America has been flooded by a tsunami of cute. “We’re drowning in puppies and kittens and bunnies and cupcakes, transforming marketing, automobiles and movies.” Windolf continues: “Popular culture never comes out of a vacuum. It reflects or acts as a foil to the times. So why all the cuteness?

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Cute by Francois van Reenen.

Z-A Movie Characters by Jaco Haasbroek. Print.

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All pieces by Eric Loubser Above: Silver, CZ, Ring. Above right: Classical piece, plastic and brass. Right: Conceptual piece, silver, 9ct gold, glass, pearl, agate.

Left: Tickle by Francois van Reenen. Acrylic on canvas. Right: TEEHEE by Francois van Reenen. Acrylic on canvas.

43 > And why now? Everybody would probably agree that the aughts have been an ugly decade. But why should it give rise to ‘kittehs’ and ‘puppehs’?”

The origins of cute Cute started out as a Japanese phenomenon and has entrenched itself in Japanese culture to become a national identity. Pikachu, a character from Pokémon, adorns the side of three All Nippon Airways passenger jets; the Asahi Bank uses Miffy, a character from a Dutch series of children’s picture books, on some of its ATM and credit cards; Japan Post uses cute mascot characters on stamps and, most revealingly, some police forces in Japan have their own moe mascots, which sometimes adorn the front of kōban (police boxes). The Japanese term ‘kawaii’ translates to ‘cute’ or ‘adorable’, but has become more than just a word. It has become a sub-culture. In the Vanity Fair article Roland Kelts, author of the 2006 book Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the US, is quoted: “One theory, which has been proposed by a lot of Japanese artists and academics, is that, after the humiliation and emasculation of Japan in the postwar [WW2] years, Japan developed a quasi-queer position of ‘little brother’ or ‘little boy’. “ The comic character, Astro Boy, first appearing on the Japanese manga (comic book) scene in 1952, bears out this theory. Astro Boy, with his huge eyes and eager-toplease personality echoes Little Boy, the nuclear bomb that devastated Hiroshima in WW2. It was only in the 70s that kawaii seeped into mainstream Japanese culture. In 1974, the Sanrio Company, then a licensed distributor of Peanuts merchandise in Japan, came up with its own competition for Snoopy: the blank-faced, dot-eyed character known as Hello Kitty. Since then, Hello Kitty has, quite simply, and quite mysteriously, refused to die. But cute is also found in other parts of the world. It is said that Walt Disney kept a sign on his animators’

desks that read: ”Keep it cute!” Mickey Mouse, the most adorably cute Disney character, wasn’t always the cutie pie he is today. The original Mickey had smaller eyes, thinner arms and legs and a more pointed snout – a mean little bugger if ever there was one. Through the years Mickey became more child-like, with larger eyes and softer features. The transformation of Mickey from meanie to cutie can be explained by what Austrian behavioural scientist Konrad Lorenz, in his Kindchenschema in the early 1940s, extrapolated as features that cause an emotional reaction in people. According to Lorenz infantile features trigger nurturing responses in adults. This is an evolutionary adaptation that helps ensure that adults care for their children, ultimately securing the survival of the species. As evidence, Lorenz noted that humans react more positively to animals that resemble infants – with big eyes, big heads, shortened noses, and more – than to animals that do not. Lorenz identified features such as a head that is too large for the body, huge eyes that are placed below the midline of the face, short, stubby limbs with fat little hands and feet, rounded cheeks and an inherent clumsiness. In other words: Cute. Since Lorenz, other scientists – leaning more towards the natural than the behavioural sciences – have picked up on this phenomenon. In an article published in February in the New Scientist magazine, the hormone oxytocin and its effects are described: “Oxytocin is released from the pituitary gland in the brain, on the command of specialised nerve cells. It has long been known to help trigger childbirth as well as the release of milk during breastfeeding. And in the 1980s it transpired that, in American prairie voles (rodents) at least, the hormone promotes pairbonding between mates.” Researchers has since found that oxytocin plays a role in a range of human social interactions, including strengthening the bond

44 > between mother and child and fostering closeness after sex. In a 2005 article in the esteemed journal of science, Nature, scien tists described the effect of oxytocin. Through the intranasal administration of oxytocin, researchers saw a substantial increase in trust among humans, thereby greatly increasing the benefits from social interactions. So blame it all on our hormones. At a time when the world is beset by violence, terror, natural disasters and our planet is threatened by global warming and horror, we would like to look at creatures and things that make us say – in true South African vernacular – “Ag, shame.”

Cute in design and art One of the foremost proponents of cute is certainly the 47-year-old Japanese artist/designer Takashi Murakami whose work has become some of the most sought-after in the world (In May 2008 My Lonesome Cowboy, a sculpture of a masturbating boy, sold for US $15.2 million at a Sotheby’s auction). Often billed as the next Andy Warhol, Murakami has been able to blur the boundaries between high and low art, creating anything from sculptures and paintings to key rings and cell phone caddies. One of Murakami’s most delightful creations is DOB, a creature he described as follows: “DOB is a selfportrait of the Japanese people – he is cute but has no meaning and understands nothing of life, sex, or reality.” The artist has also been responsible for creating the post-modern art movement, superflat. Murakami uses ‘superflat’ to refer to various flattened forms in Japanese graphic art, animation, pop culture and fine arts, as well as the “shallow emptiness of Japanese consumer culture”. According to Jeff Howe, in an article in Wired magazine, Murakami is now president of Kaikai Kiki, an art-making corporation that operates from a campus of buildings known as the Hiropon Factory, outside Tokyo,

as well as a studio in Brooklyn. “Murakami owes much of his success to the highly efficient Hiropon Factory. Hardly a reclusive artist toiling in his garret studio, he employs 25 assistants to perform specialised tasks, and he uses technology in pragmatic, labour-saving ways. Because his work features a number of recurring motifs – eyeballs, mushrooms, flowers – the factory maintains an immense electronic archive of renderings that he can cut and paste into the files he’s working on. Murakami may be the first artist to make paintings from his own portfolio of digital clip art. “ “Each creation begins as a sketch in one of numerous pocket-sized notebooks. Full-size drawings are then scanned into the computer. From there, Murakami ‘paints’ his works in Adobe Illustrator, tweaking the composition and cycling through thousands of colors until at last he hands the finished versions off to his assistants. His staff then prints out the work on paper, silk-screens the outline onto canvas, and commences painting. Without this embrace of technology, Murakami says, “I could have never produced this many works this efficiently, and the work wouldn’t be as intense’.” View his work at:

Cute jewellery Dutch-born jewellery designer, Felieke van der Leest, builds her iconic jewellery on cute. Shift, the Japan-based online magazine featuring creative culture, describes her design process as buying a toy or animal from a catalogue, taking it apart and welding it into a new form, combining it with precious metal and then dressing it in hand-knitted clothes. Her characters each come with a story. There is a panda mermaid called Pregnant Panda with an angora sweater which pays homage to Coco Chanel, a moody zebra, called Super Freak Zebra with Egyptian wall painting and a super freak hairstyle, a penguin with a short-man syndrome called Rocky the

45 > rock penguin, alias the Stork, that longs to extend its wings like Presley. Van der Leest is currently exhibiting her work in a group exhibition titled Schmuck, in Munich, Germany.

And finally … The last words should perhaps go to Takashi Murakami, who, in an interview in Flash Art magazine had the following to say about the allure of cute: “How do babies survive? How do they convince their tired mothers to get out of bed at 3 in the morning and let them pull at their nipples? It’s because babies are cute. Scientific studies have pointed out that large heads and eyes, along with small noses and mouths, are a commonly found pattern of babies across several different species. I’m just appealing to the parenting instinct in my audience.” < Bracelets Boney & Plastic buttons by Geraldine Fenn.

Selection of rings by Geraldine Fenn.

Brooches, sterling silver & found object by Geraldine Fenn.

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Bokkie Shoes Bokkie began a few years ago as a concept – essentially a challenge to myself to find a definition for the ‘new’ South Africa. How were my peers defining themselves? What cultural icons were they bringing with them into the future? Which were they disregarding? What blends of cultural iconography were happening in place of what had once been barriers? How was this rainbow nation growing up? This enquiring narrative can be seen in the design, the shoes, the materials and the photography. Designed in collaboration with Sarah Groves and Alistair Palmer.

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She describes herself as a collector of memories, colours, thoughts and smells; a curator of conversations and a researcher of everything under the sun. Crystal Campbell’s poetic design is the culmination of a life lived without boundaries, under the open sky, meticulously taking in everything around her. Her design philosophy is about a way of working hard but playfully, treating people like they matter, researching by asking the right questions and about collaborations. Crystal tells us where she comes from, where she currently is and where she is going.

D > Can you tell us more about where Crystal comes from? CC > I grew up in Zimbabwe. My father is South African and my mother Dutch, which meant that I grew up with this ultra-liberal view of the world, only realising in my teens that the reality was more along the lines of George Orwell’s “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”. Growing up in Africa taught me to appreciate simple things like feeling the earth under my feet. I like to be barefoot; something I’ve found is quite rare in Europe –people seem frightened to see their sockless feet. D > Why did you choose to base yourself in Lisbon rather than in Africa? CC > Easy answer: I fell in love. With a man, and then with his city. I like smaller cities, with more trees, more birds, more time for conversation...One of the strongest emotional links I carry with me are the Jacaranda-lined avenues of Harare. I found them again in Durban where I settled for some time, intuitively searching until I found them again in Lisbon.

48 > D > Where and what did you study and why did you choose to do your Masters at Central Saint Martins in London? CC > I attended what was then the Cape Tech to pursue my Graphic Design BA (Hons). My Masters came about after a two-week placement at Fabrica [Italy], which was a creative-experience-adventure that sparked a personal epiphany to consciously move beyond graphic design and exploring areas of human interaction and spaces, using (but not limited to) design. The head of the Environmental Studio there suggested the Creative Practise for Narrative Environments course at Central Saint Martins. I walked into the bathrooms on the first day and saw the name of the school written across the mirror and got shivers. I was so excited. D > How have your African roots influenced your creative work? CC > Wide open spaces, endless blue skies, sunny days, rivers to swim in, outdoor kid games, campfires... There was this intense interaction with nature that was part of the ordinary fabric of daily life and helped form a great imaginative space for me. I can’t say exactly how that translates into typeface decisions and Pantone choices, but it does translate deep into the fabric of one’s judgements. I like to think my design offers a less clichéd form of communication. I call it poetic design, where the meaning of a product or service is more open ended, the consumer being regarded as an existential curator or co-producer or invited participant. D > How did Bokkie Shoes come about? CC > My first pair of school shoes were handmade by Mike White, a graphic artist in Zimbabwe. Apparently I briefed him on exactly how I would like them to look. I loved those shoes. Bokkie came about in a culmination of mini-ideas going right back to the early Cape Tech days where I put my energy into daydreaming shoes. In 2001 I came across some shwe-shwe samples from the 1970s in my mother’s vast fabric collection. I loved their graphic simplicity/complexity so I stored them away for later. During my period in Durban working for Neil Roake at Modern Museum, I noticed how shwe-shwe was being used around me to define cultural origins, giving a sense of self to the wearer and becoming a cross-cultural statement. Our vision for Bokkie has several facets – from a conceptual fascination to define and capture what’s happening around us as we speak,

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Masters Of Gesture, MA graduate project for Central Saint Martins, London. Depiction of five visual scenarios of intuitive gestural technology designed in collaboration with sleight of hand magicians and set in the near future, using persona development, with illustration and scenarios written as journals for prototype testing. Narratives designed in collaboration with Matt Pike.

Tangible Connectivity by NearInteraction for Future Labs Visual Experiences of the Future (Portuguese Communications Foundation). Functioning as the initiatory point of the Portuguese Lisbon based exhibition, Tangible Connectivity was a metaphorical team player game: Touch the wall and you become part of a with an interconnection of similar friends all jostling for attention. Exploring the multi-touch gestural concepts of touch to activate, pinch to enlarge and scroll to select within a multi-user environment, combined with the interaction concepts of user identity, networks, and behavioural lifespan.

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Collateral material for â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Eco Resorts of the Futureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Workshop 2008 for Arup Foresight Innovation and Incubation (London/Tanzania). Using persona development techniques from Narrative Ecology, a set of five characters was created living in a range of eco resort scenarios set in the near future in Tanzania. The cards were designed to create internal narratives bringing coherence to the workshop research themes, making patterns and developing linkages. Written and designed in collaboration with Nadia Troeman and Niharika Hariharan. The workshop was headed by futurologist Chris Luebkeman.

London College Of Fashion Graduate Exhibtion 2009 by NearInteraction. The 2009 Graduate Exhibition displayed six centralised multi-touch tables with integrated object recognition to unveil the 570 student portfolios. Activating a portfolio once a card is placed on the table, visitors could use their hands to move, zoom and rotate the portfolio work.

51 > to being able to translate this into each season’s new trends. We aim to release a new limited edition line every 18 months that captures the spirit of the moment. This year we have started looking into and accepting proposals from individuals who are interested in creative collaborations with Bokkie. D > What is the magic element that makes these products unique? CC > The Babydoll is a simple unpretentious closed shoe. The combination of this traditional shoe shape with the shwe-shwe is a simple idea. There is nothing particularly clever about the idea – simplicity is good thing, it’s also a unique thing in this world of over designed. People like it. Simplicity and South Africa. We do our best to add value in terms of social and environmental issues. The soles are made of recycled materials, while the cloth components are made of 100% cotton shwe-shwe produced by Da Gama Textiles. The shoes are assembled as part of an employment creation initiative. We are small, but we like it that way. We can offer more personalised services like custom-choosing shwe-shwe and now we are exploring the possibility of designing onto the shoe canvas. D > Has there been international interest in the Bokkie Shoes range? CC > We frequently get international enquiries from various countries covering all continents, for all sorts of ventures ranging from fairs to boutique African-themed shops to designer collections. D > You have used social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr as the primary media channels for your marketing efforts. Why did you choose these? CC > Being part of the Flickr, Twitter, Facebook and Etsy communities allows us to become our audience, to have conversations at the same level, joining to share ideas if you will. As our level of consumer understanding increases, so does the knowledge of how best to reach them. D > Can you tell us more about the new football-inspired range of shoes, which is endorsed by several South African football clubs? CC > This is our second range due to launch just before the World Cup. South African football insignia and the colourful supporters’

52 > gear inspire it. The range consists of four designs and a different local football club involved for each. To have their support is fantastic; they have been very receptive to our design ideas. D > It’s 16 years since South Africa became a democratic country. What does the new South Africa mean to you today and what role can creative entrepreneurs play in its future development? CC > South African design is very exciting; it’s dynamic constantly defining, refining. It is important to take the positive things from the past and develop them to meet the transforming society. We will never lose our rich history and will continue to draw to on it as inspiration, but I hope we will learn to use our design to begin to create solutions of healing for our social situations. South Africa is a state of mind and it’s up to you to choose where you would like to focus. D > You recently embarked on developing a charity dimension for Bokkie Shoes. Can you tell us more? CC > Bokkie teamed up with a Central Saint Martins friend of mine to create the Wandering Feet project. This emerged from Wandering Geography, created by Niharika Hariharan to encourage people to explore their cities based on their interests and intuition instead of following routes and maps. So, the deal is, Bokkie donates 200 white canvas boots and we are appealing to artists, illustrators, dreamers and designers from all over the world to use these templates to explore their city and record their wanderings through their footprints, using the white canvas of the Bokkie Shoes boot. After creation, the shoes are uploaded to Flickr and stored digitally until the project ends (once 200 shoes have been created), and then we will initiate an auctioning party on eBay, where all proceeds are sent as a donation to a South African charity of the artist’s choice. D > Can you tell us more about The Earth is Not Flat initiative. CC > The Earth is Not Flat is essentially a digital storage vault for projects using the Narrative Ecology methodology. Narrative Ecology states that in order for meaningful dialogues to occur in design, the entities and interactions between the parts depend on a designer’s intimate knowledge of the environment that connects and surrounds us. It came about as a personal desire to understand exactly what ‘Creative Practice for Narrative Environments’ meant to me, what knowledge I was going to take out of the course, how it would apply to my creative process.

I Wish I Could Stop Wishing For Things for The Space (Durban, South Africa). Taking inspiration from the humid tropical flowers, spam, sunbirds...

53 > D > Why did you choose ‘Masters of Gesture’ as your MA project? CC > I am interested in interfaces of both the physical and virtual worlds, and how these have begun to overlap as technology progresses and allow us to begin to influence, and effect, and be affected by, the digital realm. For ‘Masters of Gesture’ I chose to combine three areas of interest, technology and interaction design with scenario forecasting and narrative research and testing techniques. Working with interaction designers and media artists at! (London), Eyebeam (New York) and NearInteraction (Lisbon), while studying provided me with in-depth insight into the interaction industry’s psyche at present. I perceived an intense desire for interaction with computers without the constraints of tangible objects; an ability to communicate with our bodies, using our limbs, our gestures, our expressions. D > Who and what inspire you? CC > Both my parents have inspired me enormously. My inspirations at the moment are really focused on ecological changes and employing narrative to create forecasting for scenarios that might make a difference. It’s time to integrate future-shaping with ecological, technological and people-based thinking and design, to break down boundaries and to design – enticing people to embrace conceptual shifts. D > When you’re feeling uninspired, how do you re-inspire yourself? CC > I don’t push myself. If I’m not in the mood I simply don’t do it. However, if you have a deadline for a really boring logo, green tea and cookies work magic. Archbishop Desmond Tutu is always an inspiration: “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” D > What is in stall for Crystal in the near future? CC > I work alongside my partner Diogo Terroso at NearInteraction. The work at NearInteraction is a good example of what I believe the essence of design should be; interacting with all our senses, what you hear, and see, and touch, and feel, to add new levels of complexity to the experience. I hope to develop ‘Narrative Ecology’ further with a PhD. <

VJ Projects. ‘The End is Near’ was one of the many live VJ performances created using mixed media visuals – anything from paper cut out figurines to chopped vegetables. Performed in collaboration with Anthony Buckland.

54 >

By Kelda van Heerden

55 >

Let me start off by saying that I don’t do TV. And by that I mean I haven’t owned, watched or plugged one in, of my own volition, for nearly four years. Our executive producer has always found this somewhat at odds with our business practice, given that the pitch which I created and of which I shared delivery nearly 16 months ago, secured the rights to the holistic branding strategy and information design of an entirely new cross-media broadcast channel in South Africa, now known as VUZU. TV is dead. It was a sentiment to which I subscribed because I felt that the non-linearity and modularity of the Internet has fundamentally altered the landscape of media consumption and distribution. It was the sentiment I also happily shared as part of my pitch to a boardroom of goggle-eyed channel representatives who somehow were still convinced to sign us up after I said it. Our departure point with the channel design was to address a new generation of culturally mobile and techengrossed Africans – the Stunnerwearing, afro-bouffant sporting, popsicle-coloured street renegades – a movement which, as Bongani Madondo recently wrote, “is no movement at all, unbound by group dynamics and external pressure… [where] they don’t seem to share (or

need) a cultural stimulus”. With its planned cross-continental expansion, the cultural and technological (which these days can be freely interchanged with social) potential of the channel was highly significant. Design and technology, or rather technology-based communication systems, are heavily inter-related. Design is now employed, perhaps in its most important guise yet, by developers in the realm of personal digital communication. The success of an idea is often solely determined by the degree of adoption, and more importantly, its continued evolution by the users themselves. Forum discussions, opinion polls and other open-source collaborative processes are largely influencing the continual shaping of communication platforms such as Facebook and the various Google offerings, among others. Here, open source design takes effect in not only the structural architecture of such online products, but also in terms of administrative or legislative concerns – privacy rights and terms of use, more specifically. The adoption of open-source Linux systems by certain local governmental entities seems to indicate, if remotely, that traditional legislature might well, theoretically, go the same way. It fits with my similar

56 > argument that open model collaborative research projects such as Wikipedia should be instated as a credible form of referencing under the premise that peer review and the common knowledge base amongst the common user should act as ballast to traditional academic methods. Design as an open-source practice seems to indicate an alteration to, and not necessarily the demise of, authorship as it may have been conceived of a decade ago. Google’s Ji Lee seems to indicate as much in a recent conference speech where he discussed how the singular author – the designer – has been replaced by the collaborative unit within design processes. The Internet has irrevocably positioned design as an inherently open-model activity regardless, given the saturation of publicly accessible portfolios, aggregate sites featuring everything from best of breed agencies to instances of equally publicised lists of advertising and branding failure. The playing field is now so highly published that the online medium really is Zeitgeist made digital flesh. Additionally, professional capacities traditionally separate and attendant to design practice seem to increasingly overlap into the space traditionally occupied by creatives. Or perhaps the designer’s role is expanding to include the scope traditionally occupied by these related

professions. Often in the design processes tied to VUZU, contributions – from both client and internal agency perspectives – from editorial staff, producers, publicity, marketing, and especially new media would become valid design nodes to work around. Often my role would resolve itself in assessing design considerations put forward by multiple players, and finding a median point between it all. Design, as defined (or undefined) as it is within the realm of digital media and communication, is thus a contested and, as I have found, often-alienating experience. A large part of me still longs for the tangibility (and the singularity of being acknowledged in the credit list) of the publication and industrial design object. The same way I sometimes wish I still owned a library card and a book bag instead of consulting another 72dpi PDF on an online resource.

General branding elements.

The second part of my discussion moves to the concept of media convergence and, intersecting it with my working experiences of a media convergent product, questioning specifically whether Africa can truly support such a development at this stage Media convergence in traditional broadcast is fundamentally hampered by the inability to reflect or simulate in traditional television the structure and user interaction

Design for bumpers transitioning into programming.

57 > of the Internet. Also, restrictive broadcast legislation often makes transposing television content into the online environment impossible. I say “traditional television”, because media convergence is obviously far more evident in the movement towards pay-per-view or video on demand, as well as return-path initiatives – even though the ubiquitous text-to-tv angle is about as interactive as it sometimes gets here. On the other hand, Twitter also started as a seemingly equally inane exercise in personal micropublicity, and today no self-respecting brand can go without tweeting about their latest marketing agenda. In a mall in Nairobi, a shop owner casually sold disked copies of Desperate Housewives labelled in permanent marker to twentysomethings hungry for pirated American series but unable to download them through their own sluggish middle to upper class home connections. Aside from clearly pointing to the deficit in Africa’s digital playing field, this also highlighted that all Gen Ys clearly have the same sense of entitlement to free or virtually free illegally sourced media content, no matter where in the world you go. Given the potential for Africa to cope with a technological generation leap – as has been evidenced in the massive market penetration of cellular technology on the continent, as spoken about by Ray Kurzweil – one of

58 > the saddest fallouts of unreliable connectivity for the African youth market is the lack of publication and accessibility of information around groundbreaking cultural output. One finds it easy enough to consult a Pitchforkmedia-type site about the best Canadian albums of 2009, but where can you access the really killer stuff from Libreville, Abuja, Dakar or Gaborone, which would quite likely be far more original than anything coming from the traditional centres of popular culture. The biggest potential I saw for VUZU was the ability for it to function as a platform for African creative output, the exchanging of information and critique, cross-continentally, about fashion, music, design, art, content, ideas. Even in its simplest iteration of SMS interactivity, it could still exploit the power and reach of television, with the communicative potential of mobile technology. The project we developed on agencylevel to somewhat renegotiate this gap was an initiative called Heard on the Streets, a series of unmediated, recorded sessions documenting overheard dialogues around the real, street-level issues concerning this new African generation Y. One of my principal interests in structuring the communication strategy behind VUZU, was the building of niche marketing strands, along the line of ARG instances. ARG (Alternate Reality Game) refers to a convergent media concept where

Logo installation used in shooting channel branders.

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Heard on the streetsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; sessions.

