CONTENTS 11 > PREFACE 11 > Publisher’s note 13 > Foreword 14 > TRAILBLAZERS
14 > The Renaissance of the prawn starter 22 > This is the current ‘sexy’ of South African furniture design 32 > C onfessions of a sideshow popstar: Shotopop tells the tale up to now Cover image courtesy of Lung Animation and The Parlotones
40 > H ome-grown and sustainable with a natural flair for world-class products 44 > Designing our world for 2050 50 > Views on design education 52 > BUILT ENVIRONMENT
52 > Grand Daddy’s trailer flash 58 > FOXP2: the product of an inspirational environment EDUCATION
CONTENTS 64 > COMMUNICATION DESIGN
64 > Lung animation creates top entertainment 72 > Shy the Sun: Crafting each spot to perfection 80 > A storyteller rooted in Africa
in: Icograda World Design Congress 2009, 88 > X Beijing 94 > How big is Barbie?
130 > AWARDS & COMPETITIONS
130 > Designing the future of water
142 > Following PIG 05049
134 > Designed for Africa
144 > Street Swags: Peopleâ€™s choice at INDEX: Awards
o-creation produces INDEX: Award winning 138 > C Chulha stove
oung design talent gets the SABS stamp of 148 > Y approval
194 > HIGH SCHOOL RESOURC
184 > The Eco Fashion story
194 > Inspiring young talent
188 > Creative Future Scholarship changes lives
etails of design: Investigating the element 198 > D of design analysis
190 > Woolworths is making a difference
98 > DESIGN PROMOTION
110 > FASHION
98 > Supporting young product designers
110 > Highlights of local fashion trends for 2010
reative thought and exchange flourish at 102 > C Dutch Design Week
122 > CIFF Summer 2010 trend forecast
106 > Jamming with creativity
154 > H ouse and Leisure and Woolworths join forces to nurture local eco-friendly design
ery important egos: Who are the fairest of 168 > V them all?
160 > Elle DĂŠcorationâ€™s SOLVE New Talent Search
even Ideas that Matter grants for social 176 > S good
164 > The Carrol Boyes Metal Awards 2009
180 > VUKANI! Fashion Awards 2009 212 > TERTIARY NEWS
204 > Desirable products that leave a soft footprint
212 > When is a box a window?
206 > Through the eyes of a goldsmith
216 > Student reflections on industrial design
211 > A first for Africa: Design Grade 10
221 > The winning stand at Design Indaba 2009 224 > The Design Academy Eindhoven EDUCATION
CREDITS PUBLISHER & CEO >
SALES MANAGER >
email@example.com PRODUCTION ASSISTANT > GROUP EDITOR >
Jacques Lange ADMINISTRATION & ACCOUNTS > EDITOR >
Lana McLachlan & Michelle Swart
Suné Stassen CREATIVE DIRECTOR > CONTRIBUTING EDITOR >
Jennie Fourie DESIGN & LAYOUT > CONTRIBUTORS >
Marieke Adams, Jason Aldridge, Veronica Barnes, Lucilla Booysen, Charl Blignaut,
PUBLISHED BY >
Fatima Cassim, Olivia De Gouveia, Vikki du
Preez, Casper Franken, Ewaldi Grové, Ayesha
Tel: +27(0) 82 882 8124
Kamalie, Angie Hattingh, Des Laubscher, Heidi
Fax: +27 (0) 86 678 8448
Liebenberg, Adrian Madlener, Weyers Marais,
Robyn Mitchell, Carin Standford, Sarah Stewart and Hilton Tennant
© 2009 Design Information.
DESIGN > EDUCATION is produced by DESIGN Information. All material is strictly copyright, with all rights reserved. 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 > EDUCATION are not necessarily those of the publisher, its endorsers, sponsors or contributors.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE The curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA, NY, USA), Paola Antonelli, was once asked to comment on the future role of designers in global society. Her response was quite straightforward and prophetic: “People think that design is styling. Design is not style. It’s not about giving shape to the shell and not giving a damn about the guts. Good design is a renaissance attitude that combines technology, cognitive science, human need, and beauty to produce something that the world didn’t know it was missing.”
The launch of this exciting new publication has long been an act of passion for the minds behind the publishing team who have always believed that design is a valuable career option for young people. Moreover, we have always believed that design is a career that can make a difference to the world we live in today because designers have an inherent ability to deal with challenges and solve problems, big or small. However, the designers of the future will have to solve more complex problems than any of their predecessors and this publication aims to contribute to empowering them by stimulating new thinking, showcasing best practice examples from experienced industry stalwarts, as well as highlighting emerging talent.