59 > multiple participants interactively author a narrative across multiple media platforms, including the real world – although most of the narrative is formulated and played out in the online environment. My interest in ARG lies specifically in its more recent application as a niche marketing tool in the entertainment sphere, as is evidenced best in the work of Pasadenabased 42 Entertainment, which used ARG models to create intensely complex viral marketing strands for products such as Nine Inch Nails Year Zero, The Dark Knight and Halo 2. The nature of ARG marketing initiatives is highly fluid and intuitive, where the company engineering the narrative will intentionally conceal coded messaging in both real-world and digital environments, under the premise that in media-saturated landscapes, niche markets will actively seek out hidden messaging specific to their lifestyles. There is usually a potential failure factor inherent in the strategy, especially where the narrative is intentionally handed over to participants themselves to further and determine the direction of the game. I mention ARGs here, as the concept possibly displays the highest and most matured form of convergent media practice – where multimedia, real-world participation and, importantly, a precedence on the open

source design model – meet to create meaning for niche markets. It takes the form of an ‘engineered meme’, and its survival and success resides in the hope that it will bear relevance to its intended market well enough to be authored by the participants themselves. My interest in ARGs in context of my work on VUZU extends to question how well the concept can fit with the dynamics of the African youth market. The potential for convergent media to take hold and have relevance within the African youth context is seemingly massive, especially given the ready market penetration of cellular technology within the continent. And certainly, Africa must contain ripe niche communities within the youth market, if the divergence of sub cultural instances within South Africa is anything to go by. And as equally as ARG marketing employs or exploits micro-communities to spread its targeted messaging, it also galvanizes and stimulates those communities and their cultural output by creating dialogue points within them. However, ARG models are frequently grounded in the premise that they are seeded within environments of high broad-based media density and saturation – the theory being that youth markets in these areas function under such high degrees of media sensitivity and selectivity that hidden and coded

60 > messaging is more readily sought

not completely au fait with the

out by the market due to its rele-

mechanics of PVR. The linearity of

vance. Within the African context,

television’s structure, and the often

South Africa may be exceptional

broadly (and thickly) applied mar-

as a relatively isolated instance of

keting messages it contains feel as

a highly urbanised and media-

strangely uncomfortable to me now

dense locale, and therefore may be

as they did several years ago. I expe-

unique in its potential to exploit

rienced the same discomfort with

niche marketing exercises and

the medium for several months af-

ARG narrative models.

ter securing the pitch to the channel information design, and to

VUZU seemed a highly powerful

some degree, perhaps still do.

brand to implement even low-level ARG marketing strategies to access

Part of this discomfort stems, I

and build niche communities with-

believe, from the knowledge that

in South Africa, and potentially

the designerly urge towards indi-

other more urbanized areas within

vidual authorship is almost im-

the continent. However, the major

mediately compromised by the

challenge with successful conver-

‘public domain’ nature of what

gent media marketing exercises

one outputs. It is disseminated,

seems to lie in how consistently a

consumed and so easily rendered

brand communication is dissemi-

disposable, on such a large scale

nated through the various plat-

and so publicly, that it can often

forms it seeks to employ. It requires

be quite a disturbing experience.

highly streamlined brand processes

Intangibility and obsolescence

and constancy, or rather, dovetail-

define the range and lifespan of

ing of messaging. Generation Y

one’s physical work and one has

seems to be a market that quite

to take comfort that in some

readily engages in as many – or as

strange, if indiscernible way, one

few – communication nodes as it

has somehow altered the visual

chooses, while simultaneously ex-

and conceptual landscape of many

pecting highly relevant content at


Summer branding.

any such point, however small, at which it chooses to engage.

Retrospectively, however, I can discern that many of my more hard-

TV is dead. I still don’t own or ac-

line assumptions about the medium

tively choose to engage with tel-

were misplaced or skewed. Time

evision. I still don’t own any sat-

magazine showed a recent study

ellite subscription and am still

that indicated American teenagers

Elements of analogue interference incorporated into logo animations.

61 > still spend far more time engaged with the medium than even cellular or Internet usage. Which means that while itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nowhere near its deathbed yet, televisionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s traditional allotment of daily time-spend has been eroded by products that function on very different structural and navigational levels. TV isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t dead, but it needs to accommodate itself rapidly to a changing landscape of how we interface with information most comfortably. True media convergence, and allowing viewers to become active participants in shaping where, how and of what their experiences comprise, through open source design models, is a powerful idea. For Africa especially, it represents better individual control over media, a means of accessing and sustaining niche youth communities, and disseminating information about what young Africans are doing, to one another as well as the world. I hope that VUZU can fulfil these kinds of desperately needed requirements.

About Kelda Kelda van Heerden works as creative director at Eject Media in Johannesburg, which engages with various identity and communication strategy projects, moreover in the digital and broadcast design domains. <

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65 >

Never one to hold back his opinions or creative expressions and a visionary who often shuns conventions, Peet Pienaar has always been a creative activist. He has been on the forefront of the South African creative scene even before he opted to cross over from fine arts to practice design full-time. He made his big debut onto the local fine art scene in 2000 by documenting his circumcision and presenting the appendage as a work of art in a Perspex box accompanied by a three-monitor video installation showing the medical procedure close-up. This surely proved his courage and creative conviction. I.D. magazine said: “He used to work with his body. Now he stands behind a body of work.” ByJacquesLange

In 2004 delegates attending the Design Indaba conference in Cape Town arrived at Peet Pienaar’s talk and were promptly directed to a glass atrium overlooking a gravel lot below that featured a mosaic portrait of 17-year-old Zvidzai Mutarisi. Out of nowhere, a car appeared, scattered the mosaic and disappeared swiftly, leaving the audience staring at a dust cloud. I.D. magazine reported that “Back in the auditorium, his solid, sportsman-like frame tucked into a dark suit, Pienaar introduced himself to the crowd. ‘Art’, he said, bored him – ‘design offered far greater possibilities’.” Pienaar proceeded with an explanation: “Every year some 200 children go missing from Cape Town’s townships. Often their parents are too poor to produce street posters with the children’s images.” So, Pienaar designed a pro bono for Mutarisi, a teenage runaway. In fact, it was Mutarisi’s disappearance into a distressing urban landscape that had inspired Pienaar to represent him in the mosaic and stage the stunt with the car. The installation had high emotional impact and reflected Pienaar’s approach to get messages across in unusual ways. He says: “I felt that art had became stale and you only reach a very small group of people. The mass market was very attractive to me. I also think that the design world is much more supportive and less political than the art world. I really don’t see myself as a persona so I don’t feel a need to cope with anything more than any other person.”

MK Bruce Lee magazine, Issue 3.

Since then, Pienaar has carved an impressive niche for himself as one of Africa’s – and one of the world’s – most innovative designers who utilises the power of communication design to affect change to old conventions and rumble the stale bones of conformity.

66 > Pienaar was a founder of the acclaimed consultancy, Daddy buy me a pony, which had garnered an armful of local and international awards in just a few years. The company dissolved when Pienaar’s business partner decided to relocate to New York and in April 2008, he established The President, with partner Hannerie Visser. Visser says: “We looked at many different names, but ended up liking ‘The President’ the most. Peet wanted a name that would go with our company’s contemporary African style.” The President’s client list now includes Comme des Garcon (Japan),


DStv (SA), Virgin Wines (UK), Tribeca Coffee (SA), Afro Coffee (Division of Red Bull, Austria), Hands on Wine (SA) and Médecins Sans Frontiéres, amongst others. Yet, it is in the publishing field where The President has thrived in recent times. For The President, a magazine is not a structure that is linear and perfectly bound. Rather, it is an interactive experience that needs to be engaged with in a lateral manner and they tap deeply into the unique talents, skills and experiences of their team. Visser explains: “I’m from a magazine publishing background. I was group publisher of a few mags at New Media Publishing. The amazing creative team and the clients we work with drive me. It is great working with clients who trust us and give us creative carte blanche, but sometimes it is also good to work with restraints and tight briefs. Peet designed one of our issues when I was at Visi magazine. That issue was one of Visi’s best sellers ever and won a lot of awards. Daddy Buy Me a Pony was also Visi’s ad agency when I was the publisher and we worked together really well. I’ve always admired Peet’s ability to push creative boundaries and his African-inspired design.” Highlights from the company’s publishing portfolio include MK Bruce Lee magazine for MK, the popular DStv music channel that appointed The President to develop an unconventional magazine concept targeting the youth between 18–24. MK Bruce Lee is packaged in a ‘lucky packet’ format and the first issue contained a 128-page handbook with A-Z guidelines on how to start your own band, plus


67 >



1. MK Bruce Lee magazine for MK, Issue 3. 2. MK Bruce Lee magazine for MK, Issue 4. 3. MK Bruce Lee magazine for MK, Issue 2. 4. MK Bruce Lee magazine for MK, Issue 5.

68 >

Cover for Joe Issue 1

Poster of the featured artists in Joe Issue 1

Cover for Coco Issue 1

Poster of the featured artists in Coco Issue 1

69 > signed posters from top South Africa bands including Van Coke Kartel, aKing and Jax Panik and postcards of South African music industry heroes and fun stickers. Hunter Kennedy, guitarist and lyricist for the revolutionary Afrikaans rock band, Fokofpolisiekar, edits the magazine. Kennedy is widely respected among peers and fans alike for his relevant and intelligent lyrics, challenging and shifting Afrikaans mindsets. Pienaar’s idea to segment the magazine for its diverse audience by creating MK Bruce, a lucky packet specifically for guys and MK Lee, a lucky packet for girls, gives MK the opportunity to create tailor-made content for the different gender groups. This also gives advertisers the opportunity to reach the individual market needs with differentiating stickers, postcards, samples and vouchers included in the magazine.

Poster back. Poster back.

“We have been overwhelmed by the response from the MK audience,” says Haddad Viljoen, marketing and publicity manager for MK and kykNET. “Over 1 000 members joined the MK Bruce Lee Group on Facebook within two weeks after we launched the fan site. We are very excited about this unique brand extension where there is clearly a gap for an innovative and unique magazine with a specific focus on music, the shared passion of our target audience,” says Viljoen. In May 2009 MK Bruce Lee scooped a silver CLIO statue at the 50th Annual CLIO Awards in the Editorial Design category and it was also nominated for a One Show Design Award in New York, where The President received a Merit Award. Other accolades include a Gold Pendoring in 2008 for Best Communication Design. In addition, Pienaar also holds the honour of being first South African to win a CLIO GRAND PRIX in 2006, awarded in the Editorial Design category for Afro Magazine and in 2007 he won a GOLD Ozzie Award (New York) for the Best Magazine cover design. The President now also produces a quarterly magazine, Coco Joe, launched in mid-2009 as a brand extension for Channel O, Africa’s premier music channel on DStv. Similar to MK Bruce Lee, Coco Joe is segmented with half the print run appealing to females (Coco) and the other half to males (Joe) and packaged in a VIP ‘lucky packet-style’ format. The launch issue featured posters of some of South Africa’s biggest names in the entertainment industry including DJ Sbu, Pro, DJ Waxxy, Khanyi Mbau, Lira and Kelly Khumalo.

70 > In 2009 The President decided to spread its wings and opened an office in Buenos Aires. Visser explains: “We were attracted by the similarities between us and Argentina – both ex-colonial, developing and southern hemisphere countries. People responded amazingly to our design approach in Argentina. Sometimes people say we are too cutting edge for mainstream clients in South Africa but in Argentina mainstream clients really love us.” Pienaar and Visser joined forces with Manuel Franzini, former marketing executive at MTV Latin America who is now managing director of The President Latinámerica. Six months after opening the office in Buenos Aires, they decided to take their southern hemisphere collaboration to the next level by hosting the first annual Toffie Popular Culture Festival in Cape Town. The festival will be held in Cape Town at Rondebosch Boys High School from 26 to 28 March 2010. “The idea is to create a platform for skills exchange between two very similar countries, both in the southern hemisphere, ex-colonial and with developing economies. All of the speakers, exhibitors and musicians will have very strong links with either Africa or South America,” says Pienaar. Speakers include Jorge Alderete, graphic designer from Mexico, Seba Valdivia and Pablo Gonzalez Diaz (Argentina), co-owners of Trimarchi, the biggest design conference in the world, Kim Jones, creative director for Alfred Dunhill in London, Wynand Myburgh from local bands Fokofpolisiekar and Van Coke Kartel and Sean Saylor, VP for Creative MTV Latin America. The festival will open with an exhibition including work by Disturbance Studio, The Curators, Crank, The President and Brandt Bots. The President is also hosting a party with performances by local bands BLK JKS and Van Coke Kartel and Manta Ray from Argentina. The Toffie popular culture festival is officially supported by the cities of Cape Town and Buenos Aires, as well as the South African embassy in Argentina. The ambassador for South Africa in Argentina, Tony Leon, has also invited The President to host the festival in Buenos Aires later in 2010 as part of the city of Buenos Aires’s bicentennial celebrations.

Joe Issue 2 Poster for an exhibition in Argentina.

71 >

Coco Issue 2

Shoe poster and shoe and watch made up.

Poster for a music festival in Argentina.

The President team draws inspiration from a vast pool of sources. Pienaar and Visser say that they particularly admire the work of Job van Bennekom “…he made designers editors of magazines and his interviews in Butt and Fantastic Man are really inspiring.” They also mention Richard de Jager – “… he is the best stylist in the world.” Furthermore, they say that “food is hugely inspiring to us and so too, non-conscious design like prison tattoos and doodles on train seats.” In describing their unique design philosophy, Pienaar and Visser say: “Don’t copy, be inspired by things around us, and ‘maak mooi’ [beautify].” They also say that they do not have a specific mission that they want to accomplish. “… When we get one, please stop us.” <

72 >

Just A Band. “It’s always fun shooting the band. I usually shoot Bill and Daniel one by one, then shoot myself using the self-timer to complete the trio.”


73 >

Never one to be pinned down to practicing in just one specialised creative field, Jim Chuchu’s oeuvre covers IT, music, graphic and web design, photography, digital art, art direction for commercials and music videos, and most recently, directing short films. He is also an accomplished musician and member of the popular Kenyan band, Just A Band. Chuchu shares his multidisciplinary creative endeavours in an exclusive interview with DESIGN>. D > Tell us about your early years and how you ended up working in so many creative domains. JC > I was born in Nairobi. I don’t think I was a creative child in the normal sense of the word. I spent a lot of time reading books and listening to music. I was fascinated

by movies, and I enjoyed taking things apart and putting them back together but I only began to seriously consider dabbling in making these things when I was 14 or so. I got a BSc in IT and immediately went to work as a graphic designer at an ad agency called Red Sky – I’d been dabbling with design since I first started working with Photoshop in 2001, so I showed them my doodles and they were impressed enough to employ me. I worked there for all of six months. I hated it, the pay sucked and the work sucked, so I left. I then decided to become a freelance designer and did all kinds of graphic design and web work (mostly for events and album covers).

74 > I’ve always wanted to make films, so I thought photography would be a step in that direction. I took a loan from my brother to buy a digital camera (I’ve never shot on film) and started shooting friends. One of my web design clients is the model, Liz Ogumbo, so when I got a camera I asked her if I could shoot her one day. She was cool with that, and the photos turned out interesting (NOW I think they’re quite silly). I slowly began getting more photography work, so I ditched the design work (which paid less and took much longer to finish). Most of the photography work I got was from musicians. I acquired a reputation for highly stylised photos (and too much airbrushing, ha!), which then got the interest of the ad agencies – so I started to get advertising work. Then began a chain of events – from one job to another – that somehow led me to where I am now. D > Why did you opt to study BSc in IT? JC > Around here, young people are encouraged to study ‘something’ when they finish high school, and that something cannot be something ‘un-serious’ like art or music or a language; it has to be something like Economics, or Actuarial Science or vague-sounding courses like Business, Communications and IT. When I finished high school my parents let me muck about in an art college of sorts, where I studied the basics of design and learned about design software. Then it was time to ‘do something serious’, so I chose the least boring course – IT – because I was already familiar with computers and found that I could somehow wrap my head around Java and PHP syntax. I don’t regret studying IT. I’ve always approached technology with a curiosity about how it could be used to make fun things (I remember making sci-fi computer-terminal-like animations in Powerpoint {! :-} when I was 16 or so), so that gave me a broader sense of how technology and creative things can collide.

Liz. (right) “The first person I ever shot professionally – Liz Ogumbo kick started my photographic career by passing around the resulting photos to people who then hired me. I owe her one.” Little Girl in Mathare. (bottom left) “I visited Mathare – one of Nairobi’s informal settlements – to photograph a nursery school that needed some help. The teachers at the school were worried when this little girl didn’t show up that morning, so I accompanied them to her home to find out if she was OK. It turned out her granny had died that morning; the body lay in a bed to the right of us because the family didn’t have enough money to get a vehicle to carry it to a morgue.” Little Boy in Mathare. (bottom right) “I was worried about this shoot because it required me to leave all my lights at home and shoot with natural light, away from a studio. I’ve never thought of myself as being good with kids, so I was pleasantly surprised that the kids didn’t mind my presence in their classroom.”

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76 >

Kate. “I first met accountancy student Kate about two years ago, and she didn’t understand why Kangai Mwiti (an excellent makeup artist) and I wanted to photograph her. She’s become a lot more confident, and has landed advertising and music video roles as a result of these casual shoots.” Acroyoga. “I still get ‘how did you do that?’ emails about this photo of a young acrobat (who was balancing on a partner’s feet below him – I simply cut them out).”

77 > I first encountered Photoshop in a computer class. We had a web design project and I was grappling with trying to make a good-looking website using only HTML elements. I first experimented with Photoshop 5, and I really liked that it gave me the power to create images. I don’t draw very well, so Photoshop allowed me to do visual things without having to face the fearsome blank page. D > How and when did you become involved in music? JC > I first studied classical piano when I was 10 or so and after about two years I dropped it. Then I met Bill (who’s one of the members of Just A Band) in high school, and we would fool around with the piano in the school chapel. We then went to the same university where we met Daniel (the other member of the band), and we decided to form a band which would allow us to play around with visuals and music. D > Can you tell me more about the link between the music and visuals that you and the band create? JC > When we started out, there was more of a distribution of roles – with Daniel and I being very involved in the visuals. These days, Bill has acquired a broader visual grammar (because of being suddenly surrounded by all the weird stuff we have in the house), so it’s much more collaborative at the pre-production level. We work concurrently on visuals and music, so music video ideas are jotted down on the same page with the lyrics as we record the music. D > How did the band’s name come about? JC > When we decided to form the band we wrote down all the names that we could think of on a piece of paper – then argued about them for about two days, cancelling them out one by one,

until we had the very pretentious ‘Shifta’ and ‘Just A Band’. I later found out that the ‘Shifta’ were a band of militia/bandits, so I’m glad we chose ‘Just A Band’. D > I have listened to Just A Band’s music on YouTube and I was quite surprised about how international the band’s approach is. I firstly just listened to the music without watching the visuals. My experience was that the music was truly international. Yet, when I watched the videos with the music my perceptions changed. Just A Band crosses international styles and it has surprise moments that are uniquely linked to Kenyan street culture. Can you comment on this? JC > We’re always surprised when people tell us we’re blending international and local flavours, because it’s not something we do consciously. I’d thus be the last person on this earth to comment objectively on our music/visuals – since I’m up to my nose in it. I once told someone that I would like to make something futuristic and clean, but the dirt is always creeping in to make the visuals much more organic – so sometimes we can’t help it. Also, we have a DIY approach to creating everything (we make EVERYTHING ourselves – I remember evenings trimming and folding the album packaging for our first album) and that means our personalities (and failings) are tightly woven with everything that comes out of that house (we live together, you know). D > Far too often, people think that African music, design, art, and more need to exude our traditional heritage frameworks and they often forget that Africa is developing rapidly and that young creatives are shaping a new vision for the continent in an new international context – which you and your band do. What is your vision for the future of Africa?

78 > JC > I think there is a mild guilt that comes with being

D > In recent editions of DESIGN> we featured de-

a middle-class African with access to electricity and

signers who are also musicians or designers who

Internet, and so – as much as we’re very much a part

are heavily involved in the music industry. Why do

of the global generation that grew up on Michael

you think there is such a close link between the two

Jackson – we feel like we should pretend to have

creative disciplines?

traditional roots and ooze local culture, even though we’ve never really grown up like that. Traditional

JC > I don’t know about the others, but I get most of my

heritage is great when it’s authentic, but most audi-

visual ideas from listening to music, and sometimes

ences can tell fake traditionalism – and they disconnect

a lyric from a song can spur a whole story. I finally caved

from it.

in and bought an iPod the other day (I’m an Applephobe), and I’ve been enjoying listening to music

As much as there are many things that are pretty bad

while doing mundane things like shopping or taking

in Africa, there’s also a new generation and a new vein

a walk, then everyone around me looks like they’re

of creative work coming from Africa: stories and music

acting in a music video that only I can see. Music and

that combine our ideas of the future with that vague

visuals go very well together, they complement one

sense of local heritage that you refer to. I find that vision

another – so it’s only natural that one would want to

of the future to be more authentic than the sterile,

fiddle around with both at the same time.

orderly one that the Western world reference in their ‘science fiction’.

D > All of your video work seems to have a social or political dimension. Where do you plan to take this in

It’s a vision that carries with it all the logical and actual disorderliness that we’re so used to here. I think cultures

future? Do you have political aspirations?

that have seen the worst sides of humanity always

JC > I most certainly do not have political aspirations

have more interesting things to say about the future.

– that’s almost an insult in these parts! Over the past

Just ask the Japanese.

few months, I have become disillusioned with creating visuals that do not reference all the nasty things

D > Can you share some more of the band’s successes? JC > Our biggest accomplishment is that people have

that are going on in my country. Kenyans are experts at pretending to be ‘OK’ despite the very real problems that are festering in and outside the cities.

allowed us to be difficult to classify – which means we’re free to jump between genres and blur the line between

Working on Kuweni Serious (which means ‘get serious’)

disciplines and not obey all the rules (like having to

has allowed me to hear stories and meet people who

appear in our music videos – yuck!). We’re also very sur-

are very much in touch with the realities of Kenyan/

prised that people have accepted us locally and outside,

African politics, and it has made me wonder if it is even

and that they see something original in our work.

ethical to call yourself a ‘creative photographer’ in countries where people still die of cholera.

We were recently number 3 on the We Are Hunted chart with one of our new songs Usinibore!, which was very

This is not to say that there is no room for creativity, but

exciting for us – who’d have thought?

I’m now gravitating towards stories that are more in touch with the reality that things don’t always work

79 >

Kuweni Serious. (above) “A foray into documentary and social commentary with like-minded friends – Kuweni Serious allows me to indulge my concerned citizen leanings by asking young people what they think about their country and where we’re going.” VIEW THIS VIDEO bloodstains/ or

Just A Band: Usinibore. (top left) “A surprise hit for the band from our second album – 82. This was my first video with a relatively large cast and my first time shooting with the use of a dolly (fun!). An abstracted social commentary on youth power.” VIEW THIS VIDEO /watch?v=43XrFVp-fXY

Scratch To Reveal. (left) “Another ‘how did you do that?’ subject. I shot and composited this for Just A Band’s debut album cover using a friend’s very lean arm and some bunched-up cables.”

80 >

Joan. “A collaboration with Kepha – an insanely talented fashion designer. Joan, the model, thought we were crazy.”

81 > out fine, and that dreams don’t always come true.

D > How important is your African identity and

Not for everyone, at least.

what do you aspire to achieve in this context internationally?

D > Do you have a specific creative philosophy? JC > I don’t really see my work in the context of JC > I don’t think I have a creative philosophy, I

African identity – perhaps because this idea of an

see things in my head so I go out and shoot them,

African identity is not something that’s easily

then sometimes I hear things in my head, so I record

defined. I feel like we’re a lost people right now, in

them. I’m really surprised at how all this is turning

between cultures, wondering what to keep and


what to discard. If that’s true, then I’d like to present

D > What has been your proudest professional

my own vision of what it is to be African. Fingers crossed.

moments? D > How would you describe the mindspace where JC > I remember getting teary when I saw my first

you are now?

photograph on a billboard. The idea that people were involved in printing, transporting and putting

JC > I feel like I’m in a place where I can now begin

it up was overwhelming. I also got that feeling

to create my own work. Up to now I’ve created

(and still do) when I first saw our music video on

things for other people and kept my own pet projects

MTV, or seeing album covers that I designed

simmering in my head. It takes a fair bit of self-

gleaming on the shelves of shops – such things

confidence to execute personal projects, and I

always make me smile.

didn’t really have that till now. This year is bitethe-bullet year.

D > What does the future hold for you, other than your film aspirations?

Current projects are lots of music videos for Just A Band and other artists like Dela, Muthoni – the

JC > Hopefully I’ll amount to something, otherwise

Drummer Queen, and Ma3, some social activism

it’d be an awful waste of energy.

with Kuweni Serious (http://www.kuweniserious.

D > Who and what inspires you?

org), a documentary for the Changamoto Arts Fund, several remixes (as my audio alter ego, Makmende).

JC > I like people who challenge themselves and

There’s also a series of about seven short films (I’m

their audiences: people like Björk, Chris Cunning-

biting the bullet this year) called In Praise of Broken

ham, David Lachapelle and Pedro Almodóvar. The

Humans – a collection of somewhat dark stories

other day I stumbled upon Grace Jones’ Corporate

about people wanting to commit suicide, argue

Cannibal – the most beautiful/scary thing I’ve

with God and have affairs with angels. You know.

watched in a while – and Janelle Monáe. I also

I’m hoping to shoot the first one soon – it’s called

like all of M Night Shyamalan’s work – I’m always

What Time is it in Paradise?. Fingers crossed. <

defending him when people say Lady in the Water was silly – I thought it was magical. Gustavo Santaolalla calms me down, and District 9 – Whoa!




84 >

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Son says that she likes bold colours, things that make her smile and creative projects that challenge her to think in new ways. “For me, everything is in the details. My design

philosophy is: Think before you

Son had this to say in an interview


with DESIGN>:

Putting emphasis on design-driven

D > How did you become a designer?

creative storytelling, &Son aims to combine strong design with anima-

MS > When I was little I made fridge

tion and interactive experiences to

magnets of my family’s heads out

collaborate with clients, from con-

of salted dough. I had to first bake

cept to delivery, to produce work that

them, then paint them, and I used

is diverse, innovative and have some

lots of black wool for the hair for all

&Son quirks.

five females in my family. Those were the real beginnings of my design

Son selected the new company


name, &Son, because she liked the idea of collaborating with other

After high school I studied graphic

designers and clients. “You could

design at Vega School of Brand

be the next _ _ _&Son,” she says.


Moxieland plush toy inspired by a computer game character in the book, Moxieland. Adidas & Vida Café Chair Project. J&B_Start a Party. &Son created four animated movies that turned mundane situations into playful parties. 1. poster.

Michelle Son is a refreshing emerging creative who exemplifies the concept of ‘working on the edge’. She specialises in design and art direction, motion graphics, visual merchandising and installation projects. Son recently established a company named &Son, based in Cape Town, after spending some years at the leading production and motion graphics studios, Terraplane, Eject Media and Tennant McKay.

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D > You are a very versatile designer. How do you avoid having a distinguishable signature style? MS > I don’t avoid having a distinguishable style. My sensibility is what I think is the common thread to my design, regardless of the style. I’d like to think I can convey a slightly ‘quirky’ nature to my work (for lack of a better word!), whether it is an animation or installation. D > You work in diverse design disciplines that require different skills sets and approaches. Do you have a favourite discipline and how do

Nike & Astore window installation. HTC Google Android animation. Ghost Whisperer promos for channel GO captures the channel’s tongue and cheek tone.

you juggle the skills requirements?

MS > Having worked in motion graphics for so long, it feels good to balance working in a digital realm with working with my hands and on a tactile level. It’s important for me to be able to step away from my computer and engage with real and interesting materials and objects. D > How did the Mooncake Toy range come about and what do you intend to communicate with them? MS > Mooncake toys came about with the conception of Sebasschin, the asschin, in my dreams. Let’s just say that I have issues that come in the form of characters like Sebbaschin

in my sub-conscience. But the exercise of creating these toys is what sparked my love for sewing. And they are meant to be for anyone and everyone (who wants them, of course). D > You won a Bronze Loerie for the Nike installation at astore in 2009. What feedback did you receive from the store and its customers? MS > I did indeed. People really responded well – many people wanted to buy them afterwards. Nike, the agency and the astore guys were all very happy with the outcome and the buzz that was created around

87 >

it. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one of the best things I have

book to be about the images and the

ever done.

stories, which is why I kept the design very simple and clean.

D > Can you tell us more about the Miss Beautiful book which also

D > How did you approach the

won a Bronze Loerie in 2009? Why

Adidas/VIDA Chairs project?

they will be travelling around all Vida stores nationwide. D > What about the Moxyland toy project?

MS > Miss Beautiful is a cultural

ing some sort of in-store presence

study of South Africans in the beauty

for Adidas inside the Vida stores.

pageant world. It was a very special

Vida had a bunch of discarded white

project that I felt very close to as I

chairs that were replaced with new

worked with the photographer, Stan

red ones, and so I came up with the

Engelbrecht during its production.

idea of getting surplus shoelaces

I got to go to some of the pageants

from Adidas and weaving different

and meet some very interesting and

designs into each of the chairs. The

MS > Moxyland is a sci-fi novel written by Lauren Beukes. It is set in the year 2018 in Cape Town and deals with the evils of technology and the media. The final cover was designed by Dale Halvorsen and &Son created a plush toy that had to be inspired by a computer game character from the book. The character had to appear cute and innocent, but was actually quite men-

colourful people. We wanted the

response has been fantastic and


did you opt to keep it so simple? MS > I was given the task of creat-

88 >

After I created the prototype, a group of underprivileged women in Noordhoek, Cape Town, started producing them as plush toys. This accidentally resulted in an assortment of different looking toys with individual expressions. D > Do you have a specific mission in life that you want to accomplish?

Mooncake is a small range of plush handmade felt friends that were born from characters from Michelleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dreams. Miss Beautiful is a cultural study of South Africans in the beauty pageant world. 350 pages.

MS > To create a signature fashion label. <

90 >

PIXELUXE By Anri Theron

When asked why he is so passionate about designing fonts, Jan Erasmus describes his life-long battle with dyslexia and how this challenges him to find artistic expressions of the alphabet. His most recent creation, Pixeluxe, is a testament to that. DESIGN > had the pleasure of learning more about the evolution of Pixeluxe from the designer himself. Erasmus describes that the motivation behind Pixeluxe was to publish a family of pixel-like fonts that went into Deluxe mode, “Each pixel contains a vector art symbol of between 36 – 87 nodes to replace the square pixel in a glyph.” This, he says, gives you a font with specific meaning imbedded which can either be used for its obvious meaning or used in a deconstructed context as he did in Pixeluxe’s campaign. Erasmus explains that the concept for Pixeluxe has been with him for quite some time now and once the decision was made to move forward with the project everything fell into place. The family consists of six parts, Binary, Death, Eco, Love, Peace and Soccer. He explains that the Binary member of the family was designed first and served as the foundation block and template for the other family members. Once the Binary member was developed to absolute perfection the theme fun started. Erasmus changed each pixel with the chosen illustration thousands of times over for the remaining five faces. To decide on the remaining faces themes Erasmus conducted a bit of an experiment. By using Google he

went in search of the most clichéd symbols graphic designers use. His search resulted in a list which included the heart, cross bones and skull, skyscrapers and coats of arms and the dove as a peace symbol. Erasmus used three of these and named the Love, Death and Peace instead of Light, Regular and Bold. The soccer ball came further down the Google search result list but also because of the world cup in South Africa. He explains the addition of Eco because he felt it had great significance in the times we live in whether there is global warming or not. Erasmus chose the water diagram as the Egyptians used as the meaning for the Nile, which became the symbol for water and the Incas drew the water serpent on the last page of their calendar, 21.12.2012. The current rising sea level fits the picture perfectly. Manufacturing, testing and marketing took about six weeks for this 6-font family, a short time in comparison to the font family, Chronicle Text from Hoefler and Frere-Jone that took up to nine years to make. It, however, did not come without some difficulty. Erasmus explains that the sheer amount of nodes in the faces caused problems when it came to output the family in OpenType and Open Type TTF which doubled up all the nodes on curves. Take for example the drop cap A in the Death face which has 95 times more data, a total of 1,080 nodes, than Helvetica cap A. To solve this problem Erasmus went old tech and created Pixeluxe in a Legacy PS1 format instead. This worked perfectly with both Mac OS X and as a Win PS1. The result is beautiful. Erasmus perceives the applications of Pixeluxe within display work, a space that designers use the most varied fonts in. He can see it being used as a drop cap or possibly for the numbering of the Pirates soccer player jerseys, should they comply. A customer in Perth used Pixeluxe to do Valentines Day window dressing and show cards. Ultimately it

Introducing Pixeluxe, a brand new font family from CyberGraphics.

91 >

92 >

comes down to your creativity. Pixel fonts are on the rise again having taken over course resolution situations like airport arrival and departure boards, train stations and digital devices. You may think this is just another trend that feeds into those nostalgic memories of the 80s, the birth of Apple, Gameboys and old tech, but there is a far more practical reason for pixel fonts. “There are two different species,” Erasmus explains “those drawn either as a scalable bitmap fonts such as the early Émigré fonts or Pixel fonts that are made up of squares for each pixel that makes up the Glyph. Obviously pixel fonts contain a lot more data than a scalable bitmap but are more nimble than a font that has one outline and a lot of curves that needs eight times more memory than nodes joined in straight lines.” What does the future hold for Jan Erasmus? He will soon be posting three new propriety families on the Cyber Graphics site so be sure pop by and have a look.

About Jan Erasmus & CyberGraphics CyberGraphics is a multi-disciplinary, full-service design studio and digital type foundry commercial available to all studios. Their design philosophy states that effective design can only be reflected through the basis of true collaboration with clients, and it is this principle that leads to project solutions that are visually distinct, a dynamic experience and enduringly memorable. This, as well as an element of surprise and insight, is some of the foundational principles upon which CyberGraphics sets its precedent. <

Left: Pixeluxe Eco. Right: Pixeluxe Soccer.

Left: Pixeluxe Death. Right: Pixeluxe Love.

Left: Pixeluxe Binary. Right: Pixeluxe Peace.

93 >

By Miliswa Sitshwele


94 >

95 > To honour people who have been lost to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and to create a memorial for them, the Centre for the Study of AIDS at the University of Pretoria has produced a 2010 calendar themed Fabrications. The Centre for the Study of AIDS (CSA) was established in 1999 to understand the HIV/AIDS epidemic and to find new and creative ways to respond to it – going beyond tried-and-tested

Even though there are many ways to tell a story, the CSA chose fabrics. “We like the idea of the word ‘fabric’ because it has symbolic value and multiple meanings. For example, it is sometimes said that HIV/AIDS spreads because the ‘fabric’ of society is disintegrating (for example, through the breakdown of families, the rise in crime and a failure to adhere to shared norms and values) and so we also wanted to use this play on words.”

formulas and contributing to building a society that is equal, fair and tolerant. Every year the CSA produces a calendar that serves as an annual review for the centre, showcasing the work it does and reflecting its view of the epidemic. Each calendar has a theme the CSA believes is topical and interesting and will provoke debate and discussion. Speaking about the theme, deputy director, Pierre Brouard, said

“Fabrics were also used in the original AIDS Quilt project many years ago to reflect on the identities and stories of people who had died of AIDS-related illnesses. Also, artists, designers and crafts people from around the world have used fabric to tell stories and many of these will be reflections and musings on gender, sexuality, class, power, beliefs – all of which have a bearing on HIV and AIDS,” Brouard said.

Fabrications allowed the CSA not only to create attractive designs based on fabrics from around the African continent, but also to reflect on multiple meanings of the word. “A fabrication can be a story (whether true or fictional), a myth, a social construction, a fantasy, a hope, a dream. A fabrication is, in this sense, both a physical construction of fabrics, but also a psychological and social construction; the story of a life,” he said. “This calendar looks at different African fabrics, each telling a story about its creators and its country. The calendar offers ways to take these designs to tell new stories and produce new ‘fabrications’,” said Brouard.

< The Centre for the Study of AIDS’ 2010 calendar themed Fabrications.

For each month in the Fabrications calendar, a textile from a different country or region in Africa is used for the quilt designs. These are inspired by the textiles’ origins and history and matched with one of the CSA’s initiatives. Extensive research was done on where these textiles come from, the cultures that conceive them and the technologies that are involved in their creation, many of which have been passed on from generation to generation. For example, Akan Kente is used for the month of June to represent the CSA’s ARV Treatment rollout. The cloth is intricate, luxurious and has a rich history that is interwoven with the history of the Ashanti Empire in West Africa. It is also a complex cloth, using weaving techniques that require skill and knowledge of

96 >

Beyond Borders (2008/2009).

Imagined Futures (2007/2008).

Paper Prayers (2005/2006).

97 > the materials, mixing cotton and silk to form patterns with layers of symbolic meaning. The embroidered and appliqué Kuba cloths from the Kasai River region in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with its layered style, represents the month of May and the CSA’s AIDS & Human Rights Research Unit. Other fabrics include Francophone textiles which originate from the French-speaking countries of West Africa, Shwe-Shwe from South Africa, Bogolanfini mud cloth from the Bamana people in Mali and the colorful Chitenge, also know as kitenges and kangas, which are worn in a variety of southern and central African countries. The 2010 calendar refers to myths: of virgin protection; HIV-infected blood injected into oranges; worms in condoms; deliberate infection using syringes; and many other myths that are part of the fabric of dealing with HIV/AIDS. “The CSA strives to challenge many of these fabrications, to find ways to create new representations of the epidemic, to tell new stories and, to deconstruct and reconstruct society,” Brouard said. The calendar is not a stand-alone project. The CSA also tells the HIV/AIDS story through faceto-face workshops, training and consultation to construct and deconstruct the disease’s effects. “There are many HIV/AIDS stories and ways of telling them: we hope to keep finding new and innovative ways of doing this,” Brouard said. “Previous calendar themes include: > Beyond Borders (2008/2009), which showcased wallpaper designs – wallpaper can be within or beyond a border (a restriction if you like), as can our work on HIV/AIDS. This also highlighted our interest in work and perspectives in other countries.

> Imagined Futures (2007/2008), which asked us to imagine what the future of young people, their families and the country could look like if we tackled HIV/AIDS imaginatively and without a ‘doom and gloom’ approach. Could we emerge as a stronger and more compassionate society? > Paper Prayers (2005/2006), which showcased paper prayers from a previous Johannesburg Art Gallery exhibition. A paper prayer is a Japanese traditional offering of painted strips of paper to bring health to the sick and the exhibition had asked young people to create paper prayers about HIV and AIDS. With the calendar, we wished to inspire artists and others to be creative in responding to the disease.” “We need to tell people’s stories but we also need to acknowledge that we use stories to make sense of HIV/AIDS, to cope with it, to fashion it into something bearable, to give it meaning,” said Brouard. The CSA calendars stem from a long-standing creative partnership with Bluprint Design, a Pretoria-based communication design consultancy. “The calendars are some of those rare projects that allow designers the luxury of extended deadlines. We work closely with the CSA when conceptualising new themes and then spend a lot of time – sometimes up to seven months – researching and crafting the original imagery,” said creative director, Jacques Lange. These efforts have paid off since the calendars have become sought after collectors’ pieces. < This article is republished with the kind permission of (http://www.46664. com/News/african-fabrics-weave-thecontinents-hivaids-story-id=7968.aspx)

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MAPPING AUGUST > AN INFOGRAPHIC CHALLENGE Design maestro, Massimo Vignelli, once said: “I see

the information design discipline with an innovative

graphic design as the organisation of information

exhibition and catalogue titled Infographythm.

that is semantically correct, syntactically consistent

August 09 report of graphic design in Luxembourg.

and pragmatically understandable.” Vignelli’s

The exhibition is part of the EXPO CarréRotondes,

profound statement can also serve as a definition

which takes place in Luxemburg.

for ‘information design’, which is arguably one of the most complex disciplines in design.

The curators invited designers to document their personal activities during the month of August in

From February to April 2010, CarréRotondes, Design

2009 – the traditional summer break for Europeans

Friends and Gestalten (publishers) are celebrating

– and present these through information graphics.

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Maxime Pintadu, Luxembourg.

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Debora Manetti, Italy.

Stephane Thomasset, Luxembourg.

These documentaries range from the most banal

aesthetic process, pushing to the fore the slightly

listing of easy-paced daily routines to the most ex-

derisory and superfluous aspect of the numerous

travagant seasonal experiences, all translated into

activity reports which abound at the end of the year.

statistics, diagrams, charts and other graphic schemas.

Infographythm unveils the ‘small’ personal activities of each participant: August under graphical constraints,

The organisers say that: “…information graphics (a task

the creators showing their zeal at the height of the

which graphic designers practice rarely for anything

dead season!”

other then earning a living) have been reassigned in a playful manner, while paying attention to a resolutely

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Mik Muhlen, Luxembourg.

Of the around 40 projects received, 31 were selected

Gestalten, will the second edition of Data Flow, a

by the jury made up of members of CarréRotondes,

reference publication which gives an overview of re-

Design Friends and Gestalten. The selected works (15

cent developments in visual information processing

from Luxembourg, six from other European countries,

in graphic design. <

eight from Asia, one from Chilli and one from New Zealand) is on show at the EXPO CarréRotondes, in Luxemburg. The catalogue will be published on 9 March, which will coincide with the Simplexity – Start making sense conference where Sven Ehmann, creative director of

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AFRICAN DIASPORA IN LALALAND By Jacques Lange Californian-based designer, Zelda Harrison, one of DESIGN>â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newest contributors, thrives at what she calls the epicentre of post-modern cross-culture: Los Angeles. In this and future editions, she explores the African design Diaspora in the USA,

starting with her own story, as well as that of Chaz Maviyane-Davies and Malene Barnett featured in this edition.

her father studied architecture and urban planning and her mother specialised in maternity nursing, Zelda Harrison has focussed her career on developing a greater understanding Born in Los Angeles to UCLAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first of and emphasis on cross-cultural isgraduate students from Ghana where sues in professional design practice.

104 > Zelda boarded a plane for the first time at the age of six, bound for Ghana. She says that the flight attendants made the experience exceptionally pleasant and she has loved travelling ever since. She has crisscrossed Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe and lived on three continents.

management, earning her contracts with public agencies, entertainment networks, creative advertising agencies, as well as real estate and legal firms. She also provides marketing support to community groups in Los Angeles that serve disadvantaged youth and under-funded communities.

When asked what lessons she has leant from her extensive travels abroad, she responded: “It would take a week to fully answer this question, and that’s without tapping into my subconscious. In a nutshell, travelling outside my home country and comfort zone, I have come to appreciate different perspectives and points of view. I’ve learnt to listen with my eyes, and hear with my heart. I’ve developed a taste for risk and the confidence to calculate the value of the risk.”

Currently, Zelda is also devoting time to supporting the AIGA – the professional association for design in the USA – by exploring the impact of culture in visual communication. She has served as president of the AIGA Centre for Cross-Cultural Design, an initiative designed as a forum for US designers to reflect upon design in a global economy and the sensitivities of a diverse and multi-cultural audience and landscape. She also initiated Business Matters for AIGA-Los Angeles, a best-practices workshop series focussing on design management.

Taking risks seems to be a re-occurring theme in Zelda’s career development. She studied International Marketing at the Rouen Business School (ESCRouen), France, and then added a BFA in Visual Communications from California State University, Long Beach, culminating in a career exclusively focussed on marketing at Con- Agra, Nestlé and Neutrogena. She then opted to break the stereotypical options taken by many AfroAmericans and repositioned her career to focus on communication design. Her expertise now includes visual communications and design

DESIGN > asked Zelda, as a trailblazer, to respond to a few questions intended to address the coal-face of professional disparity and future imperatives. D> Why do you think there are so few black designers in the world? ZH> Naturally, this is a question I’ve reflected upon quite a bit, and the response is evolving with my career – and sometimes my mood. The short, obvious answer is that design has evolved as a bona fide

career option mainly in the so-called Western world, where black people make up a rather small percentage of the professional class. Other things I’ve come to appreciate is that design has its roots in the mediaeval ‘guild/apprentice’ system, which implies career choices are made via strong relationships with mentors, family and a closed circle of friends. In the United States there isn’t a strong tradition of mentoring between ‘ethnic minorities’ (people of non-European descent) and white males, who are the predominant group in the design community. As professional group that promotes design, AIGA has tried to address this issue and a number of AIGA chapters such as Boston (http:// youth_design_boston), New York, Cincinnati have created outreach and mentoring programmes in lower income neighbourhoods and schools, where there is still a concentration of African Americans in the United States. The Organisation of Black Designers (OBD) in Chicago also initiated Project Osmosis ( targeting secondary school and university-bound youth. These are investments that I hope will bear fruit in the very near future. Lately, many designers in the United State are also subscribing to projects promoting social justice in this area.

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TOP: Annual report for Los Angeles Downtown Center Business Improvement District. ABOVE & RIGHT: Outdoor graphics for the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles.

106 > There is also the issue of aesthetics in design: Whose visual iconography do we use? Design found it strongest voice in the Bauhaus and Swiss Schools of design, which were temporarily trumped in the 1990s with the computer revolution, but have always served as a reference point. Does this mean tapping into your Zulu, Thai or Maori roots for your work excludes you from communicating effectively? In an international competition, will a Nigerian designer’s work be evaluated in the same way as that of a Dutch designer? These are some of questions that the AIGA Center for Cross-Cultural Design (AIGA XCD) was formed to address. Perhaps the most visceral explanation came to me a few years ago when I was leading a design workshop for high school students in a lower income neighbourhood in Los Angeles. As an introduction, I talked about my career as a designer and how fulfilling it is for me. At the break session a student and her mother – who were black – came up to me: ‘What I really want to know,” the mother said, “is whether design is going to make my child money.” “Well...” I started, “she may not become a millionaire, but...” my voice trailed off as the mother grabbed her child by the arm and walked off. D > Why did you opt to first study international marketing and then move on to visual communication?

ZH > Perhaps it goes back to the previous question “why are there so few black designers in the world?” At university, a career counsellor casually suggested I take some art classes. As a scholarship student, the cost of art supplies felt prohibitive to me. Moreover, I didn’t feel particularly ‘talented’. My love of travel and geopolitics naturally made me gravitate to international relations, which morphed into international marketing in business school. After a few years of marketing research for multi-national food brand companies, visual communication as a vehicle for addressing markets and audiences began to make more sense than constant number crunching to me. D > Can you tell us more about your work with community groups? ZH > Giving effective communication tools to non-profits is of great interest to me. My participation has ranged from brand consulting, workshops on design and advertising, and career counselling to youth, art classes and fundraising. The non-profits I’ve worked with most frequently include the Skirball Cultural Centre, which has its foundation in the Hebrew University and promotes multi-cultural awareness in Los Angeles, the Coalition for Responsible Community Development which seeks to provide job training and shelter to youth aging out of foster care, Beyond Shelter, dedicated to providing transitional

housing for homeless families and South Central Scholars, a mentorship programme for college bound youth in South Central, an economically-depressed zone in Los Angeles. D > Can you expand on your work with the AIGA and Cross-Cultural Design since many international readers are not be familiar with the AIGA? ZH > AIGA (originally known as the American Institute of Graphic Artists) is the largest professional organisation for designers, specifically visual communicators. In line with the American tradition of decentralisation, AIGA is a network of local-based chapters – mostly in large metropolitan areas – that function independently and serve their design communities. AIGA Center for Cross-Cultural Design (AIGA|XCD) is an AIGA National Chapter established to foster greater communication between designers across cultures and ethnicity, and explores the connection between design and culture. I was elected president of the executive board a couple of years ago, and it’s been an incredible commitment in organising and the administration of travel tours, international competitions, exhibition and writing about the intersection of design and culture. Our website is <

107 >

Matisse promotional publication for Fox River.

In Motion. The African-American Migration Experience.

Collateral for BOISE.

9/11 Fundraiser.

Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles.

110 >


Circulating in the rarefied atmosphere of Givenchy, Six Sense, Chi and Amarita, as well as the developers of prestigious and exclusive international projects, the divas of the newly-created Darley Interior Architectural Design (DIAD) are carving a name for themselves in the high end hospitality, leisure and residential markets. In an exclusive interview with DESIGN> magazine, they shared some insights into their design philosophy and their vision for the future.

The DIAD design team: Shiree Darley – Managing Director, Amanda Elliott – Design Director, Sarah Forman – Creative Designer, Caroline Dann – Operations Director and Design Architect.

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Offshore restaurant – trendy cocktail destination set amidst the ocean with undulating moods and sleek, contemporary finishes.

It was only last year that Shiree Darley, Caroline Dann, Amanda Elliott and Sarah-Jane Forman took the brave step-away from the world renowned, US-owned hospitality interiors giants, Wilson & Associates, to branch out on their own and establish a wholly South Africanowned specialist interior architectural design service. Given the world recession and ongoing economic turmoil, this took a leap of faith and an unshakable confidence in their abilities, but the partners are upbeat and raring to go. Proclaiming that they ‘don’t do mediocrity’, these design divas consider pushing the boundaries to be their norm. Passionate about every aspect of their profession, they agree that starting DIAD has been the ultimate high of all of their careers. It’s given them a sense of freedom and the support and encouragement that they have received from the industry has been exhilarating.

If you scan through the list of what they offer, you may well ask what landscaping-, swimming pool- and specialist water feature design may have to do with interior architecture? “When it comes to the hospitality industry, the seamlessness of the guest experience is paramount,” answers DIAD Managing Director, Shiree Darley. “The effectiveness of the space begins at the Porte Cochère, from where the arrival experience has to follow through to the main reception lobby and the public spaces. For resort and leisure properties, where people love to experience the outdoors, the terraces, gardens and pool surrounds become part of the guest experience, so we have to extend our designs to encompass these areas, working hand-in-hand with the landscape architects.” While some local hospitality groups may still consider that interior architecture is secondary to the general architecture of buildings, internationally, interior design is seen as crucial to the success of a project and the

113 > interior design architects are brought into the loop from the concept stages. Considering the fact that international groups are looking to expand further into Africa via South Africa, this is especially exciting for the partners at DIAD. “Interior design architects can make an enormous difference to the guest experience,” continues Shiree. “While the guests don’t have any say over the way the interiors have been designed, or over the choices of colour schemes, fabrics and finishes that contribute to the ambience, they respond to how the experience feels. The décor and the functionality of the spaces, just as much as the quality of service they receive, determines whether a particular resort will be a favoured destination in the future.”

the architects to do all the construction design and documentation. In the early stages, many interior design practices didn’t even use CAD. We were regarded by some as ‘pillow fluffers’ who added a few accessories here and there. This has all changed. There are a lot more layers to what we do, and from a technical and architectural design standpoint, we provide valuable input towards the end result - hence our need to be involved right from the beginning.” Design Director, Amanda Elliott’s penchant is for researching location specific cultures to establish a context and common thread for the individual project. This leads the design. Drawing inspiration from the traditions, topography, landscapes and views, the identities and attitudes of the interior spaces are de-

Shiree adds: “The interior designer’s role has certainly changed over the years. In the past, it was left up to

vised and the ‘story’ is pieced together creating a script for the professional team.

114 >

Hotel lobby terrace opening up to ocean views with comfortable conversation areas expanding on Arabic traditions.

“The story gives the building a sense of place. Once we establish the vision, it’s easy to elaborate. The background research gives you so much to work with. Then you start to add the ‘atmosphere’ and decide what aspects create an exciting guest journey throughout the interiors,” Amanda explains. “We also try to design so that the spaces are not difficult to understand and are easy to maintain,” adds, Caroline Dann. Her skill is ensuring the functionality of the spaces, which is critical when it comes to getting hospitality establishments to operate smoothly. Sporting a Bachelor of Architecture Degree and having had more than 10 years’ experience working in Europe, Caroline understands that the correct juxtaposition of spaces is vitally important to the success of the operation, “... this extends to determining the

correct spatial volumes,” she elaborates. “The guest may not be able to pinpoint what it is that makes a particular space work, but we need to create the right ‘zone’ for them. We also have to ensure that the operations management relates to the spaces and that the design interpretation for the interiors will withstand management turnovers. An important aspect of space planning for hotel guestrooms concerns the relationship between the bedroom and the bathroom. “Bathrooms a few years back formed roughly a third of the en suite accommodation,” Caroline continues. “But these days it’s pretty much 50:50. The top end hotel groups aim at creating distinguishing signature features, unique design elements including private view windows, outdoor bathrooms and integrated feature baths.”


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116 >

117 >

Yemen lobby: Elegant, contemporary Middle Eastern Hotel Lobby with subtle Arabic interpretation and creative use of architectural elements to humanize the high, narrow volume.

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A suite in a private residence Middle East.

The saying ‘it’s all in the details’ is often bandied about when it comes to hospitality and here, Creative Designer, Sarah-Jane Forman, comes into her own. The detailing starts in the conceptual stage and Sarah works extensively with the suppliers to achieve the right moods, textures and finishes to suit each project. “It can be an interior designer’s downfall – not following through with the detail,” she says. “The identity of the establishment does not only encompass logos on stationery and the personality of the wayfinding signage, but extends as far as the nuances of tableware design, the sizes and shapes of the glassware, the colours used for the accessories, even the bathroom fittings, the value-add brand name bathroom cosmetics and the contents of the mini bar.” Some of the intangibles that reflect on the image of the establishment include the acoustics, the lighting and the technology. “Hotels have to be very up-to-date with technology, particularly if they are appealing to

business travellers. These days, there are even plasma TVs in the bathrooms, so that the business traveller can catch up on world news while bathing. Plasma screens can be built into the mirrors, so that they are discreetly part of the décor,” says Shiree. “Hairdryers, plug points for cell phone chargers, iPod plug-ins and wireless connectivity are also part of the offering of the hi-tech hotel. But it’s very important that all of these things are easy to understand and simple to operate – they must be user-friendly, otherwise they become a source of frustration to the guest.” With the impending influx of more international resort operators, another aspect of hospitality that has to be taken very much to heart is the environmental consciousness of the operation. In South Africa you can still find yourself on a construction site where you are almost overwhelmed by the fumes from solvents and paints that, clearly, are not eco-friendly. Overseas, CE and other quality standards subscribed to do not allow

120 >

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A French flavour was used for this 4000 m2 private residence in the Middle East.

122 >

Spa treatment room with a peaceful serenity created with the juxtaposition of texture and lighting, maintaining the simplicity of design.

the use of any materials or substances that have detrimental long term effects or could be harmful to the people using or working with the facilities or materials. These requirements are second nature to the partners at DIAD, as they have all worked extensively in the international arena. “In has become an international norm now that new developments have to achieve a certain number of points to achieve compliance with sustainable standards, The use of grey water for irrigation, using heat from air conditioners to heat water, the biodegradability of laundry detergents and energy efficiency are all aspects that have to be considered. It becomes part of the professional consultants’ responsibility to ensure that there are no toxins in the paints, that the adhesives do not give off fumes and that the furniture and fabrics are from environmentally compliant manufacturers. It’s very rewarding that we, as designers, can make that difference and play a role towards assisting our clients achieve the suitable ‘green’ status grading. The

discerning guest is becoming more and more aware of these issues and is definitely seeking out the establishments with the correct eco-ratings,” Shiree states. “We are very conscious of these parameters and we do everything that we can to ensure, wherever we can, that sustainable products are specified in our designs. It is wonderful that we can make a difference at this level.” Part of the DIAD equation is that the partners, with their combined 37 years’ experience working on over 50 projects worldwide, have the ability to understand local conditions, yet they are raising the bar to satisfy the demands of the global fast track in hospitality and leisure. “South Africans are highly respected overseas,” concludes Shiree. “In Africa, we often have to find ten ways to do one thing, to circumvent the myriad of challenges that we face. This has given us a reputation of being tenacious and for thinking ‘out of the box’. These are just a small part of the qualities, skills and talents that we have to offer.”<

ABOVE: Leather Swing RIGHT: Bug Side Table & Rosette Sideboard.

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125 >

By Jacques Lange

Proteas, dung beetles, desert roses, rosettes, burlesque, Johannesburg’s skyline, car tyre swings and humble furniture like rockers, trestle tables and lockers are some of the unusual thing that inspire Durban-based Greg and Roché Dry, owners of egg Design. They say “This is our home. It’s what’s around and in us. What we carry with us, in our heads and hearts. It’s our environment and it’s a place of intuition, emotion, drama, fancy and fun. To express it, some make art. Others write books. We make furniture that tells a story and engages the eye, imagination and soul. We love what we do. We can’t help it.”

ABOVE LEFT: Little Miss Fat Chair & Trestle Table 2. ABOVE CENTRE: Rosette Pendant & Sungoddess Daybed. ABOVE RIGHT: Ply Rocker and Foot Stool & Desert Rose Modular Shelf Unit. RIGHT: Ply Rocker and Foot Stool. CENTRE RIGHT: Sungoddess Daybed. FAR RIGHT: Trestle Table 2.

126 >

Greg and Roché Dry, who chose the word ‘egg’ as their

processes. “One of our great joys is imagineering a

company name because it represents simple form and

thing that looks like another thing.” Selective examples

its symbolic reference to the new, founded egg Design

include an aluminium and teak lamp that looks like

in 1996. The Dry’s fuel their creativity by working across

the traditional African mortar and pestle, a stainless

design genres – traditional and modern, rustic and

steel and leather swing that is reminiscent of a chil-

industrial, the sublime, the witty and serious. They say:

dren’s swing made from a discarded car tyre, and a

“When taking on design projects, we apply a prag-

slick daybed that looks like a sleigh made from steel

matic approach while still striving for excitement

mesh usually used for shopping trolleys combined

and innovation as well as paying strict attention to

with oiled African Rosewood. Surprise is always on the

detail, while in our furniture range, we take a more

cards in egg Design’s product collection.

exploratory and provocative approach to hopefully excite or agitate.”

Not surprisingly, egg Design provides a holistic design approach to their long list of corporate and private clients.

Two characteristics of their innovative work are their

Apart from producing a highly original collection of

use of juxtapositioning and unique combinations of

furniture, the company’s broad based services also

seemingly unrelated materials and manufacturing

include interior design and product development.

127 >

The company has received much media exposure,

our strong representation amongst value retail locally

locally and internationally, including features in Elle

– The Mr Price Group and Game – and internationally

Décor (South Africa, UK, Italy, Russia and France),

– B&Q (UK), The Warehouse (New Zealand) and recently

Metropolis, Surface, Interni, Ottagono, I.D, AD&D,

Screwfix (UK). The challenge to design for value retail

Icon and World of Interiors to name a few. Their list of

is much bigger than designing for high-end retail or

accolades includes receiving the Elle Décor (South

luxury brands as the design constantly gets stripped

Africa) designer of the year award in 2004 and 2005,

due to cost. The design work is more intense but

as well as best seating in 2008. A highlight was in

incredibly satisfying.”

2007 when egg’s iconic Yellow Desert Rose Locker was auctioned at Christies’s prestigious 20th Century

“From the furniture side of our business, we would

Design Auction in New York.

like to think that our work is very unique and our style is not of a certain time, period or genre. We believe

Commenting on their impressive successes, Greg

that in 20 years’ time, people won’t say that a piece

says: “We believe that our company, at the environ-

was so 90s or 2000s. Our work is diverse and we use

mental level, delivers our clients with unique solu-

a lot of different materials, always exploring new tech-

tions set by their briefs regardless of budgets, hence

niques and finishes as we stumble upon them. As a

RIGHT: Industrial Light Fitting. FAR RIGHT: Black Jozi Shelf.

RIGHT: Burlesque Table. BELOW RIGHT: Mortar and Pestle Lamp. BELOW RIGHT: Leather Swing.

128 >

129 > studio we are very prolific and our furniture design

In line with egg’s penchant for the unconventional,

extends past egg. We now also have egg Junior and we

the company published a book instead of a product

hold shares in a company we formed with our Hong

catalogue in late 2009. It is a stunningly designed

Kong partners doing another range of kids furniture,”

publication that goes beyond traditional conven-

says Greg.

tions in the furniture industry by not just showing off products but, in typical African narrative style, tells

egg Junior is a range of kids furniture and accessories

the stories behind the products. Greg explains: “We

with an educational and fun angle, inspired by many

needed to show our products in a manner that was

of egg Design’s iconic furniture designed for adults,

‘lifestyle’ but not in the way that brands globally do

but with a twist of childlike quirks combined with

it – which is far too often shot in minimalist homes

sophistication – yet another juxtaposition. Greg says

and sleek environments. We have a wide range of works

that: “We are constantly inspired by our children for

and we needed to convey how to use and live with

their never-ending energy and simplistic take on life’s

our furniture.”

beauty.” “The concept started with wanting a book that we “The most recent work we have done is an industrial

could send to top designers and specifiers around

light fitting for retail applications that saves up to

the world that immediately made them understand

40% electrical consumption. This is highly industr-

that they were dealing with luxury from the cover

ialised with aluminium extrusions and injection

through to the end. Covered in cloth and embossed

moulded components.”

in gold foil, one starts the journey there. As with our furniture, we need the person receiving the book to

“We would like to believe that all of these diverse

see value and keep the book safe, unlike catalogues

interests make us a unique company to deal with

that end up on the shelf. The book is a journey and tells

and the same with our furniture and products. When

the stories of the products, their reason to exist, and

clients engage with us we design almost everything

why or where we got the idea from. There is a thread

for the project. We don’t believe in specifying.”

in our work when viewed in the book as a collective

130 > body. We felt that we needed to show that we are African, but not executed in the African curio chic way. Our work is international and has a lot of soul, this is important to us.” “It was a great joy to work with other creative friends that did the design and execution (Modern Museum) and Sean Lourenz who did the stunning photography. It was a celebration and one of the best things we had ever done. We will do it again as our body of work continues to grow,” says Greg. The

From the egg Junior range – TOP: Cowda Rocking Cow. CENTRE & BOTTOM: Fluffy Donkey Table and Chair.

book was also an opportunity for the egg team to revisit their work from the past decade and they took the opportunity to make some adjustments and updates on some of their product collection. So what does the future hold for the egg Design team? Greg says that: “On a personal level, I want to do more hands-on courses like timber turning, ceramics and jewellery. Roché’s personal passion at the moment is focused on the art of chaurcutrie (meat preserving and curing). For egg Design as a company, there so much in stall, but it’s more important for us to focus on the now. We are always working on new things and the new work that will be done in 2010 will hopefully reflect a strange sense of calm – work that is slightly at odds with itself.” <

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Malene Barnett is a Brooklyn, New York-based carpet designer with a background in textile arts, painting and illustration. For more than a decade Maleneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s carpets, inspired by international travel, has boldly interpreted her personal experience of cultural icons, landscapes and rituals. Her passion for all things cultural stems from travels to places like Dakar, Mumbai and Kuala Lumpur, as well as her African-Caribbean heritage.

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As part of the African Diaspora series, DESIGN > spoke to Malene Barnett about her design philosophy, her work and her travels. D > Share with us your professional journey and some of the highlights that inspired the creation of malene b. MB > Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a carpet designer. I studied textile design at FIT in New York City. After graduation, I worked as the design director for Afritex, designing African print fabrics. Later, I worked for Nourison Rugs, one of the largest importers of handmade rugs in the world, as their first in-house designer. Initially, I designed their area rug collections, but soon became design manager for

Inspired by a Mehndi ceremony in India, the carpet is made with handtufted wool and silk.

the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very successful accent rug division. At Nourison I was given the opportunity to develop fashion-forward designs that changed how accent rugs were viewed. In about 2003 I began thinking of creating my own company. However, back then my focus was on creating innovative bedding designs for the home furnishings industry. In the summer of 2008 I decided to focus on my passion, carpet design, and started formulating my company, malene b custom handmade carpets. My goal, as the principal of malene b, is to create carpets that merge my artistic background and passion for global travel. I wanted to create a company that not only produces great carpet designs, but also inspires

134 > others to experience the world through a unique art form.

became really curious and wanted to see more of the world ... to learn how we’re all connected.

D > You describe your work as a “personal experience of cultural icons, landscapes and rituals...”. Could you share in more detail how your experiences drive the creative process?

During my first backpacking trip to south-east Asia the pattern titled Bangkok was inspired from observing Thailand’s floating markets. I was amazed how people were doing business. I had experienced typical street markets before, but in Thailand they had a different rhythm. They were cooking and selling things on the river. It was a necessary way of life and I thought a cool way of doing business.

MB > It started because I was fortunate enough to have friends from many different places worldwide. I was invited to visit their homes and participated in their celebrations and daily rituals. Experiencing these things made the trips more endearing. I went to the Gambia, Ghana and India in one summer and was living in rural to luxurious conditions; taking bucket showers. The transition was life changing. I studied my hosts’ connection with family, observing how everyone ate together, just certain cultural things, saying, “Oh wow, we do that!” That’s when I

Moroccan architecture inspired the design of the Marrakech carpet.

My henna-painted hands are the model for the design called Mehndi. While visiting Mumbai I participated in a friend’s wedding ceremony. The experience was unique and intrigued me, because the art is created from memory. I interpreted this experience in a Tibetan wool and silk carpet, so the details of the henna design shimmers where light reflects the pattern. Each malene

135 > b design expresses a narrative of my world travel experiences and is reflected in patterns which are colourful, textural and bold.

study their art, seek out local restaurants, entertainment venues and most importantly, I travel my destinations like a local – not a tourist.

D > Share some highlights of your travels. How did you deal with situations where you were clearly the outsider?

D > What is your design philosophy? There is pattern in everything. One should not live without colour.

MB > Some travel highlights include participating in a three-week cultural exchange programme in Ghana, where I lived with a family, worked alongside woodcarvers to create my own woodcarvings, learned kente weaving and attended the historical 25th Jubilee Anniversary of the Ashantene (the crowning of an Ashanti chief). I also met the world-renowned Senegalese singer, Youssou N’dour, one of my favourite artists in Dakar, who arranged for me to be seated front and centre at one of his concerts. It was an amazing experience. As for me ever feeling like an outsider, I’ve never felt like that. I’ve always blended comfortably into my new environment by immersing myself in native culture. I

MB > Design should speak to one’s soul. Design should inspire you to think differently, feel good and be functional.

Malene B at work D > What are some of the projects that you are currently engaged in? MB > I am working on the office renovation for design group Carl Ross, public space flooring for a hotel project in the UAE along with Kobi Karp Architecture, another

136 > public space for a hotel project in Panama with HVS Compass, designing rugs for a private residence in New York City and creating a new collection that will debut this Spring. D > Who are your clients? Any interesting stories about managing projects and client relations? MB > My clients are interior designers and architects. One of my biggest challenges has been getting clients

to think outside of my available collections and allow me to create something expressly for them. D > What is your creative process? What are some of the challenges and breakthroughs youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve experienced in the production process of your creations? MB > I always start with a sketch. Since I have a fine arts/illustration background all of my motifs and layouts are created from inspiration and my formal

ABOVE: Inspired by Aboriginal art, the Papunya carpet is made from handtufted wool. Photo: Lionel Aurelien. LEFT: Floating markets from Thailand inspired the design of the Bangkok carpet which is made from hand-knotted wool and silk.

137 > training. One of the biggest challenges in the production of my carpets is that I’m clueless about how my designs are being interpreted.

Malene B on cultural identity D > Does your work affirm your cultural identity? MB > My work is an extension of who I am. I’m creative, a world traveller and aim to inspire others. I

want each design to take you on a journey to a faraway place. For example, I love Senegal, Morocco and South African cultures because they all reflect a different part of my African heritage. The diversity within each country constantly keeps my creative juices flowing… there is so much to be inspired by! The art and architecture of Morocco always amazes me. And the bold designs, fashions and the cropped hairstyles of the

ABOVE: West African culture inspired the design of the Wolof carpet. LEFT: The Adinkra design is inspired by traditional West African block printing .

138 > Ndebele women inspired my personal style. Since I am influenced by global cultures, I want to design carpets that reflect my modern design sensibilities, as well as my passion for world travel.

Malene B on social engagement D > Would you consider yourself a cultural ambassador for peoples of African heritage? MB > I like the term ‘cultural ambassador’. I use my talents to show the world that as an African-American designer, we all have a story to tell and I share my journey through my carpets.

Coins and shells inspired the design of the Cowrie carpet.

D > Do you believe that the designer has a role in social engagement? How has malene b addressed social issues in the creative and production process?

MB > We all have a responsibility to be socially aware. Before sourcing my manufacturers, I joined Goodweave. org to ensure that my carpets are child-labour free. In addition, I support Aid to Artisans in their quest to preserve handmade crafts in Africa, Asia, and South America. And, most recently in response to the devastation in Haiti, I am creating a carpet that showcases the country’s rich culture. I want people to know that Haiti has a long and storied history which has influenced art, sculpture and music worldwide. This carpet will be included in my Signature Collection and the proceeds will be presented to grassroots organisations that have been working in Haiti long before the earthquake. As a member of the African Design Community, I feel we need to continue to use the power of design to tell our story. Dare to inspire! < > To see more, visit

We do all Building alterations Plumbing Fire-claims Replacement of ceilings Painting Burglary repairs Tel: 012 664-1717 Fax: 012 664-7810 email: Address: 22 Botha Avenue, Lyttelton, Centurion

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The Steinhobel designer range of taps and mixers, exquisitely elegant in form and function, design and detail.

Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re the epitome of glamour. You lead an enviable lifestyle. You accept nothing but the best. Nowhere is this more evident than in your home, which reflects your unique personality and desire for perfection.

The Cobra Designer range, a symphony of sophistication.

Visit our new showroom in Bryanston, c/o Main Road & Bryanston Drive, Bryanston, Tel: 011 875 7400, or Cape Town, M5 Business Park, 2A Camp Road, Maitland, Tel: 021 510 0970. For your nearest Cobra stockist call 0861 21 21 21 e-mail: Member of the Dawn Group

143 >


‘Innovative’, ‘design conscious’ and ‘exceptional quality’ are the words that make Cobra Watertech the successful brand that it is. Manufacturing stylish, top quality taps since 1951, Cobra produces one of the most comprehensive ranges of plumbing fittings and sanitaryware in the world, ensuring that there is an attractive product suitable for every purpose.

Cobra in the kitchen Cobra’s ongoing and accelerated programme of product development has resulted in trend setting designs of kitchen taps and mixers. Amongst its kitchen ranges, you will find Damara, Callisto, Taryn, Gala and Flex Supreme. Flex Supreme mixer.

Damara’s taps and sink mixers allow users to regulate the amount of hot water dispensed (ideal for households with children, elderly or disabled occupants), while its single range mixer comes complete with a built-in water and energy-saving ceramic disc cartridge.

144 > to the desired position. After use, it springs out of the way. It is ideal for washing down sinks and drying areas or washing vegetables, concentrating the water flow exactly where the user wants it – two mixer types in one unit. This top-of-the-range mixer is particularly in vogue in modern European kitchens. There are a further two stainless steel mixers in the Cobra range. One has modern quarter turn cross handles and a swivel outlet, the other a single lever with a swivel outlet. These have been superbly designed and are in tune with the latest kitchen trends, blending perfectly with modern stainless steel kitchen appliances.

Cobra in the bathroom

Damara tap and sink mixer.

The Callisto designer sink mixer, with a swivel outlet, offers a trendy contemporary design that creates a complete modern character to any kitchen. Bringing style and creativity into the kitchen environment, the Taryn mixer, with a swivel outlet and a retractable handspray, offers both standard and

After doing extensive research, Cobra formed an alliance with Bain d’Or, a supplier of top quality classic and contemporary bathroom ware. Together they have come up with a wide range of sanitary ware products and bathroom accessories in line with customers’ tastes and lifestyle needs. Cobra can now confidently claim that, by adding the Bain d’Or range to its already vast range of products, it has become a one stop solution for a variety of bathroom fittings and fixtures. The Cobra Bain d’Or product range will fulfill any design need, from Victorian style to the latest in modern bathroom designs. The product range consists of:

minimalist handle styles.

> Cobra Bain d’Or Mona Lisa Suite

The Cobra Gala mixer has a swivel outlet which uses

> Cobra Bain d’Or Epernay Suite

the standard Cobra anti-splash, anti-lime aerator and a side mounted handle.

> Cobra Bain d’Or Liege Suite > Cobra Bain d’Or Marseille Suite

The Flex Supreme mixer has a standard swivel outlet and a large decorative, chrome-plated, spring-mounted handspray. This allows the user to pull the hand spray

The Cobra Bain d’Or products have distinctive quality features and benefits including baths that are coated

145 >

Cobra Bain dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Or Mona Lisa Suite (above) and Liege Suite (below).

146 >

Chromotherapy Shower.

Taryn bath mixer.

Cobratron basin mixer.

Cobratron pillar tap.

Cobratron wall spout.

Cobratron pillar tap.

147 > with Amazonite for added strength and rigidity, and superior thermal insulation, which keeps water hotter for longer periods. This feature comes with an exceptional 20 year warranty. A bath/shower combination is available for confined spaces. The Cobra Bain dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Or product range is available at selected leading outlets. It comes with the standard and comprehensive Cobra Watertech service back-up and warranty. There are also a host of popular styles of taps, mixers and shower fittings all supplied by Cobra Watertech.

The Taryn range features a 35mm temperature and flow control cartridge, an anti-lime aerator and is available with a standard or minimalist handle. Included in the range are three basin mixer options, an underwall bath/shower diverter mixer and a sink mixer, with a unique flexible swivel outlet. Cobraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Aurora and Vivanno Chromotherapy shower roses transform a simple shower into a visual delight of light and colour. An infra red remote control panel mounted on the shower wall allows you to change the glow of the rain spray to nine colour effects â&#x20AC;&#x201C; cool, relaxing hues that fade from one colour to another â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all of which help to energise or relax the body.

The Taryn range is especially designed for local conditions and incorporates quality compression type head parts.

Chromo Therapy is an ancient science â&#x20AC;&#x201C; first used by the Egyptians and Greeks â&#x20AC;&#x201C; who made use of colour

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148 > and light to restore energy to the body, be it physical,

taps, which have been fitted in all the public bath-

emotional, spiritual or mental. The colours influence


the equilibrium of charkas, the centres of energy streams related to the major glands.

> The Chinese are so confident of Cobra’s quality products that they have insisted on using only

Cobra in public places

Cobra products in at least 34 McDonald’s outlets throughout China, and several new hospitals.

Since the spread of the deadly Swine Flu virus

> After supplying plumbing and sanitaryware for

across the world, Cobra Watertech has experienced

the 2007 Cricket World Cup stadiums in the West

a growing demand for touch free sensor taps.

Indies, Cobra received a further order to fit out the Kensington Oval in Barbados.

Touch free electronic smart taps – in the latest Cobratron range – are being installed in areas where

> Cobra has just completed a re-vamp of the luxurious

there is a particularly high volume of human traffic

Sugar Beach Hotel in Mauritius and is currently

such as schools, malls, airports, petrol station rest rooms, hospitals and restaurants. Not only is the modern design of the mixer aesthetically pleasing, but it is also vandal resistant. Taps and mixers in the Cobratron range have options that can be programmed to supply cold water, heated water or water set to a desired temperature.

fitting out a five-star hotel on the Easter Islands in the South Pacific, and has also dispatched a huge order for a grand casino/hotel in Santiago, Chile. > The Cobratron range has made its way into a number of public buildings all over the world including the likes of the Intercontinental Hotel UK, the Olympic Stadium Greece, Turkey’s Samsun airport, shopping malls in South Africa and Australia, German post offices, Expo Guadalajara Mexico and the

Cobra – the obvious choice > The Cobra brand is fast entrenching itself in many countries around the globe from Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, South America and even the Middle East. The fact that Cobra can tailor-make its products for its clients’ specific needs is a major appeal for them, making Cobra the product of choice in many more countries around the world.

New York Times building to mention a few. Locally: > The Southern Sun Hyde Park Hotel chose Cobra’s Leading Edge range for the public areas and the Taryn range for the hotel’s 132 luxury bathrooms. > The Damara range part of Cobra’s Style collection, was inspired by a selection of taps and mixers designed exclusively for Cape Town’s 7-star One

> Thousands of travellers passing through Hong

& Only Hotel in the V&A Waterfront.

Kong’s busy international airport are sure to come across South African quality design and manufac-

> Cobra was the product of choice for Durban’s new

turing in the form of Cobra Watertech’s elbow action

iconic landmark, the giant Moses Mabhida Stadium

150 > that has recently been completed and the R6.8

and officials’ change rooms, while standard Carina

billion King Shaka International Airport (north of

showers will be fitted for all stadium support staff.

Durban), where contractors are working 24 hours to complete work before the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Cobra wins an SABS Design Excellence award

> Also under construction, at Inanda, North of Durban,

The SABS Design Institute award of excellence was

is the multi-billion rand Bridge City shopping Centre

awarded to world renowned industrial designer,

linked to a 4000-home housing unit and an under-

Brian Steinhobel, for his design of Cobra Watertech’s

ground railway station. The R750-million shopping

three top products, the innovative Callisto, Tapno

complex chose Cobra plumbing and accessories

and Leading Edge range of taps and mixers.

worth more than R1,5 million. The Callisto, Leading Edge and Tapno ranges boast > Cobra Watertech has also secured the contract to

innovative features such as angle regulating valves with

supply R1-million worth of taps, flush valves, geysers

exposed mixers; temperature and flow-controllable

and other bathroom accessories to the second

cartridges for energy and water conservation. Tapno’s

phase of the multi-billion rand Arbour Town develop-

stylish wedge design gracefully complements modern

ment, a mixed use project which consists of a mega

architectural design trends. The mixers have a trendy

shopping centre in Amanzimtoti, just 15km South

feature that shapes the flow from the taps into soft,

of Durban. It opens to the public later this year.

non-splash aerated water.

> The contract to supply Blue Waters Hotel, Holiday

The Callisto’s vertical architectonic style has crisp

Inn Garden Court, North Beach, and Holiday Inn

edges and no-fuss lines combined with intelligent

Marine Parade is worth R1-million. The new Fairmont

practicality and subtle sophistication. Steinhobel’s

Hotel in the prestigious Zimbali Estate on the North

design concept has achieved a classical, geometric

Coast has also gone with Cobra, ordering an esti-

form that, although modern, will have timeless ele-

mated R2-million of its products, which includes


the exclusive Damara range, while the Oyster Box Hotel at Umhlanga is using up to R700 000 worth

The award was confirmation that Cobra has been accept-

of Cobra products in its refurbishment projects

ed globally in the world of design and Cobra has

currently underway.

initiated a South African design concept that can stand up with the best in the world. The company

> As part of the Peter Mokaba Sports Complex refur-

has continually kept abreast with market trends and

bishment, R1-million’s worth of Cobra products

is at the forefront of cutting edge research and tech-

has been specified, including Cobra flush valves


and urinals, metering taps in public areas and the classic range of Taryn mixers in VIP areas. In addi-

All Cobra products are supplied with SABS certifica-

tion, the Cobra Carina range of basin mixers and

tion along with Cobra’s service back up and 10 year

thermostatic showers will be fitted in the players’

guarantee on taps and mixers. <

151 >

The Steinhobel range of taps and mixer which won an SABS Design Excellence Award in 2009.

152 >

ILLUMINATING THE WORLD With the current state of the planet it’s no surprise that almost every component of our daily life is now going green. Everything from the cars we drive, to the packaging of our food has made a positive change to become more environmentally sustainable. If we, who care about the environment, want to make a change for the sake of our planet, why shouldn’t our living and entertainment spaces also reflect that? One of the many companies addressing this in an innovative manner is Kubik™, a company specialising in product development for the themed entertainment and architecture industries. The Kubik™ product range configures contemporary luminaries into illuminated walls, floors and ceilings, tailor-made to customer specifications. The separate luminaries are constructed

into different configurations by means of a patented modular pre-engineered aluminium frame system. The end result is a sleek, minimalist architectural feature that can be incorporated into buildings, displays or homes. “Now going green in our decor doesn’t mean living in a mud hut,” says Dirk Durnez, managing director and founder. “Kubik™ has developed living solutions that add a touch of sophistication and innovation. These solutions add visual appeal to our surrounding spaces without cost to our planet.” The Kubik™ concept was developed by Durnez some four years ago. He was involved in many projects such as Disney Paris, Warner Bros Movieworld and

153 >

Tradecorp lobby in Johannesburg, signage and counter both by Kubik™. Design: Paul Sayer. LEFT: The largest illuminated LED floor in the world was manufactured in Cape Town and installed in a Dubai showroom in less than four days. The 45 000 computer controlled LEDs use the same amount of power as one medium-sized halogen spotlight. Architect: Darnton EGS Ltd (UK).

specialised construction projects in the USA, Europe and Asia. The company’s long line of ventures also include almost the entire theming of Ratanga Junction, dockside and major themed construction elements of Canal Walk, the Cape Grace Hotel and a huge involvement in casinos in South Africa.

From the iconic Kubik totems on the Plaza of the newly renovated Cape Town International Airport, the entire roof is illuminated. Design: Urban Studio. Engineering: Kwezi V3.

GREEN SOLUTIONS “For those who are still learning about the constituents of a green product the three basic elements are Reduce, Re-use and Recycle,” says Durnez. He explains how Kubik™ incorporates these in their products and processes:

When approached by the Volkswagen Group to design and fit out their Autopavilion, development of a unique Reduce modular construction system began, thus the birth > We only use low energy lamps such as fluorescents, of Kubik™. CFLS and LEDS. In the short time Kubik™ has been around, it has re> Due to the use of quality electrical components, ceived a sought-after SABS Design Excellence Award in up to 80% of energy is saved. 2009 and the work done at the Autopavilion received the IE magazine award for best showroom in 2008. > Kubik LEDs have a life expectancy of up to 10 years.

154 > > Special marine-quality alloy and anodising make Kubik’s products resistant and long-lasting.

Recycle > Kubik extrusions contain 30% recycled material and the acrylics contain 20% recycled material. > The aluminium off-cuts and even the saw dust is 100 % recycled. > The glass panels, used inside the frames, are 100% recyclable. > Acrylics are also now 100% recyclable.

Re-use > Thanks to the unique modular system, frames can be dismantled and reconstructed in a very short time. Durnez further explains why their solutions are special: “Kubik’s solutions are based on three constituents: modular, customisable and pre-engineered. Modular entails that the design is made up of different parts which compose or create a whole, meaning that they are somewhat detachable. That being said, this unique feature contributes to it being customisable, allowing you to create your living space to suite your style or your needs for that particular space. The fact that the solutions are preengineered means that all components are fabricated beforehand and are then assembled on site, resulting in no on-site construction and no need for artisans. This allows for efficient, fast and dust-free installation.” Kubik™ offers everything from illuminated walls, floors and doors, furniture and display and exhibition stands. Projects are pre-engineered, and CAD and CAM services mean that projects are executed 100% according to design specifications.

ABB, a world leader in automation solutions technology, used Kubik in combination with LED backlit 3-Form alabaster to portray their quality brand in their headquarters’ lobby and offices. Design: Interiors for Change.

Marcel’s Frozen Yoghurt is one of the many franchises that have embraced the advantages of the Kubik systems. Design: Studio C architects.

A recent exhibition held at the CTICC, revealed a new addition to the Kubik™ family, Eco Verdi. This concept, which combines their existing solutions with living material like plants and water, are very appealing to the eye and also part of the go green revolution. These concepts give a fresh take on green decor. The colours and

155 >

An entire Samsung shop was pre-manufactured in Cape Town, packed in 242 boxes, flown to Dar es Salaam and installed in less than two weeks by one Kubik teamleader and five local workers. Design: Samsung Korea.

The new refurbished Eikestad Mall in Stellenbosch is entirely fitted out with Kubik ceilings. Architect: DHK.

The Green Home Exhibition, which was hosted by the CTICC in February, showcased Eco Verdi, which is a infusion of Kubik solutions and living material.

This 60s roadhouse outside the Volkswagen factory evokes the good old days but is made in a 21st century methods. Design: Seipone Exhibits.

lines are refreshing and the shapes are structural and illuminated. The idea, which is referred to as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;vertical gardenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, incorporates plants and light boxes to create a beautiful and revitalising ambiance. Still staying true to their green roots, Eco Verdi uses bamboo in their solutions as bamboo regenerates

within a space of four months, whereas a tree could take years to grow back to its original size. These solutions are also modular, customisable and pre-engineered. <

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157 >


“Architecture is a difficult profession but it offers a lifetime of growth and inspiration. It is a physical expression of the dreams and ambitions of mankind. As architects, we reveal what we think about life and society and our design responsibility is immense if we aim to leave a legacy of value.” – Adrian Maserow

158 >

A review of AMA Architects over the decades “At AMA Architects, we never take for granted the privilege of designing buildings. The diversity of our work under one roof is a sign that with each opportunity, we gain new knowledge, always seeking refinement, efficiency and presence.”

into an urban framework, much in the same way that the now popular ‘New Urbanism’ has unfolded. “My Masters thesis in architecture was an exploration into design processes that really interested me. I use these processes today as I think in the abstract in order to embrace the holistic vision that holds function, humanity, art and poetry in all design. The most significant mentors and academics that influenced my aca-

Adrian Maserow graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1981 with a Bachelors Degree in Architecture. He then went on to study for his Masters under the guidance of Professor Guedes and Professor Dennis Radford, completing it in 1985.

demic life and later my ability to practice architecture, were Pancho Guedes and Leon van Schaik.” Pancho Guedes lives in Portugal and has been one of the most passionate promoters of architecture as an art. Leon van Schaik runs The Masters Programme at The

Maserow’s thesis towards his BA in Architecture that was published in 1981 and was titled: A strategy for an urban pensioner community. It considered the human life cycle as critical to the designer’s field of interest and integrated a pensioner community housing project Sandton Towers.

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia. After 9 years as a partner of Koseff Maserow van der Walt, he went on to form Adrian Maserow Architects when the former practice was disbanded in 1993. With

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161 >

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a change of shareholdings and new partners on board in 1999, the practice was renamed AMA Architects. In 2001, AMA Architects reinvented the firm’s mission and expand its opportunities. In 2002, the interior design firm, D12 Interiors was added to the group to complement the AMA service offering. “I started AMA Architects a few short months before South Africa’s first democratic elections,” says Maserow. “These were remarkable times. Parts of the nation feared the worst. Some people were stockpiling tinned food to take them through an imagined period of no basic services and food shortages.” Maserow’s keen timing was fortunate. His ‘positioning’ equally so, as he joined forces with some of the country’s most vibrant and dynamic developers in the metro area of Johannesburg’s northern suburbs, which in particular included Sandton.

Council for Architects since 1983. He is further a member of The Royal Institute of British Architects and The South African Property Owners Association. The practice is guided by a committed belief in the contribution that good architectural design has towards the life of the community. Maserow, together with principals Gerald Pereira and Marco Fanucci, are all deeply committed to an exuberant and evocative contemporary architecture which is appropriate to the age in which we live. “One of the most stimulating aspects of architecture is that, in designing buildings for different functions, we become familiar with the workings of those businesses and industries. I have designed motor showrooms, golf clubhouses and retirement villages. I have spent valuable time with retailers anticipating

Adrian Maserow has been a member of The Institute of South African Architects and the South African

how their centres will be supported. Hoteliers have given me insight into their functionality. Through

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163 > working with logistics engineers, I have gained knowledge of the flows and requirements for large distribution warehouses. I have designed head offices for banks, advertising agencies, parastatals, medical aid companies and leaders in the steel and diamond industries. All of this is so exciting because my staff and I invariably deal with the leaders of those industries and work at a high level of human endeavour and completion.”

Insight into life as an architect “There is no training prior to going to architecture school that gives you any indication that you may be able to be an architect. What you perhaps have is a sense that you embrace the ‘things’ of life a little differently from others around you – a piece of wood that was chiseled into a shape, a strip of leather that was made into a belt, building models, paper sculptures, mud houses, tree houses and the like. . . but do you know that you want to be an architect?” comments Maserow. “You have probably also enjoyed exploring a cave, hiding in a dugout, climbing into a dormer roof or creeping into a cellar. You have walked the streets and alleys, climbed stairways at school, hidden under storerooms and made your own cushion homes in the lounge. You’ve had hobbies like sketching, playing music, writing poetry and singing and dancing. These are the experiences that I’ve had and found that other architects have had, and that is why we have become architects!” Architecture is different to those professions that only have logical and knowledge-based analytical outcomes to work with, because architecture is an art. It is one of the few professions that demands poetic interpretation in order to have a meaningful impact that transcends function which results in delight. Shelter, of course, is a necessity and the provision of it is an imperative. But to build identifiable communities

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that are adequately nurtured means that the entire framework of habitation must embrace a holistic view of man that satisfies body, emotion and spirit. “The ego plays a strong role in surviving as an architect in a consumer society because of the unrelenting competitiveness that you face on a daily basis. This either strengthens you or diminishes you as an architect.

164 > Much architecture has been a knee-jerk reaction to the perceived market place conditions, resulting in a kind of prescription architecture seen as a universal pill that provides ‘cures’ for all situations. This is, of course, extremely limiting and disappointing and it negates all that we are able to achieve.” “But beyond that, the design responsibility of the architect is immense if we aim to leave a legacy of value. The poetic aspects of architecture inhabit the centre stage of society. We must design with inspiration and it is our responsibility to shape our architectural world with spaces and places of iconic merit. Life is celebrated through architecture and the bringing of inspired function and beauty to the physical world is the responsibility of the talented architect.”

Our allies and friends are so important to our viability in this profession. But the danger that we sell out is always present. Our fragile egos could easily take us away from our centre, our inner strength.”

Sketching abstracts into reality As a student of architecture, Maserow explored the tools of architecture and the ability to compose buildings through drawing. The pen or pencil was his preferred medium for this exploration. “Sketches have been a strong part of my life as an architect. The BIC pen allows for the explorations and thinking processes that I use. Beauty is sought, ideas are reconsidered and notions are revealed through

“Nevertheless, so many aspects of this demanding profession can trip you in your attempts to run ahead.

the workings and reworkings of lines on a page. This is where design starts and always tells its truth. I



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165 >

believe that no beautiful design can be built without its notion having been sketched on paper.”

Presentations Conceptual perspectives.

“Our clients are vital to our endeavour and the most promising relationships evolve where the level of respect and our joint mission is powerfully focused.” Presentations are important, as communicating a vision from the abstract is vital to the level of acceptance, buy-in and promotion of the architecture. The communication ranges from sketches through to polished 3D renderings and animations. For the last six years, AMA’s in-house presentation facility has been run by Lana Myburgh, who has taken presentations to a new world-class standard of presentation and innovation.

The Place, Morningside.

166 >

The need to be significant

and hope and we understand our responsibility in

Architecture is an art and yet it has a direct function

standing the responsibilities that they have towards

and purpose for humanity that elevates it simulta-

the world’s dwindling resources and energy sup-

neously into the realm of significance and presence.

plies, the partners at the practice make every effort

uplifting its people through world-class design.” Under-

to adhere to the correct use of renewable energy. “AMA Architects have excelled in the areas of archi-

These issues are always brought into focus with

tecture that include housing, office buildings, retail

their contemporary projects.

centres, refurbishments, golf clubhouses, apartment buildings and interior design,” says Maserow. “Our

“For our design team, we are driven first by an inspi-

clients include private business, banks, parastatals

ration. We then find an order from which we distill

and listed property companies. Our friends and col-

an idea worthy of design excellence. In order to be

leagues are businesspeople, developers, agents,

inspired, we suspect that buildings have ‘hearts and

engineers, quantity surveyors, landlords, bankers,

souls’. Whilst our projects must perform their mate-

suppliers and contractors.”

rial functions first, the architecture must be imbued with meaning through the buildings’ ability to ‘speak

Through its direct relationship with D12 Interiors, AMA

to us’ – through a sustaining and encouraging vision.

Architects has been able to provide the full service design needs of its clients, delivering a full range of design services right through to the procurement of detailed assets like crockery, cutlery and artwork. Sarene Lyon Nel heads up the D12 interior design team, and brings a strong and professional leadership to their offering. The firm’s position in the marketplace has been strengthened through a dogged determination to always be relevant and at the cusp of need and vision. “Most of the architecture commissioned is when there is a trust that the architect will perform responsibly. We attempt to grow that trust through a fresh approach towards the analysis of a project’s needs and availability to consider and review many options, with a worldly and a contemporary vision of the architectural field is always an advantage.” Taking the analysis to its broader context, Maserow acknowledges that “South Africa is a land of promise

Views of Paddock House.

167 > We attempt to build environments that will exert a Sitting through the assessments of the chosen projects, kind of ‘magic’ that lives well beyond the functional Maserow was reminded why he chose a career as a practising architect. From 730 entry submissions, experience and its obvious environment.” 250 were singled out and presented to a esteemed panel of adjudicators, representing the best of the best in the discipline. World Architectural Festival –

Barcelona, October 2008

highlighting the extraordinary role of architecture in

“Many of the entries came from the ‘starchitect’ firms, who seem to operate wonderful ‘talent-seeking production houses’. They work ‘out of the box’ in order to make their unique moments in architecture and, through this, they achieve prominence and recognition. But, throughout the world, the highest proportion of architects are still smaller firms which are often a collaboration, a group of inspired and passionate teams that can transform the field of architecture. These groups are adventurous and experimental with purpose and

the world’s economy and in society generally.

I was grateful to see their works.”

In October 2008, Maserow attended the first World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Barcelona. Prior to this gathering, the international nature of architecture and the universal cultural aspirations that architecture represents, had not been expressed in any global event. The WAF reviewed the realised buildings of the profession’s global achievement on the ground,

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Views of House Bentel.


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171 > “It is often strangely exciting to travel. Away from your mother tongue, it is stimulating to be an alien in a foreign city, far from the routine of regular day-to-day life. Barcelona is a really exciting, passionate and promising city and it was a fantastic venue for this world forum. It is a magnet for people that enjoy its drive and humanity. Its architecture has been recognised as a strong proponent of the contemporary and the modern. This dizzy combination of the World Architectural Festival and the City of Barcelona was so outrageously appealing. I soaked up the architectural genius and excitement of our age, much like a student would at the foot of his masters.” “As architects, we engage with each other with a knowing recognition of our similar fates. Make friends with an architect and you will likely meet someone who urges you to celebrate your day to day life. We also often share the view that our age is far too formulaic, too calculating, too careful and too inhibited perhaps to recognize the magnificence in which we live.” One of the most interesting discussions and debates revolved around the question: Who is the client? It is Concept for dry docks in China.

a simple question, but one that is problematic for architects. Is the client the person who pays the fee, or is the client the end user (often someone entirely different)? Is the client, perhaps, society itself? Or, in respect of sustainability, is the client in fact the Earth? The conclusion was that the ‘place’ was the client.

The expression of identity and the aspect of significance At this time in the planet’s history, it is the dominant global economy that finds expression in the New Modernism. Westernisation has had a profound influence on the expression of the built form, and it inevitably changes the nature of ‘the place’. The current modernity is dominated by the Northern Atlantic cultures. It is symbolised in an outward looking, modern ‘Coca Cola’ brand of architecture and much as it may be loathed by traditionalists, as Jencks once noted: “The cultured Parisians loathed Eiffel’s grotesque iron tower, but it is now the emblem of France!”

172 > Architects have a ‘duty of care’ to take issue with. The matter of identity, although only partly to do with architecture, is very personal. It has to do with who you are, your sameness and your differences. Architects all come from communities. They have a ‘collective memory’. The world metropolis absorbs the mix of cultures. This is signified in the contemporary architecture which we subscribe to.. People are alive to a popular admiration of modern architecture. Interestingly, technology goes side by side with capitalism. It homogenises function and, therefore, design. Architecture concentrates on what is important to people, and thereby finds its significance. “In the end, I identify with Ken Yang’s philosophy that states that ‘giving pleasure is one of the most important aspects of architecture’. For me, it’s the sensibility of the contemporary mind that seeks clarity of purpose through form and art that most attracts me. I admire incisive resolution and uphold architecture worked from a continuous flow of refinement of the moment. Our greatest goal is a process that is simultaneously exhilarating and elusive, that moment of recognition that holds the meaning of creation as its Helen Road Offices.

greatest purpose which gives us identity,” Maserow states. “For AMA Architects, architecture of merit is the physical expression of the dreams and ambitions of our society. We design buildings to attract people to them – our cities must speak to us of community, technology, materiality and the hope of its people and its spaces in the African light. We design public spaces and private spaces, some with largesse and some intimate. But the ultimate responsibility of the architect is the Art of Architecture, which must function at an optimal level. We attempt to build environments that will exert a kind of ‘magic’ that lives well beyond the functional experience and its obvious environment. Through this, we find meaning and memory in our architecture. Our architecture talks to a greater purpose – it provides an uplifting and human framework for our cities,” Maserow concludes. “We have learnt that the four pillars of our design work are embedded in the concept of significance, presence, materiality and emptiness. Architecture has the capacity to be inspiring, engaging and life-enhancing. It is through this process of architectural exploration that we find our purpose.” <

Okirand Construction COMPANY PROFILE Okirand has been active in the structural steel industry since it was established in 1987. The workshop is situated in Wadeville, Germiston and has +/- 3000 m2 of factory space under cover. The workshop is specifically set up to meet the requirements of structural steel fabrication and painting of fabricated steel. Our services include for detailing of workshop drawings, the supply of steel, fabrication, prime painting, delivery, erection and final painting of steel after erection. We have completed projects from as small as 5 tons to as large as 1,350 tons and can offer positive references as to our achievements.

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175 >


Always pioneering better accommodation formulas for the growing hospitality industry, Southern Sun has devised a new brand that is fashioned around practical accommodation that delivers quality, yet without unnecessary frills. Stay Easy by Southern Sun is a brand that speaks for itself – it’s a collection of budget hotels that cater specially for the business and leisure traveller in convenient locations that are vibrant, yet not necessarily high profile areas, such as central Pretoria and Eastgate in Gauteng, Rustenburg, Century City in the Western Cape, Emnotweni in Nelspruit and Emalahleni (previously Witbank) in Mpumalanga and now Pietermaritzburg. With 128 en suite rooms, facilities for small conferences, a guest swimming pool and ample parking, the Stay Easy Pietermaritzburg, the latest addition to the Stay Easy stable, has been constructed with the environment in mind.

Designed by Bentel Associates International on behalf of owners, the Liberty Group, the R40-million Stay Easy Pietermaritzburg Hotel is situated at the gateway to the central business district of the city, within the Liberty Midlands Mall complex, which was also designed by Bentel Associates International. This new addition contributes to the Liberty Group’s strategy of providing mixed use developments where retail facilities, entertainment and accommodation exist side-by-side, providing a total solution to the precinct. As a result of the high visibility from the highway, there was a greater emphasis on the need for the aesthetics

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to blend with that of the shopping mall. “Part of the design brief was to create a contemporary building that responded to its context while satisfying the Southern Sun Stay Easy design requirements,” comments Luke Chandler, director at Bentel Associates International. “The height restriction played a role in layout. As a result, we conceptualised a T-shaped building that could achieve a large enough footprint to accommodate all the rooms while, at the same time, ensuring that the walking distances from the lift lobby to the furthest room was not more than 40m.” xajhkva

In keeping with the contemporary image of the shopping mall, the exterior features exposed steel and raw stone elements. The facades have been ‘broken up’ into a series of planes, some accentuated, some receding, resulting in a three-dimensional building that holds the interest, while still maintaining a human scale. The colour palette is a collection of cool contemporary tones with the occasional splash of bright colour to create focal points. Contributing to the drive to lower the group’s carbon footprint, the building incorporates locally produced bricks, solar power for water heating, room key cards to control electricity consumption when the rooms are vacant and the use of a grey water system that collects storm water for re-distribution into the irrigation network. “As a brand, Stay Easy is establishing itself as an environmentally friendly operation,” says Dhayalan Naidoo, Director of Operations, Stay Easy by Southern Sun. “Intrinsic to the brand message is the knowledge that the group is striving to better manage operational activities so that they do not impinge on the environment.”

Finishing touches being applied to the Stay Easy before it opened for business.

In conjunction with the Heritage Environmental Management Group, the Stay Easy operations management determines each hotel’s carbon emissions, using the Heritage Carbon Calculator. Each month,

178 >

the professional team of the hotel and Southern Sun, has built a Drop-in Community Centre for the children of a nearby informal settlement, known as France. Liberty Group has contributed R2,4 million towards making the project a reality. The Reach Out initiative was introduced through Liberty Midlands Mall, that adopted the cause as part of an ongoing community outreach program, through which initiatives are launched to uplift local underprivileged communities.

Views of the bar area and a twin bedroom.

electricity and water consumption is monitored, as well as the amount of waste that is produced. Heritage further audits every hotel twice a year and provides valuable feedback relating to the group’s environmental management. “There is definitely a growing global movement towards what is known as ‘responsible tourism’. This not only involves the obvious methods of reducing carbon emissions, but also the policies of buying locally and supporting local businesses and communities,” Naidoo adds. Taking its community consciousness a step further, Liberty Group, together with various sponsors, including

France has numerous child-headed households as a result of the AIDS pandemic. There is little running water, hot meals are scarce and there is no one to help the children with their homework. Partnering with a number of sponsors, the Reach Out community group will manage the Drop In Centre that will provide a haven where children can feel safe and nurtured. There will be a community room where children will have access to meals and homework supervision. Toilet facilities, a laundry, kitchen, clinic and a social worker’s office, as well as an outside play area, will all contribute towards a heightened sense of wellbeing amongst the children of the community. To extend its efforts to reduce its environmental impact, the management of the Stay Easy Pietermaritzburg will further provide linen and obsolete equipment to the centre, while the Liberty Midlands Mall maintenance team will be on call to assist with any maintenance. “Hospitality is a value,” says Naidoo. “It’s a value that extends beyond the service to tourists and travellers, to the communities where the establishment is based. By contributing together with the main sponsor, Liberty, and various other sponsors to the establishment of the Drop-in Community Centre, we will not only bring love and hope to these disadvantaged families, we will uplift and empower the children to make the most of their lives.” <

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King Shaka International Airport >> Control Tower



P.O. Box 1341, NORTH RIDING, 2162 Tel:+27 (0)11 708-4650 Fax:+27 (0)11 708-7850 Email:

183 >

KZNâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ECONOMY SET TO TAKE OFF By Bev Hermanson

Located at La Mercy, approximately 35 kilometers north of Durbanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s city centre, King Shaka International Airport is a ground breaking co-operative project agreement that was reached between the National Department of Transport, the Provincial Government of KwaZulu-Natal and Airports Company South Africa (ACSA). It is also the first greenfields airport to be built in the past 50 years in South Africa and possibly the only one currently being built in the world.

185 > Photo by Russell Cleaver

Replacing the existing Durban International Airport, which will eventually be decommissioned, King Shaka International Airport is expected to open on 1 May 2010, just over a month before the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The airport, which was designed by a consortium of architects called the Ilembe Architectural Joint Venture, consisting of Osmond Lange Architects and Planners, Ruben Reddy Architects, Shabangu Architects, Mthulisi Msimang Architects and NSM Designs, will cost over R7-billion by the time it is completed. With a terminal floor area of 103,000 m², runway and taxiways covering 400,000 m² and facilities to support the airport including administration offices and transit accommodation for tourists, an integrated agricultural export zone and an IT platform, the airport is making a significantly positive impact on the economy of the region.

BACKGROUND The prospect of building a brand new airport for Durban was mooted during the 70s and in fact some initial infrastructural work was completed between 1975 and 1982. Due to the economic recession of the 80s, the entire project was halted and it wasn’t until the 90s that the notion of relocating the Durban International Airport was revived. Extensive research, analysis and agonizing over whether to relocate or upgrade the existing airport ensued, however in July 2006 it was finally concluded that the existing airport, even when fully developed, would not provide enough capacity for the region. It was decided that ACSA would develop, manage and own the airport while the Dube TradePort Company would develop a cargo facility, trade and agri zone nearby.

186 >

DUBE TRADEPORT The siting of the new airport complements the development of the Dube TradePort, which is situated on 2060 ha of land that is perfectly accessible by the two major ports of Durban and Richards Bay and the rail and road links with Gauteng. Wholly funded by the Kzn Department of Economic Development, the Dube TradePort is intended to be a world class freight logistics facility that will be geared to attract a wide range of activities that will stimulate economic advancement in the region. The Dube TradePort platform is split into three sections namely: Trade Zone, Agri Zone and Support Zone (joint venture with ACSA). The Trade Zone, which includes the cargo handling terminal at the airport, will stimulate

the import and export of high value goods by air to and from KwaZulu Natal. The Support Zone has been designed to cater to the corporate sector as well as the suppliers of services and tourist accommodation through the provision of offices, buildings, conference and entertainment facilities, while the Agri Zone will involve the cultivation of high value farming products for export. Anyone travelling by road between Johannesburg and Durban will testify to the enormous volume of road freight traffic that uses the route daily. When completed, the Dube TradePort and the King Shaka International Airport will alleviate the pressure on this route by facilitating that the more than 50 000 tons of manufactured goods produced in the region will be air freighted directly from the local airport in the future,

Photos by Russell Cleaver

187 >



188 >

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189 > Photo by Russell Cleaver

rather than having to undergo the arduous transportation to Gauteng for airfreighting from the Highveld airports. The new cargo terminal at King Shaka, in fact, will have the capacity to handle over 100 000 tons of cargo per year, thereby allowing for considerable growth in the future.

management construction consultants, Turner Townsend, and Indiza, led by Grinaker and LTA. When the latter was disqualified for failing to meet certain tender requirements, an appeal was lodged at the Pietermaritzburg High Court, but was subsequently dismissed, leaving the path clear for Ilembe to continue.


The construction began in late August 2007, giving the main construction team and more than 2100 subcontractors just over 2 years to complete everything.

One of the bones of contention that delayed the start of the airport construction phase was when it came time to the awarding of the contract for the construction. Amongst the bidders for the tender were two consortia â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the 55% Black owned Ilembe Consortium comprising Group Five, Mvelaphanda Holdings and WBHO Construction, supported by construction and

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES Prior to commencement of the construction, there were a number of environmental aspects that needed to be considered. For an undertaking of this size, a full environmental impact study was essential. Clearly

190 >

noise pollution and increased traffic were important considerations. However, the assessments also revealed a possible threat to the bird population in the vicinity, in particular the 3 million barn swallows that migrate every year from Europe to roost in an area close to the airport. Known as the Mount Moreland Reedbed, this site is in the flight path of aircraft that will be using the airport. Concerns raised not only included the possible disturbance of the bird colony on the ground, but also the possible hazard of birds in flight putting aircraft safety at risk. Whilst the idea of bird strikes is alarming, this is a hazard that is regularly encountered by all airports worldwide. From the intensive research conducted by ACSA and the Mt. Mooreland community, it was discovered that

the swallows rarely fly as high as the aircraft and their main activities in the area are 30 minutes before dusk and just before dawn. Two solutions were found to allow the birds and the airport to co-exist. Firstly, the flight schedulers will take these critical times into account and plan around them, to avoid unnecessary risk to the air carriers and secondly, a special bird detection radar system has been instituted by ACSA to monitor the movements of the birds. The added bonus is that this system is able to detect the presence of bats at night, as well. This will be the first time in the world that a system of this kind, which will be integrated into the operational procedures of the airport, will be utilised in South Africa. The noise pollution and fuel transportation to the new airport site were also issued with a positive record of decision.

Photos by Russell Cleaver

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193 >

DESIGN OF THE AIRPORT As with the building of the Gautrain and the 2010 stadia, the architects and engineers travelled to many countries looking for lessons that needed to be learnt. For the King Shaka Airport, the opportunity to plan a building that was to be built from scratch was most welcome as the provision for expansion was an automatic part of the initial plan. “It’s in the expansion that most existing airports have suffered enormous growing pains,” comments Victor Utria of Osmond Lange Architects. “No one predicted the extent of the future demand and how passenger volumes would exert so much pressure on the facilities. It was interesting to see that, although they all have to perform exactly the same functions, no two airports are the same. With the planning of the King Shaka International Airport, we had the luxury of being able to plan for expansion in an orderly fashion. That being said, there is no way of knowing how changes in technology will take airport design off onto a different tangent in the future.” Due to the sheer size of the project, the design responsibilities were split amongst the five design firms in the consortium. Durban-based NSM Designs were tasked with the planning for the cargo terminal, while Ruben Reddy Architects handled the passenger terminal airside corridor, the cooling towers complex and the external urban fabric that encompassed the roads, parking areas and pedestrian walkways. Mthulisi Msimang Architects from Pietermaritzburg handled the multi-storey parkade and office building, while Shabangu Architects from Johannesburg was responsible for the car rental facilities, the control tower and most of the support buildings. Osmond Lange Architects & Planners handled

the co-ordination as well as the design of the passenger terminal building and the retail facilities. “An airport in its entirety is a machine and all of the different parts are equally important to ensure that the airport functions efficiently,” says Utria of the split of responsibilities. Certainly, as a mere passenger, it is difficult to understand everything that is involved in the running of such a large facility. This is indeed why airports take such a long time in the planning process. “Durban Airport took 30 years to completion once the site was identified. Heathrow’s Terminal 5 took 40 years to completion. In that time, one hopes that air travel, as one knows it, hasn’t changed too dramatically.”


R 7.2bn design & construction contract awarded to the Ilembe Consortium

23 August 2007

Positive EIA (environmental impact assessment) record of decision (ROD) issued

30 September 2007

Ground breaking ceremony

31 August 2007

Site work commenced

30 September 2008

Control Tower topped out

30 June 2009

Terminal Building topped out

30 October 2009

Runway will be completed

First quarter 2010

Durban International Airport, will be decommissioned. New International Airport will be commissioned

29 April 2010

Contractual completion

194 >



Equivalent to

Runway & taxiway pavements

400 000 m2

100 Soccer pitches

Terminal Building footprint

35 000 m

9 Soccer pitches

Terminal floor area

103 000 m2

27 Soccer pitches

Earth to be moved

5.8 Million m2

2,500 Olympic swimming pools

Concrete to be poured

100 000 m

50 Olympic swimming pools

Structural steel to be erected

4 700 tonnes

½ the Eiffel Tower


230 000 tonnes

35 km of 4 lane highway

Electrical cabling

700 km

From Durban to East London



Photo by Nicolas Gonzalez

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Physical Address 1170 - 11th Street PO Clemaville 3602

197 > Photo by Russell Cleaver


Road Network

Landside This area is outside the terminal building, in areas used by people and vehicles. It includes the roads network, with access to all areas of the airport precinct, car rental facilities, public parkades, shaded parking areas, administrative buildings and various other services and facilities.

There is a system of roads feeding into the Airport and Dube Trade Portâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s road circulation networks, with principle access off the main collector road that links the N2 and the R102. The southbound carriageway to the N2 will be tolled. ACSA is currently negotiating concessions with South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) for the broader airport community.

The area is freely accessible to all users of the airport. Pedestrian and vehicle movements are guided and managed by ACSA with the support of eThekweni Metro Police.

Local access roads will allow for ingress and egress to the staff parking, open parking, multi-storey parkade, car rental, and drop-off and pick-up areas.

198 > Photo by Russell Cleaver

Pick–up and Drop–off Areas The pick-up areas are situated at grade, alongside the piazza, with separate provision for private vehicles and public transport. The drop-off area is situated on the elevated roadway, outside the Departures Hall at the terminal building.

Public Transport Public transport facilities have been provided within the precinct and cater for both bus and taxi demands.

Pedestrian Circulation Pedestrian movement within the development area is catered for through the provision of sidewalks where significant numbers of pedestrians are anticipated.

A conscious effort has been made to minimise conflict between pedestrians, buildings and vehicles through the development of a ‘pedestrian sensitive’ traffic routing plan. Where conflicts are large and unavoidable, grade separation of vehicle and pedestrian movements has been provided.

Terminal Immediate focus at the new International Airport is inevitably the terminal building, with its impressive 150-metre roof span. Considering that the new airport is almost triple the size of the old airport, it is here that the majority of the airport staff will spend their time, and it is where all passengers and the people who transport, meet and greet them, congregate. The building incorporates the very latest design concepts to make the working environment as effective as possible

200 >

and to make a passenger’s movement through the necessary processes from arrival (either from land or air) to departure (air or land) as smooth and pleasant as possible. The terminal is clearly demarcated between those areas freely accessible to the general public, through to security checkpoints. From there, either a boarding pass or security permit is required for access.

This area includes the passenger holding lounges and allows access to the apron area, where aircraft are parked and serviced. Passengers with a valid boarding pass are restricted to specific areas within the general ‘airside’. People with a valid security permit are only allowed access to those areas specified on their permit.



This is the part of the airport that is completely ‘security controlled’. It is bounded by the security checkpoints in the terminal building and extends to the airfield itself. It is only accessible by a passenger with a valid boarding pass or airport staff with a relevant security permit.

Construction sites Six construction sites were set up for the earthworks to prepare the runway, taxiways and aircraft parking areas (the size of 100 soccer pitches).

Photos by Russell Cleaver


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202 > Photos by Nicolas Gonzalez (top left & right) and Russell Cleaver (top left & right)

Personnel on site


In mid-2008, there were 2 100 contractors and sub-

The initial airport capacity will allow for 7.5 million

contractors on site along with 200 earth-moving ma-

passengers a year with opportunities for significant

chines. In October 2009, 7 732 people worked on site.

expansion, should it be required (figures are projected at 45 million passengers by 2060).

Courier and parcel facility Aircraft stands on the apron There will be an international courier and parcel facility designed to handle 1000 bags/parcels per hour in and

The passenger terminal will initially have 18 Passenger

out, as well as a local parcel and courier facility designed

aircraft stands and by 2060, there will be parking space

to handle 400 bags/parcels per hour in and out.

on the apron for 96 aircraft.

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205 >

Photo by Russell Cleaver

Runway and taxiways

Support Zone

The runway is 3.7 km x 60 metres wide and will be able to will accommodate the latest New Generation Large Aircraft (NGLA) including the Airbus A380, with space to expand to 4 km.

This includes platforms for future development of conference, hotel and entertainment facilities which will be a joint venture between ACSA and DTP.

The runway and 10 taxiways cover 400, 000² and required 230,000t of asphalt to complete (the equivalent of 35km of a four-lane highway).

Cargo building Annually, between 50 000 and 90 000 tons of goods from Durban’s harbour are trucked to JHB airport for export. Most of this will now remain in Durban and will be flown out directly from the new airport via the state-of- the-art 160 000 m² cargo facilities (DIA currently has 39 000 m2 cargo facilities).

Fuel The fuel farm is equipped with four fuel tanks. The fuel will be brought by truck from the refinery located near the existing airport.

Landscaped gardens Large areas that surround the terminal building are being landscaped to enhance the overall aesthetics of the airport.

207 >

Photos by Russell Cleaver

Parking The multi-storey parkade caters for 1500 vehicles while there is a total of 6500 vehicle parking pays at the new airport.

Road infrastructure The traffic, engineering and transport planning was undertaken to maximise accessibility and flexibility to and around the new airport. The plans provide sufficient flexibility to ensure that all future (2060) projected transportation modes and requirements have been considered. The proposed N2 interchange which forms part of the development, will be the primary access road to the airport. A link road between the airport and the N2 has been constructed.

Job creation It has been estimated that the airport could create between 165 000 and 260 000 jobs over the next 20 years.

Capital cost of the project Although the capital cost of the project was originally estimated at R 6,8-billion, a negotiated acceleration

programme amounting to R 400-million has increased the capital cost to R 7,2-billion.

OPERATIONAL READINESS AND TRANSFER PROGRAM The Operational Readiness and Transfer Programme commenced in November 2009 when the familiarisation programme was initiated. This involved taking the bulk of the 3400 work force from the current airport over to the new site, to familiarise them with the new airport. More than 2500 of the staff have already been exposed to their new home. This has injected a positive energy into the process, with most of the staff belonging to the various organisations confirming their commitment to continue fulfilling their roles at the new airport. On 15 December 2009 the South African Civil Aviation Authority successfully conducted calibration tests on the runway lighting and navigational aids. This involved a collaborative effort of various stakeholders, including the building contractor, Air Traffic Navigation Services (ATNS), ACSA and the ORAT Team. On 14th January 2010 the first Basic End User Trial started, involving the participation of key stakeholders such as some of the airlines, ground handlers and

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209 >

ACSA. This programme involved testing the various components of airport operations including flight data, passenger handling, check-in and boarding processes, baggage screening and the like. The daunting but exciting task of relocating the airport ‘overnight’ to the new site will be the final phase of the operation. Behind the scenes, a team headed by Bongiwe Pityi (AGM Airport Operations) for ACSA, is working along with a team of local and international consultants, to make this a reality. Pityi explained, “The plan is that on 30 April the last aircraft will land at DIA and, after the passengers have left the airport, those aircraft will be relocated to the new airport. The equipment and resources will be relocated for most of that previous week, with the balance moved overnight on 30 April into the early hours of 1 May. Fortunately, with 1 May being a Saturday, it is relatively quieter from an operational perspective. On this day, the new airport will commence operations.”

what the Durban International Airport was able to cope with and the new facilities.

Comparisons of Durban International Airport to King Shaka International Airport Areas




2.4 kms

3.7 kms

30 000 m2

103 000 m2

Air Bridges



Public Parking



2900 m2

6500 m2







4.4 million pa

7.5 million pa



Retail outlets



Car rentals



Terminal Area

Retail Space Aircraft Parking Bays Lifts Escalators Passenger numbers Check in

DECOMMISSIONING THE OLD AIRPORT Once the new airport is fully operational, the current airport will be decommissioned as an airport and all aviation business will then be relocated and conducted at the new airport. This basically means that all scheduled aircraft; domestic and international, will be operating from the new airport from 1 May 2010. The current airport, once decommissioned as an airport, will be disposed of according to a decision that will be made by a task team consisting of ACSA, Dti, National/ Provincial Government and eThekwini Municipality. To emphasise the giant leaps taken in relocating the airport, let’s take a look at a few comparisons between


“Although air travel has an element of fantasy surrounding it, flying is generally stressful,” says Utria. “One of the ways of reducing the stress is through facilitating ease of access and efficient processes. A world class facility of this quality has been long overdue in the region and the opening of the new airport will have great benefits for Durban and KwaZulu Natal.” Considering the vastly improved facilities, compared with the old airport, this can only bode well for the future. <

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IMISO Ceramics is a success story of pure passion; born from humble beginnings, a sound business plan and a strong belief in their creative talent. Imiso is the Xhosa word for ‘tomorrow’, and with its slogan - this is the dawn of a new era – this company offers an inspirational example for future artists and entrepreneurs.



212 > Having had to borrow money to pay a deposit on their rent, exhibiting only product samples that they produced at a friend’s studio at their first tradeshow, with no kiln and other vital materials to their name that could signify the start of a ceramic studio, IMISO was still able to produce a sell-out performance that left them with a sufficient number of orders to sustain their studio by buying their first kiln and other equipment. Suné Stassen chatted to Andile Dyalvane, Zizipho Poswa and the rest of the IMISO Ceramics team. D > How did you end up in the fascinating world of ceramics? AD > I studied ceramics at Sivuyile Art College. After graduating I continued my studies in ceramics at the Port Elizabeth University of Technology. In 2000 I came to Cape Town and worked for a ceramics studio for about eight years. As a child growing up in the rural areas I started making clay animals while herding livestock. I have always enjoyed being creative and continued being inspired by drawing and later decided to further my studies in ceramics. D > Your personal highlights before IMISO? AD > In 2001 I was one of nine ceramic designers selected to represent South Africa at a five-week ceramics exchange programme in Denmark. That programme can definitely be considered the beginning of my career as a designer. D > Where do you find inspiration for the work you do? AD > My inspiration comes from my surroundings that I translate in a number of ways such as the designs done for ‘The Scarified’ and ‘Africasso’ range. I find that clay is the most forgiving material to use and create with. Subtly cutting through the clay, using the purity of lines, creates a poetic silence that speaks volumes. The ‘Africasso’ range creates a contrast by introducing a loud yet simple abstraction of both the human and animal form, owing great inspiration to

Once off design. Below & right: Scarrified range.

213 > Pablo Picasso. The ‘Scarified’ range is a translation of body scarification done in the Xhosa and other African cultures. D > Tell us more about the founding days of IMISO. What was the original concept behind this business and where and how did you find the rest of the team? AD > We studied together in PE and as soon as we all moved to Cape Town we connected as friends and started talking business. IMISO was therefore formed by a group of creatives who had one idea in mind, to become a design powerhouse. As my primary passion is working with clay and mixing and merging it with other materials, Zizi’s passion is textiles and design overall. Lulama is all about business and exploring business opportunities. Having put all this in one pot I can safely say that we have grown from an ideal to the launch of our first ceramics gallery at the Biscuit Mill to the most recent addition being the IMISO Lifestyle Gallery at the Cape Quarter in Cape Town. So watch this space, as a lot more is in stall for you.

D > Over to you Zizipho – I know that you are first and foremost a textile designer. How did you become part of the IMISO team? ZP > From an early age I have always had a keen interest in design. I studied textile design and technology in Port Elizabeth, which validated my ever-growing interest in design. In Cape Town I also worked as a textile designer for a design house who sold my designs to various South African chain stores. When IMISO Ceramics started we were designers from different disciplines with a need to put our skills into one business. At the time Andile had already been making headway in the ceramics industry so it was collectively decided to first focus and explore ceramics as our preferred creative application. D > Are you still producing any textiles or do you only focus on ceramics today? ZP > Oh yes, I definitely still produce textiles. When we launched the new IMISO Lifestyle Gallery at the Cape Quarter

214 > two months ago, I launched my textile range, which at the moment consists of a 100% pure merino wool and mohair blend made into cushion covers and throws. The process of creating these articles started from spinning the wool to dyeing it into different vibrant colours and then I played with different techniques like knitting, crocheting and felting. Soon I will also be launching a range of prints for home furnishings. D > IMISO certainly reflects a variety of styles and products. Do you as a team discuss future styles, colours and possible products and trends and then allow for individual interpretations of these or do you rather see IMISO as a studio space within which different individuals produce what they feel like producing? AD > Zizi and Andile are the designers of IMISO, so we get to produce anything our hearts desire. Out of those, the group analyse, discuss and dissect the individual products or concepts and then decide which ideas or products are in keeping with the original IMISO concept and business motto. D > Tell us more about the uniqueness of IMISO as a business. What does each member bring to the creative pot that makes IMISO Ceramics so successful? AD > Basically I have my own team and Zizi has her own team but we do interchange the guys whenever necessary. We encourage and teach the team how to design and emphasise the importance to explore colour, texture and form so

Pinch bowl range.

Afrocasso range.

215 > that they can also discover their own design style. They have also entered competitions and taken part in our own exhibitions, showcasing their individual work and have received a very positive response. Lulama works with her own team, two ladies in administation and the three staff members at the galleries. Here we explore business and enjoy the continuous challenges we face. We learn a lot on a daily basis. D > Within the short lifespan of IMISO Ceramics you have already been acknowledged for the quality products that you produce. Name a few highlights of IMISO and the impact that each had on your business. AD > We were privileged to be invited to participate in the launch of the SABC 3 new colours and with an appearance on Top Billing. That was two years ago and to this day we still get people who remember that. Another highlight was winning the Decorex Gold Award, which is awarded to the top ten best stands showcasing at the Decorex Johanesburg show. Another highlight was in 2009 when we were nominated for the Visi Award. We managed to get into the top ten but unfortunately did not receive the final award. Still it was great to be amongst such a wonderful group of creatives who have been in the industry for many years. This nomination was a confirmation for us that we are heading in the right direction. D > Tell us more about your studio space at the Biscuit Mill and about the new space that forms part of the most exciting new shopping experience in Cape Town, the newly build Cape Quarter. The Biscuit Mill is a great space for us because this is where we as a business refined IMISO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; both as a brand and as a business. It has been going for three years now and we have established a stable market of both local and international buyers. At this space the main

focus is ceramics and furniture pieces. The new IMISO Lifestyle Gallery at the Cape Quarter is a space where we explore different design applications bringing in Zizi’s textiles and soon more furniture pieces. D > What is in stall for IMISO Ceramics in the near future – what do you want to achieve? We are looking at doing more international shows and keep working at establishing IMISO as a brand. ZP > It is my dream to design the finest floor rugs for one Lifestyle Furniture range.

of the high-end hotels anywhere in the world and for former president Nelson Mandela’s house. AD > I would like to design a house and decorate it with all the work I have created, from wall installations to furniture and accessories with almost every item including touch of ceramics. D > Who are your creative role models? ZP > I get a lot of inspiration from Maija Isola, a Finnish textile designer who designed for Marimekko. AD > My role model is Pablo Picasso, hence the ‘Africasso’ range. D > A last few words of wisdom to young readers? ZP&AD > Our successful ingredients are team work and passion for what we do. Every year we grow the number of people we employ. We believe we have created sustainable jobs for our employees so that that they can go back home and create the life they are seeking with confidence. <

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MACABRE By Anri Theron

With a biomedical engineering degree, an electrical engineering degree and a PhD in progress one would never guess that Tempest van Schaik has also participated in numerous exhibitions and won several awards in art and design. Tempest is a rare anomaly in this universe and DESIGN> went to investigate. D > You have a very unique name. Dictionaries describe ‘tempest’ as meaning: “1. A violent windstorm, frequently accompanied by rain, snow, or hail. 2. Furious agitation, commotion, or tumult; an uproar.” Does this describe your personality? TvS > It’s not so much the meaning but the type of name that reflects my personality. Tempest is an unusual name meaning people misspell it; think I’m a man or that I’ve just made it up. I seem to have a knack for picking ‘the road not taken’ in all aspects of my life and making things difficult for myself.

219 > Cameos and Genotypes (2009) is an interactive installation which releases the shadows of the letters people strike on a typewriter. It is a collaboration with artist Jenna Burchell, which won Best New Media and Multimedia at the 2009 Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Awards.

Benign/Malignant (2009) shows my love of craft and reflects the theme of my PhD research which involves the spread of cancer. This piece was a finalist in Sasol New Signatures 2009.

A pair of All Stars was customised for SL magazineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Design Issue (2007). Each designer was given a pair of plain white shoes, to which I added tartan and painstakingly hand stitched until my fingers were raw.

220 > To Have And To Hold (2007) was the debut of Ellomennopee at the And Then exhibition in the Lister Building. I tried to push the limits of what plush toys can be. The blue man was tragically kidnapped from the event. I hope he finds his way home one day!

The Dirty Mind of Young Sally (2007) was a winner of the Biblioteq Dotmatic competition. The idea was to create a design using circular stickers of only five different sizes and colours.

Cloud Factory (2008) is my entry for the Mingo Lamberti t-shirt design competition. As a winner my design was made into limited edition t-shirts for their Far Far Away range, inspired by the places we visit in our imagination.

221 > D > What is your day job or are you a

D > You are only 24 years old but you

full-time student at Imperial College

have already achieved a lot in life. How

in London?

do you see your future evolving?

TvS > Doing a PhD at Imperial College

TvS > After my doctorate I’ll be in the

London is definitely a full-time job. In

unique position of having three engi-

2007 I decided to commit to making

neering degrees and a large art and

time for art and design by branding

design portfolio. I’m sure I’ll be able to

my creative output ‘Ellomennopee’.

put my distinctive skills to good use.

Since then I have steadily built up my

Increasingly people are recognising

portfolio despite being a full-time

the value of creativity in engineering

engineering student, which I will

and fostering interesting collabora-

continue doing.

tions, such as Fabric of Life, which teams Nobel Prize-winning scientists

D > How do you marry the worlds of

with top textile designers.

engineering with design and art? What are the overlaps?

D > Where is your range of Ellomennopee plush toys sold and who is your

TvS > The two combine more subtly

intended target audience? Where are

in that both require creative problem

they manufactured and what vol-

solving, whether mathematical or

umes are produced?

visual. Engineering is more creative than people might think: especially

TvS > The last of my plush toys is being

when faced with financial and environ-

sold at +27 Design Café in Pretoria,

mental constraints. Because of the

though I’m likely to start a new range to

incredible growth in technology, engi-

sell in London. My target audience is

neering has entered the realm of imagi-

people who want access to affordable

nation and science fiction, such as

art and favour the handmade over the

research into tiny nano-robots that

mass produced. When I buy handmade

swim in our veins or smart clothing

I feel a certain connection to the artist

which makes us invisible. I think the

because I own a product of their time

analytical engineering approach is

and imagination. I make everything

also practical in art and design espe-

myself and produce maximum five of

cially where a brief is involved. Be-

each range, as that’s when I get bored.

fore I start an artwork I evaluate my

Each toy has a piece of me in it, some-

constraints, such as the limits of the

times quite literally with a stray hair or

material I’m going to use and more.

perhaps a drop of blood from a sewing accident!

222 > D > Do you have a specific design philosophy? TvS> I’m interested in how my work communicates with people. I aim to create a captivating experience for my audience who will have a sustained and memorable interaction with my work. If somebody rushing through a gallery or magazine engages with my work for a few minutes of their life, then it has communicated an abstract idea or emotion in my absence. D > Who and what inspires you? TvS> I’m inspired by the macabre and grotesque, and all things kitsch; the beautiful and functionally efficient forms in nature that have been ‘designed’ through millions of years of evolution; the incredible resourcefulness of South Africans and the intensity of daylight in South Africa. In gloomy London I’m finding inspiration in clandestine trips to the Natural History Museum during lunch-breaks. I also look to the collective sentiment of contemporary artists, illustrators, designers and crafters who showcase their work on blogs and creative networking sites such as Behance and Addictlab. Established inspirations include Francis Bacon, Pictoplasma and the Biomimicry Institute. D > What is in store for Tempest in the near future? TvS> In the near future I will be sussing out the London art and design scene, putting together some new work, getting involved in competitions and exhibitions and finding my identity as an artist in London. I have a lot less space, equipment and resources at my disposal now so I’ll also have to master frugal creativity. <

223 > The Littlewood Gang (2008) was part of the Bigwood exhibition which travelled from Durban to Berlin, Germany. With a playful take on the exhibition name, I created a trio of wood-based characters.

FAR LEFT: Transition (2008) is acrylic on wood and was also part of the Bigwood exhibition. LEFT: Does Not Your House Dream? And Dreaming Leave City For Hilltop? (2009) was created for the City Slickers exhibition which travelled from Pretoria to Durban and Cape Town, and will go on to London, Beijing and Amsterdam. One of my few digital works; it contains character sketches from previous projects.

Some people jam music, but at Artjamming™ you jam art. You simply walk in and let your imagination take hold of the paint brushes. Artjamming™ allows you to create your very own unique full colour art piece by fusing creativity and colour to a chill-out beat. Whether it’s playing, painting, sponging or spraying, it’s about putting on an apron to face a blank canvas and unleashing your own individual creativity that makes Artjamming™ the most fun you can have with a paintbrush.


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Artjammers are provided with a menu of 12 different

Southern Ink Xposure International Tattoo Convention,

sized canvases, easels, a choice of non-toxic acrylic

the biggest tattoo event held on African soil and in

paints on tap, brushes and tools to freely express

the Southern Hemisphere. The AFE is a collaborative


art demonstration where some of the world’s most accomplished tattoo artists, including Paul Booth,

Already a hugely successful worldwide phenomenon,

worked together on three extra-large canvasses. The

Artjamming™ was launched at the end of July 2008

canvasses, donated by Artjamming™, was auctioned

in South Africa by local fashion and textile importers

off at the convention and proceeds were donated to

and distributors, Ralph Israel and his daughter Leora

MaAfrika Tikkun, a non-governmental non-profit organ-

Israel. This amazing concept was discovered on one

isation that works toward the transformation of South

of Leora’s trips to the Far East and after extensive

African communities by caring for vulnerable children

research she realised the need for this kind of activity,

and orphans in townships.

amusement and distraction from everyday stress. The Israels decided to bring Artjamming™ to Cape

Another event they were involved with, in April 2009,

Town first and have also acquired the sole rights for

was the Urban Art Write on Africa Mural Fund campaign.

South Africa. The first studio was opened at the

Six of South Africa’s top local urban artists, including

trendy Wembley Square Shopping Mall in Gardens and

internationally recognised Faith47, Mak1one and

since then it has become so popular that another

Senyol, created rare works of art which were offered

studio opened in November 2009 at the unique life-

for auction to raise funds for Write on Africa, an or-

style shopping centre, the Cape Quarter. The first

ganisation that aims to create inspiration in the form

Gauteng studio opened on 1 February at the Bluebird

of murals for the youth to encourage social uplift-

destination shopping centre in Birnam, Illovo.

ment within underprivileged communities.

Artjammers are not given instructions or classes, and

In July 2009 they facilitated a teambuilding session

no drawing or painting skills are required, but for those

for the BestCities Client Imbizo, hosted by the Cape

who would like a helping hand or some inspiration,

Town & Western Cape Convention Bureau (Cape Town

there are qualified artists at the studios to assist.

Routes Unlimited), an important platform that converged significant association meetings representa-

For young artists, art students and art enthusiasts

tives, managers and sales officials from the BestCities

Artjamming™ is a great resource, not only for the

Global Alliance of convention bureaux with repre-

various art materials available for sale, but also be-

sentatives from cities including Copenhagen, Dubai,

cause for as little as R95.00 you can create your own

Edinburgh, Melbourne, San Juan, Singapore and

art piece without having to carry the cost of buying


expensive materials needed for projects, exams or portfolio examples.

Artjamming™ also hosts birthday parties, team building parties, corporate events, school holiday

Artjamming™ has been involved with many innovative

programmes, tuition, exhibitions and more.

projects like hosting the first ArtFusion Experiment (AFE) in South Africa in January 2009 as part of the

For more information, visit <

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Nestled amongst beautiful oaks at the Montebello Design Centre in Newlands, Cape Town, you will find the attic that is home to one of the Mielie workshops. An abundance of bold colours, textures, shapes and sizes greet the visitor – a positive, energetic and tactile environment that touches every sense. This creative and sustainable enterprise has grown from a tiny idea in 2002 to a well-established and viable business that currently employs about 50 people. It has always been Mielie’s mission to produce innovative, export-quality handcrafted products made from reclaimed materials. It is not only about job creation and beautifully crafted bold, tactile and fun products, but also about restoring and sustaining the dignity and financial independence of others. Mielie is a good example of an enterprise that has its business sense and soul in the right place. According to Adri Shultz, Mielie has three major passions: “We are passionate about job creation, our planet and about design. Our structure also allows our crafters to work from home.” In the current economic climate Shultz feels that “it is the challenge of the designer to harness his /her creativity to make the world a better place”. “In South Africa, especially, we have our work cut out for us. We need to find innovative solutions to the housing crisis. We need to design

durable, functional goods that make the world a better place.” “As consumers we should also insist to know the story behind every product that we buy. Sometimes the materials used to produce some of these products are dangerous to people or the environment. Most of the time a lot of labourers are slaving away in producing these products and are most likely not compensated accordingly. As consumers we should try and be informed and make a definite stand against such products by not buying them.” According to Shultz she is totally unqualified to do her job as she has a BA in languages (German, English and French) and honours in Journalism. She taught herself various graphic design programmes such as Illustrator, FreeHand and PhotoShop and freelanced as a graphic designer. “I had no prior experience in running a business.” Suné Stassen, one of DESIGN>‘s contributing editors, interviews Adri Shultz, founder of Mielie. D > Tell us about choosing ‘Mielie’ as your brand name – an Afrikaans name for a global retail environment. AS > Well, I am Afrikaans, and my mission is to help people to put food on the table. In most South African households, that food is a mielie

228 > in one form or another. Our woven products also have the texture of a mielie (corn), so the name just seemed right. It hasn’t really been a problem having an Afrikaans name to sell the products internationally, because it makes for an interesting story and these days more people are drawn to products with an interesting background. D > Explain the special weaving technique that signifies the Mielie products. AS > Even though Africa has a very strong weaving tradition the hooked rug weaving technique does not originate in Africa. To be honest, we taught each other and made up the visual language as we went along. Often when we came across challenges we had to do an attitude somersault and turn the challenge into something desirable. To give you an example, working with recycled materials means that we are not in charge of the colours that the world throws away. For this reason we developed colour ways that give us more flexibility. For instance a bag in “lagoon” could contain greens, limes, turquoises, blues, and more. Also, we don’t use templates – every single crafter draws her own design – and every crafter’s weaving texture is different, much like knitting or handwriting. This means that we can confidently say that every bag we make is unique. (We also need to be strict about the quality, though.) D > Tell us about some ‘Mielie’ highlights and how you measure the success of your business. AS > We participated in an international textile exhibition in Finland earlier this year. I was lucky enough to attend the exhibition with Zanele Sinuka, one of Mielie’s most talented

weavers. We have also done a couple of big commissions for large corporates, including a wall hanging for BP’s headquarters at the Waterfront in Cape Town. Yett, I get the biggest thrill from receiving emails from customers who love their Mielie bag, and also from watching our crafters grow and play a meaningful roll in their own communities. I heard last month that I have been selected as an “accelerator entrepreneur” by Endeavor, an international organisation that “identifies and supports high impact entrepreneurs in developing countries.” This is a great honour, and it’s going to be wonderful for us to benefit from their support. I measure Mielie’s success in the number of jobs created, and also growing each one of those people to their full potential. Several crafters that first started as weavers now work in our shop or in our office and as managers of other crafters. D > Who is the ‘Mielie’ consumer? AS > Our customers are mostly women. A confident dresser and home decorator, she cares about the story behind the products she buys. She is prepared to pay a premium for products that have been produced according to environmentally and socially sound principles. She believes that it is possible for one person to change the world. She is well educated and informed and knows how to use technology to inform others. D > How do you get in touch with the needs of your consumers? AS > Having a shop is great because we get instant feedback. We also have a good relationship with our distributors and welcome ideas and

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231 > feedback from them. I also get a lot of email through my blog, - which is great and really hands-on. D > The retail market is hugely influenced by seasonal trends. Do trends play a role in the development of new Mielie products? AS > I read magazines and design websites, but find most of my inspiration locally. I love the humour, enthusiasm and exquisite nature on my own doorstep. Every seasonal collection I do tells a new story. D > What is the impact of Mielie on the lives and social development of the women who participate? AS > We started an organic food garden in Khayelitsha and we also support a couple of nursery schools in the area. The concept of the food garden is very exciting because we aim to feed the local community and eventually make the project sustainable by supplying some top restaurants in Cape Town. We also sell the produce at the organic market outside our shop at Montebello Design Centre. D > What is the driving force behind this project and what do you still want to achieve with Mielie? AS > I have the attention span of a flea so with Mielie I can have a million good ideas and they can ALL turn into products. I would also like to grow Mielie to become a global lifestyle brand. I love working with other designers and also exploring different media. We have many very talented local designers. Besides the creativity injection, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also always great to see HOW people work. I love to see their studios and how they do things. <

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Stiaan Louw thrives on the energy resulting from collaborating with other creatives and he taps his inspiration from the sheer beauty of his home city, Cape Town, its subcultures and the embracing attitude towards gender ambiguity. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Minimalistâ&#x20AC;? is the one-word response that Louw gave when DESIGN> asked him to describe his design philosophy. This is an anomaly because the overall style of his designs might be minimalist, but the complex pattern construction and subtexts that exude from his ensembles and runway shows are layered with multiple meanings. On the catwalks Louw is never timid at showing his creative persona and design genius, but in person, he is often elusive and shy. DESIGN> secured an exclusive interview with this shining light of the African fashion industry.

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Images from the A/W 10 lookbook featuring Stiaan Louwâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;a latest collection. Photographer: Brett Rubin Make-up and hair: EloĂŻse Dreyer Model: Stephen Manion Fashion asstistant: Camila Gillman

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Louw went on to pursued his studies in fashion at the Haute Couture School in Cape Town from where he graduated in 2001. He says that: “The course was very intensive in terms of garment construction and pattern cutting which has had a strong influence on my work ever since. It instilled my belief that a good fit is the foundation of beautiful clothes.” Louw claims that he got his ‘big break’ into the mainstream fashion industry when he met leading South African fashion designer, Maya Prass, who has subsequently become one of his closest friends with whom he now also shares a studio space. Prass recommended Louw to Jan Malan, one of Africa’s most influential fashion show directors, who asked for recommendations for new blood that could be featured at the Cape Town Fashion Week in 2004. Malan was so impressed by Prass’s protégé that he opted to

include Louw in the 2004 Cape Town Fashion Week line-up. The response from fashionistas and media were overwhelming and since then Louw’s career and his signature label bloomed. In 2008 Louw took the bold step of redirecting his focus from designing women’s wear to menswear. This was a radical step for an emerging fashion designer. He says: “Initially everyone warned me that it would be an incredibly difficult market to enter into, which has proven to be true. At the same time, I did believe that there was a growing need amongst men in South Africa for clothes that are designed with consideration for an everchanging society that required a new approach to high-end menswear. Although it is an incredibly difficult market to be designing for, I enjoy the challenges.” Louw’s gamble paid off. In 2009, he was nominated for the prestigious Mercedes Benz Art Award for Fashion Design where he competed with the likes of big local names in the industry such as his friend Mia Prass, Abigail Betz, Black Coffee, Themba Mngomezulu for Darkie Clothing, Palesa Mokubung for Mantsho, Craig Native and David Tlale. Black Coffee ended up receiving the top honours but it also meant that the Stiaan Louw brand received international media exposure. Louw’s collections are often described as focusing on the metrosexual aesthetic. He explains: “I suppose that my work has been

Design Indaba Fashion 2010. Photos by Simon Deiner.

Stiaan Louw grew up in Durbanville, Cape Town. After leaving school, he opted to study film and photography. This didn’t last longer than a year before he realised that he needed to pursue his real dream of becoming a fashion designer. He says: “I knew since high school that I wanted to pursue a career in fashion, but it was difficult breaking the news to my Afrikaans parents who had no understanding of it at the time.” Louw eventually convinced them and he says that his parents have subsequently become incredibly supportive of his passionfocused career choice.

Design Indaba Fashion 2009. Photos by Simon Deiner.

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Cape Town Fashion Week 2008. Photos by Simon Deiner.

branded as metrosexual since I initially started off designing clothes that also appealed to women. My experience as a women’s wear designer definitely had an influence on my current work for men. At the time of launching my menswear label, the ‘androgyny trend’ was also surfacing. The latest collection is definitely more masculine, while retaining some of the ambiguity. I have always liked contrasts, masculine versus feminine, classic versus experimental.” In the recent past, fashion reporters also noted that Louw’s collections had strong undertones of fetish and specifically bondage. Louw says: “It has definitely been a theme of interest in the past few years, especially because I believe that within a menswear fashion context, it commented on the development of male sexuality and the shift of what is considered ‘masculine’ or ‘dominant’ in how men dress. I think that since the rise of the metrosexual trend, there has also been a shift towards ‘same sexuality’ in men’s fashion in the past few years. Men are able to be more submissive in modern culture without being considered weak. At the time I was exploring social and sexual subcultures and their relevance to fashion as the recession hit globally.” The latter obviously became an added theme to Louw’s collections. When asked if his African roots influence his creative work, Louw responds: “I think it is inevitable that your heritage, your surroundings and the social and economic environment of the country you live in

will have an influence on your work, even if it is subconsciously. I don’t reference Africa in any obvious way.” Yet, when one reviews his work closely, Louw’s African roots filter through as a subtext which is most prominent in his pattern construction. Louw is quite an elusive character when it comes to publishing images of himself and not many are published online or in print. Quite often, at the end of his fashion shows, he appears only for brief moments and mostly in dimly lit corners of the catwalks where his models have just boldly strutted his designs. In reality, Louw is actually a uniquely handsome man – a smooth and pale-faced curlyhaired man with a distinctive appeal. When we asked why he is so elusive when it comes to publishing images of himself when he is actually the ideal model for his own collections. His response: “It has never been particularly important for me to be known as an individual. Instead, I would rather like my brand to become recognised. The focus should stay on the clothes and for them to become desirable. I also don’t want personal recognition and familiarity to influence my design aesthetic.” He continues: “I have felt some pressure since the launch of my menswear collection, but I believe in surrounding myself by people I can trust and rely on. I am also somewhat of a recluse and it keeps me focused on what is really important to me.” Louw has a core team that works and collaborates with him. However,

Winter 2008. Stiaan Louwâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first complete menswaear collection.

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The Next Generation campaign photographed by Brett Rubin.

he says: “I believe in forming collaborative relationships with other creatives. The people I work with from one collection to the next may often change, or stay the same depending on the direction of my work. I think this approach will give me work longevity.” The Stiaan Louw collections are mainly sold at exclusive outlets in Cape Town and Johannesburg but he also has a large client base with whom he communicates via email and who visits his studio regularly. He says: “I think my target audience has become quite diverse and I am interested to see how this will influence my design approach in the future. All the clothes are produced in-house. I am still keeping it quite contained and focused, as I believe in growing slowly and understanding the market you are dealing with properly.” Likewise, Louw personally oversees the creative direction of the Stiaan Louw marketing campaigns. He says: “I did my first campaign early last year with photographer Brett Rubin. It was titled ‘Next Generation’ and featured three

models who I believed to epitomise my direction at that particular point in time. I like to work with a handful of models – whether professional or not – and develop each collection around them. I have been fortunate to develop images for projects since then. Some with more success than others, but in the long run, I see it as an opportunity to explore the possibilities of the brand and shift perception.” Louw also opts to use online social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Issuu and Flickr as the primary media channels for marketing his label rather than traditional media channels. He says: “I find that my target market is online daily, whether it is through their profession – as most of them have careers in creative fields – and they use these social utilities for research or social purposes. It made sense for me to go to them directly and with instant effect as opposed to following traditional media, which takes longer to reach a target audience.” Louw also says that he uses online social media to do research related to customer profiling: ‘It definitely makes the brand more accessible and we

have built up a strong email database in the process.” Louw launched his latest collection in February at the Design Indaba 2010. He says: “I didn’t want to work with a particular theme other than focusing on the garment construction and colour palette for this collection. It is stripped down, clean and much ‘softer’ in approach to my previous collections. Although I still focus on a monochromatic design approach, I have started mixing more colours together and moved away from using the amount of black I have in previous collections.” Stiaan Louw is a gentle character with a wildly curly hairstyle and massive smile whose friends know his boisterous peals of laughter, yet in the fashion industry he is often shy and somewhat reclusive. Yet, for those who know him, and those he trusts, he is an articulate and intelligent thinker who believes that his work should speak for itself and that the designer behind it is not the brand... What a refreshing thought in an ego-driven industry. <

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CONDOMS ON THE CATWALK Latex was the fabric of choice at a fashion show in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa recently, where all the garments on the catwalk were crafted from 10 000 male and female condoms of all colours and sizes. Held in January and organised by social marketing group DKT with the Zalef Fine Art and Fashion Design Institute, the Condom Clothes Fashion Show put ten spectacular condom-crafted dresses on display in an attempt to lessen the stigma attached to condoms in the East African country. “In Ethiopia, condoms have a bad image; people are afraid when they want to buy condoms at the supermarket – they even try to hide the condoms quickly after they have bought them,” said Emebet Alemu, designer of the dresses and organiser of the show. “We wanted

to change that by using an art event. The show will open people’s minds a little ... maybe it will make them seem more normal for people.” The latex garments were later modelled at four additional shows, held under the ABC theme of Abstain, Be faithful and use Condoms, at the Addis Hilton Hotel. Organisers plan to also take the show to the major regional city of Adama. A 2008 study published in the Ethiopian Journal of Health Development and conducted in the town of Adwa, about 1 000 kilometres north of Addis Ababa, found that 46% of respondents believed that people who used condoms were promiscuous. Emebet Abu, DKT Ethiopia’s head of communications, said the condom

fashion campaign was tailored to the youth, with a view to highlighting condoms as an additional option and not a replacement for abstinence or fidelity as methods of HIV prevention. “The idea of the show was to target young people who like fashion and design,” he said. “We also teach abstinence and to be faithful, but some young people will not abstain or be faithful; they may have more than one partner already so they must use condoms.” The fashion initiative is the latest move by DKT to try to break the stigma associated with condom use in Ethiopia. In 2009, it ran a twomonth campaign to distribute condoms and kerosene to house helpers in the capital and it set up a condom café in Addis.

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Far left: Hayat Ahmed former Miss Ethiopia and spokesperson for Sensation condoms. Image: Tesfalem Woldes-IRIN. Centre: Sensation condoms are provided with every bill at Addis Ababa’s Bellissima Café. Image: Tesfalem Woldes-IRIN. Left: A model wearing an outfit made entirely from condoms during the Condom Clothes Fashion Show in Addis Ababa. Image: DKT.

In the café, which is owned by former Miss Ethiopia Hayat Ahmed, each order of coffee comes with a packet of Sensation condoms, served in Sensation cups by staff wearing Sensation T-shirts. “I wanted to link business with a message for sexually active people,” said Ahmed. “I am the brand ambassador for Sensation condoms in Ethiopia, and I want to spread the message that condoms can protect you from HIV/AIDS.” Her face adorns billboards and she regularly promotes condom use on Ethiopia’s only television station. “When I walk down the road even children recognise me,” she said. “But they do not call me Hayat; they call me Sensation.” Coffee is widely thought to have originated in Ethiopia, where it is extremely popular. Ahmed’s café, modelled on condom bars in Asia, managed to hand out almost 900 condoms within two days of opening its doors. Reaction to the

free condoms has been mixed, with older patrons tending to disapprove, and younger ones sometimes enthusiastically asking for a second packet. “We have had young people come in and ask if it’s true that we actually give free condoms,” said one waiter. “When we say, ‘Yes’, their faces brighten up and they quickly order. But we have also had people who are shocked when we bring the bill with a condom, some saying we are promoting immorality.” Ahmed intends to open more cafés in the capital and other towns, and continue promoting various anti-HIV strategies, including abstinence and faithfulness. She plans expand the condom bars concept to other African countries. “A lot of people in Ethiopia are ashamed of talking about or using condoms,” she said. “Yet some companies put condoms in their toilets and when you go to look, each day, the boxes

are empty. I don’t care if the condoms are used behind closed doors or in public – as long as many people use them.” Ethiopia’s HIV prevalence is estimated at 2% among sexually active people aged 15 to 49. According to a report by the Federal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office, between 2000 and 2005 condom use among males increased from 30.3% to 51.9%, and among females from 13.4% to 23.6%. According to Ethiopian government data, 50% of public sector institutions and 20% of private businesses have mainstreamed HIV/AIDS prevention in their operational policies. <

Republished courtesy of IrinPlus News &

242 >

Seoulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s WDC 2010 programmes are geared to encourage citizen participation among all age groups.


243 >

“Seoul’s approach to design and their designation as the World Design Capital 2010 constitutes a perfect example of design thinking.” This was the impression of Adrienne Viljoen, manager of the SABS Design Institute on her return Seoul, South Korea in February. Viljoen visited the city in her capacity as member of the International Advisory Committee of the 2010 Seoul World Design Capital (WDC) of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid). According to Viljoen Seoul has been able to marry the old with the new and move it into the future when it comes to design. “Nothing in Seoul’s approach to its Design Capital status happens in isolation – it all forms part of a greater whole,” says Viljoen.

Seoul was named World Design Capital 2010 two years ago. This biannual designation, run by Icsid on behalf of the International Design Alliance (IDA), started off with Torino, Italy being the WDC in 2008. Helsinki has already won the bid for WDC in 2012. The aim is to identify and recognise cities that have effectively used design to revive the city and improve the quality of life of its citizens. The WDC designation promotes the importance of good design in strengthening and empowering cities to use the totality of design disciplines to position their competitive advantages from a social, cultural and economic point of view. Major projects currently in development for WDC Seoul 2010 include the Seoul World City Design Summit, design fairs; construction of the Dongdaemun Design

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The official identity for the WDC 2010.

Cover of the WDC 2010 Guide Book.

Custom designed Seoul fonts.

Plaza & Park, U-Design International Competition, the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s participation in the IDA World Design Report, a Youth Design Creative Camp, as well as initiatives to encourage citizen participation in WDC projects. Yet these are just a few examples of the jam-packed

programme that Seoul plans to host in 2010. Visit the official website at Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, in his acceptance speech declared, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Design is a growth driver of the Seoul economy.

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Seoul Design Assets Exhibition website.

Dongdaemun History & Culture Park.

Symbols of Seoul.

We have surprised the world with the ‘Miracle of the Han River’ and advancements in the IT sector. Now we would like to bring global attention to Seoul with strong design.” Oh expressed high hopes for the city’s future and added: “With Seoul’s designation as World

A selection of Seoul’s Design Assets.

Design Capital 2010, the city will be able to breathe creative energy into the design industry and reinvent itself into a globally recognised city of design. It will also be able to collaborate with other cities in the world to communicate through design. Seoul will send

246 > out the message that design has the power to change the world for the better.”

Africa makes a debut Africa was represented by two countries at the World Design Cities Summit in Seoul in February. The summit featured mayors from over 20 global cities discussing how cities can advance and grow through focussed design intervention. The SABS Design Institute hosted an Icsid board meeting in Cape Town in early 2009 and this gave Viljoen the opportunity to approach Cape Town to bid for the WDC 2014. This led to a Cape Town delegation attending the Cities Summit. Viljoen also suggested that the Icsid board approach other African cities to participate. The result was that the mayor of Nairobi, Kenya also participated in the Seoul event. Both cities made presentations at the summit and signed a Cities Design Declaration.

Targeting the youth Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park designed by Zaha Hadid.

Zaha Hadid and Mayor Oh Se-hoon at the ground breaking ceremony of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park on 28 April 2009.

One of the aspects of Seoul’s approach that Viljoen found most impressive was the emphasis on the youth – with programmes specifically aimed at the 15 to 25 age group. Through a rich combination of rediscovery of the old and a view towards the new, the Seoul Design Assets Exhibition at the Seoul History Museum presented 600 years’ of design history as it combines with advanced IT technologies such as 3D holograms, multimedia, and audiovisual presentations. The exhibition enabled viewers to re-evaluate the traditions and values of Seoul design and offered an opportunity to promote the identity and superiority of Seoul design going forward. Additionally, July will see an interdesign workshop for domestic and internationally emerging designers. On

247 >

Seoul has been able to marry the old with the new and move it into the future when it comes to design.

Children’s Day (May 5, 2010), the children’s design creativity camp will allow children to experience design and have fun, while, throughout 2010, competitions and

advanced cities. The WDC title will also strengthen the brand value of Seoul while further boosting the Republic of Korea’s national standing.

events will be held via the Internet promoting the WDC. Oh sees that the efficacy of design is not limited to

More than just a title According to Mayor Oh, this city constitutes 40% of South Korea’s population and that there are definite objectives involved with the WDC title in 2010 that would benefit the whole of South Korea. He envisages that the various programmes and events will improve the city’s image and will enable Seoul to anchor its foundation to compete with internationally

T: +27 (0) 12 428 6326 F: +27 (0) 12 428 6546 E: W:

making a city pleasant, convenient and safe but is an essential tool to a city’s survival in the 21st century. Throughout 2010, the Seoul Metropolitan Government is planning to create jobs, cultivate the design industry, strengthen the competitiveness of the City of Seoul, and further improve the happiness index of people’s lives through design. < All images courtesy of the Seoul Metropolitan Government.


AVOID THE RED CARD: LEGAL DO’S & DON’TS OF THE 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP ByKellyThompson You would have to have been walking around with your ears and eyes covered for the past few years not to be aware of the fact that South Africa will be hosting the FIFA WORLD CUP soccer tournament this year. The numerals “2010” have been on everybody’s lips for the last four years and the mere mention of this event evokes Dollar signs in the eyes of street vendors and CEOs alike. But whilst advertisers and marketers might be rubbing their hands together in glee at the marketing opportunities which this event will present, it will in reality be all too easy for them to step on the rather sensitive toes of FIFA and its commercial affiliates. In fact, the benefits associated with the high marketing value of the FIFA WORLD CUP event are accessible only to an exclusive club consisting of those who have paid their dues to FIFA. This is because FIFA’s “Official Partners” (sponsors), together with the official suppliers, licensees and official broadcasters, are the only commercial entities which are allowed to claim any direct association with the FIFA WORLD CUP as well as use FIFA’s trade marks in advertising and on products for promotions, advertising and marketing.

Example of ambush marketing.

249 >

An attempt by a trader to connect itself with the FIFA WORLD CUP event without paying sponsorship fees may be considered “ambush marketing” and South Africa has strict anti-ambush marketing laws in place to protect sponsors’ rights. The need to protect these rights is of paramount importance. Sponsors pay millions of dollars for the exclusive marketing rights afforded by their sponsorship deals and this provides funding for the event. It follows that failure to protect these rights could jeopardise the event itself. When a trader or advertiser either directly or indirectly creates the impression that it is associated with an event, or is an official sponsor of the event, this is termed ambush marketing “by association”. When a trader or advertiser simply attempts unfairly to benefit from the publicity surrounding an event and to gain exposure for its own brand at the expense of the event, this is termed ambush marketing “by intrusion”. Both forms of ambush marketing are prohibited under South African law. The first relevant provision is to be found in the Trade Practices Act which, in essence, prohibits unauthorised third parties from publishing or displaying statements

and communications which represent, imply or suggest a contractual or other connection or association between that person and the event, or the person sponsoring the event. It virtually goes without saying that misrepresenting that you are something which you are not (such as a sponsor) or that there is some contractual connection between you and another when there is not, is wrong. There is, therefore, nothing unusual about this section of the Trade Practices Act. However, the Merchandise Marks Act of 1941 (as amended) takes matters a little further and prohibits persons from using their own trade marks in a certain manner in relation to a “protected event”. The Minister of Trade and Industry has designated the 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP event as such a protected event. Essentially, the relevant provision prohibits a third party from using its own trade mark, without authority from the organiser of the event, in a manner calculated to achieve publicity for the trade mark and thereby to derive special promotional benefit from the event. This includes any visual or audible use of the trade mark which in any way, directly or indirectly, is intended to be brought into association with or to allude to any event. This is fairly widely worded and is intended to

250 >

Example of ambush marketing.

signage from its premises in terms of which it had styled itself a “World Cup Entertainment Lounge”.

bring to book those parties who commit ambush marketing “by intrusion”. Contravention of this provision is a criminal offence. The effect of this section of the Merchandise Marks Act has been confirmed by the High Court. In October 2009, judgement was handed down in the Pretoria High Court against Metcash Trading Africa (Pty) Limited which had been selling lollipops branded “2010 pops”. The packaging of the product bore soccer balls and partial depictions of the South African flag. Although there was no direct reference to the 2010 Soccer World Cup event, the court held that Metcash had intended for its lollipops to be associated with the event and had also intended to derive special promotional benefit from the event. The court held that such conduct is unlawful and falls foul of the relevant section of the Merchandise Marks Act. Metcash was accordingly restrained from competing unlawfully with FIFA by contravening the Merchandise Marks Act. It was also ordered to pay FIFA’s legal costs. Earlier in the year, Eastwood Tavern in Pretoria (opposite Loftus Stadium) was ordered by a court to remove

Both the Trade Practices Act and Merchandise Marks Act have criminalised ambush marketing. Advertisers, printers, graphic designers, copywriters and, basically, anyone involved in the production of an advertisement, packaging or labelling, should be aware of these provisions, for fear of being accused of, at the very least, aiding and abetting the commission of a criminal offence. In addition to the two pieces of legislation already mentioned, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has a Sponsorship Code which further protects sponsors’ rights. It contains a host of provisions aimed at the fair treatment of sponsors and, among other things, prevents third parties from creating the impression of having some association with the event when they do not and also prohibits the use of endorsement of athletes in advertising to create such an impression, event-related sales promotions (such as ticket giveaways), offering corporate hospitality at events and the abuse of event airspace. Complaints may be laid with the ASA against parties who do not adhere to the provisions of the Sponsorship Code and the ASA can order withdrawal of the advertising concerned and can impose additional sanctions in the case of repeat offenders. The most basic and common type of ambush marketing is the misappropriation of an event organiser’s trade marks, images or logos in advertising. In the case of FIFA, this would include the use of the trade marks FIFA, WORLD CUP and the WORLD CUP TROPHY device in advertisements. This conduct can be stopped in terms of the provisions mentioned above and also in terms of the Trade Marks Act and additional provisions of the Merchandise Marks Act, in terms of which the Minister of Trade and Industry has declared certain marks associated with the event to be “prohibited marks”.

251 > More insidious forms of ambush marketing involve, for example, handing out samples, products or free branded items at events. At the European Soccer Championship in 2000, thousands of fans were given free hats bearing the AMSTEL Beer logo as they entered the stadium. The result was free advertising for this product at the event as the camera panned over the crowd. And if you can’t get your product into the stadium, then why not try above it? Ambush marketers frequently take advantage of the airspace above an event, such as PEPSI flying a branded hot air balloon over Wembley Stadium on the day of the COCA-COLA CUP final. Sometimes, traders seek to benefit from the publicity surrounding an event by giving away tickets to the event or running other promotional competitions in connection with the event. This also constitutes ambush marketing. In the case of the 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP event, it will also constitute a breach of the ticketing terms and conditions. In short, South Africa’s anti-ambush marketing provisions are clear and have been confirmed by the High Court. It is also apparent that FIFA has taken, and will continue to take, vigorous steps to protect its sponsors’ rights. The withdrawal of advertising and packaging can cost millions of Rands but following a few simple rules will help keep you out of trouble. One final word of advice would be: don’t forget to protect your own brand! In the flurry to be ready for 2010 and while trying not to step on anyone’s toes, many businesses have neglected their own intellectual property and have, for example, not registered their trade marks. This could leave your own brand vulnerable and exposed way beyond 2010. <

Kelly Thompson is a partner at Adams & Adams, one of the firms which have been appointed by FIFA to assist with its Rights Protection Programme.

HOW TO STAY OUT OF TROUBLE > No use of FIFA’s registered trade marks or prohibited marks. > Steer clear of use of combinations of 2010 or soccer balls or other soccer images and “South Africa” or names of the host cities. > Steer clear of obvious (even if not direct) allusions to the event in advertisements or other promotional competitions. > No ticket give-aways or other promotional competitions unless with authority. > No placing of advertisements on the outskirts of stadiums. > No branded items in/around stadiums. > Advertisements containing general soccer wording or imagery only (with no other references to 2010 or the event), will generally be acceptable.

also pursuing a parallel career in design.

collections and executing commissioned works, while

exhibitions, contributing to private and corporate

been working as an artist participating in group

herself in a multi-disciplinary world where she has

specialising in painting, Chenette has since immersed

graduate from the University of Pretoria in 1992,

fine art, design, education and business. A fine arts

professional who comfortably traverses the worlds of

Chenette Swanepoel is a multi-talented creative


253 >

Chenette Swanepoel is a prolific freelance graphic designer and illustrator serving the publishing, corporate and cultural sectors, an interior designer specialising in the retail and leisure. She is also a visual communications consultant to the banking sector specialising in sensory experiences, colour and wayfinding iconography. Over and above, she is an art agent and curator for the Rooke Gallery, as well as a lecturer in illustration and animation. Some examples of her design work include illustrations for the Klein Karoo Kunstefees, Cities of the World Travel Guide published by Conde Nast, Epic magazine, Via Africa/Collegium, Maskew Miller Longman Pearson Education, Standard Bank, Small Business Corporation, Dstv, instructional imagery for the Centre for the Study of Aidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; home-based care kit, official SA stamps for the 2000 Olympic games and commemorative stamps for Workerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day and Family Day. Clients for communication design include Old Mutual, Nampak, Ernst & Young, Multichoice, Absa and Randpark Golf Club. Interior design projects include the dome for Gerani in Village Walk (Sandton), a 6m x 8m mural for Casablanca Restaurant (Pretoria), murals for the foyer of Hunt Lascaris, interior renovation projects for Fabric Library and Castelano Beltrame showrooms and the interiors of Randpark Golf Club, to name a few. Chenette shared some of her personal insights regarding design education in an interview with DESIGN>. D > You studied fine arts. How did you end up practicing design as your primary profession? CS > Issues around relevancy and involvement in cultural activity became a consideration for me. Designers have more influence in society and are (or at least can be) significant agents for change. D > What unique skills have your fine arts training brought you as a practicing designer? CS > The explorative and experimental approach of fine arts training broadened the scope of my problem solving skills.

254 >

Developing a visual language to express personal beliefs requires a conviction in your own viewpoints. Issues around authenticity and accountability are not restricted to the domain of the fine artist alone. D > Your work spans several design disciplines. Can you tell us more about how you integrate your multidisciplinary practices? CS > My core skill is a mode of thinking and not a craft. When I engage with a problem, be it designing a chair, constructing spatial narratives or producing corporate identities, the creative approach remains the same. Although I consider my thinking as specialised, the application is diverse. D > How does your design career impact on your profile as a fine artist and how do you juggle the roles? Are there ever conflicts? CS > Although the motivation and objective of my art pursuits differ from my design work, I approach it with a similar aesthetic and conceptual sensibility. The boundaries between art and design are shifting and it has become possible to cross the floor between what were traditionally separate arenas. D > Do you have a specific design philosophy? CS > I believe designers have the responsibility to function as agents for change. Their work should reflect an honest and innovative approach to the problem, whatever the brief requires. D > Would you call yourself a creative entrepreneur? CS > Yes. A lot of my work is the result of interrogating the brief and redefining the problem which in turn increases opportunities for my creative involvement. D > You have been teaching design for many years. Do you have a unique teaching methodology and what pedagogical focus areas are most important to you?

Herman van den Berg CD cover and poster.

Babetteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s feast exhibition, 2009, Artspace, Johannesburg.

255 >

Paris, New York and London. Illustrations for Conde Nast travel supplement.

256 >

The Travels of Bad exhibition by Zander Blom, 2009, Rooke Gallery.

257 >

CS > I focus on process rather than end result. Students should be encouraged to explore boldly without the fear of making mistakes. To see their comfort zones crumbling yields surprising results that builds confidence. D > You are known to be quite a strict and demanding lecturer. Why is discipline important to you? CS > John Rohn said it best: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.â&#x20AC;? D > What areas are lacking in tertiary design training and what are the future opportunities and challenges that we need to address? CS > Although issues around cultural diversity are being addressed, many students remain cocooned in their own cultural enclave. It will be beneficial to expose them to radically opposing worldviews to enhance their understanding of the world.

Before and after views of the identity and interior of the Randpark Club.

D > Why is it important for you as a practicing designer and artist to be involved in design education? CS > Design education is a stimulating and rewarding pursuit. D > Does teaching benefit your professional practice as a designer and artist? CS > Yes, the academic realm imparts a certain critical sensibility but it is constant exposure to new emerging trends and subcultures that stimulates creativity. D > What is in stall for Chenette in the near future? CS > The near future involves going back in time since my next project involves African dinosaurs from the Mesozoic era. I will be designing all the visual material for an exhibition at Transvaal Museum titled Mesozoic Monsters. <

259 >


Architecture, Interior Design & Built Environment

APRIL 2010 02 > A  IA LAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Restaurant Design Awards 2010 (Regional) 12 > C  oncrete Geometries: Spatial Form in Social and Aesthetic Processes (International) 12 > D  &AD student awards: Environmental design (International) 15 > S EAMLab 2010 Scholarship Competition (International) 15 > 2 010 Prime Ministerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Better Public Building Award (UK) 15 > 1 0Up: YAF Atlanta Design-Build Challenge (US) 21 > M  iami Civic Center: Urban Competition (International) 30 > S chindler Award 2010: Access for All (International) 10 > 15 > 15 > 23 > 26 > 30 > 30 > 30 >

F est Anca International Animation Festival & Competition (International) G  olden Bee: Moscow International Biennial of Graphic Design (International) W  orld Industrial Design Day 2010: Student Poster Competition (International) N  orthern Design Competition 2010 (Regional) T he Aniboom Awards 4: Sesame Street Contest (International) V  LAFF 2010 Poster Contest (Canada) iF Communication Design Awards (International) 1 9th Australian Catalogue Awards 2010 (Australia)

Industrial Design

07 > 09 > 12 > 23 >

P DP Award: Andrea Pininfarina (International) D  &AD student awards: Product design (International) BIO Awards: 22nd Biennial of Industrial Design (International) N  AGOYA DESIGN DO! 2010 (International)


09 > A  ustralasian Student Design Awards 2010 (Regional) 16 > S ABS Design Institute Design Achievers Awards 2010 (South Africa) 30 > E xterior Lighting Grant 2010: Street Furniture Light (International)

Communication Design, Advertising, Animation & New Media

Fashion & Jewellery

Research & Journalism Sustainability

01 > S IGRADI Conference 2010: Call for Abstracts (International) 15 > IIDEX/NEOCON CANADA 2010 (International) 01 > International E-waste Design Competition 2010 (International)

260 >

DISCIPLINE Architecture, Interior Design & Built Environment

Communication Design, Advertising, Animation & New Media

Fashion & Jewellery

MAY 2010

03 > 2 010 Chicago Prize Competition: Mine the Gap (International) 12 > A  IAS Livable Communities (International)

01 > 06 > 11 > 14 > 21 > 25 > 30 > 31 >

F oam Magazine Talent Call (International) 2 010 Poster design competition (South Africa) G  ame Changers: Design 21 is Looking for the Next Game Changer (International) C  ommunication Arts Design competition (International) P entawards 2010 [Package Design] (International) IDEO+DESIGN 21: Living Climate Change Challenge (International) International Triennial Of Stage Poster Sofia 2010 (International) 2 010 Loerie Awards (Africa and Middle East)

01 > Fashion Illustration Contest by Marie Claire & IED Barcelona (International)

Industrial Design

01 > E lectrolux Design Lab 2010: The Second Space Age (International) 07 > S ABS Design Institute Design Excellence Awards 2010 (South Africa) 11 > M  INI Product Design Competition for the Centre Rail in the New MINI Countryman (International) 18 > N  okiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Calling All Innovators contest (International)


01 > O  ne Good Chair 2010 Design Competition: Minimum/Maximum (International)

Research & Journalism


07 > R  IBA Presidentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Awards for Research 2010: Call for Entries (UK) 17 > O  pen Source House: Hundreds of Young Architects Worldwide Join Forces (International) 25 > T he Living Climate Change Video Challenge (International)

JUNE 2010

JULY 2010

07 > K  aohsiung Maritime Cultural & Popular Music Center International Competition (International) 15 > B  ali 2010: Marine Research Center (Intl)

01 > B  ali 2010: Marine Research Center (International) 15 > ICARCH: A House for Anton Chekhov (USA)

04 > 4 th International Poster Exhibition â&#x20AC;&#x201C; YAKU (International)

01 > J ames Dyson Award 2010 (International)

15 > 2 010 Hokonui Fashion Design Awards (International)

01 > P layable 2010 Design competition: opens for submissions (International)

04 > 2010 Adobe Design Achievement Awards (International) 15 > Food Design Competition 6 (Intl) 30 > Wide Open Ideas Competition for Tiananmen Square (International)

01 > Good Design 2010 (International) 13 > Seoul International Design competition 2010 (International) 15 > iF Design Awards China (Regional)

01 > W  interhouse Awards for Design Writing & Criticism (Regional)

30 > C  all for papers & proposals: Impact 7 Intersections & Counterpoints (International) 30 > C  aesarstone Design Award: Icon to Earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Wellbeing (International)




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