Furthermore, when acclaimed designer, Paula Scher, was asked what it takes to be a relevant designer in the 21st century, she advised: “Be culturally literate, because if you don’t have any understanding of the world you The mandate of ED> is multi-dimensional: To inspire live in and the culture you live in, you’re not going to talented young minds to pursue careers in design, convince parents to support their kids to embark on express anything to anybody else.” careers in the wonderful world of design, empower art The ethos of Antonelli’s and Scher’s statements en- and design teachers with relevant teaching resources capsulate the philosophy behind what the publishing and solicit greater respect for the discipline amongst team of DESIGN > EDUCATION (or just call us ED>) aims career guidance teachers, school headmasters and to achieve: A better informed and better equipped education administrators. future generation of designers who have a clear grasp of the challenging roles and responsibilities required We wish you an inspiring read. by a new age, infused by technology, yet anchored in the solid values of designing a better future that serves Cameron Bramley, Publisher & Jacques Lange, Group all of humanity. Editor
FOREWORD Introducing you to the launch edition of DESIGN> EDUCATION, or ED>, makes me feel like a kid in a candy store. I hope that ED> will become your best friend when it comes to design news – whether you are a design student or an up-and-coming creative. Our editorial team is made up of a gang of passionate and incredibly talented young designers who love to get behind the scenes of the industry and who has produced a world-class publication filled with exciting and meaningful editorial content that entertains and also informs. As a biannual publication,ED> not only focuses on trendy and valuable design titbits, but also informs the industry about people like YOU – showcasing the cream of the crop of new talent in a variety of design disciplines. Our editorial team delves deeper than the usual show-and-tell and shares valuable insights into home-grown, world-class productions and designs. We hope that you’ll be inspired! ED> focuses, in particular, on the designer as thought leader in a world that’s desperate for creative, critical and strategic thinkers. We offer you the opportunity to develop design thinking, while also focussing on the traditional understanding of the practice of design. This first edition of ED> takes you on a journey where we not only look at product development, but also consider the vital role of the creative industry in entertainment like music, animation and movies – a vital way of sustaining our humanity and keeping the balance between work and play. Claudio from Lung shares some behind-the-scenes stuff about producing music videos for the popular rock band, The Parlotones, and we find
out more from the creators of the latest Skunk Anansie music video, Because of you. We also visit a powerful product design duo, better known as LIV design, who represents a new generation of sustainable and responsible designers and we take note of local and international fashion trend forecasts for 2010. Some of the problems experienced on planet Earth are the direct result of past greed and badly designed products, systems, environments and processes. Today we are forced to use our knowledge and skills in a more responsible way. We hope that governments and noncreative industries will start acknowledging the vital role of the creative industries to come up with innovative ideas and solve problems that are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. The time has come for design to be considered a stem subject for vital skills development and that, combined with science, technology, mathematics and languages, we will be able to develop a future workforce who are equipped with the necessary skills to become more entrepreneurial in their thinking and sustainable in their doing. ED> aims to assist in creating a new generation of responsible creatives who will be able to redesign a sustainable world and a better life for all. I want to thank our incredible team of contributors who directed their passion towards this launch edition of ED>. Their vast energy defines this publication. Suné Stassen Editor, DESIGN > EDUCATION EDUCATION
Images courtesy wetaNZ.com
By Jason Aldridge
THE RENAISSANCE OF TH
Finally, no more excuses. Finally, no more Best Foreign Film Award. Finally, a movie for South Africans that is actually credible and at the same time entertaining and innovative in its design. And all this was done with someone else’s money to huge critical acclaim, at home and abroad. Stand up Neill Blomkamp and take a bow, while the rest of us get a pen and paper ready, so we can start taking notes Whilst many bemoan the funding issues and SABC goes into freefall, the heart of South Africa’s film and TV – although strained – is slowly but surely thumping and pounding as only the African drum can. Carrying the torch for this newfound vitality is writer/director Neill Blomkamp’s movie District 9. Unlike many other sci-fi films set in default New York or Washington DC, the entertaining South African caricature Wikus van der Merwe’s (played by Sharlto Copley) misadventures with the government and prawns, is set in Johannesburg. This world created and realised by the movie is futuristic but still deeply affected by our country’s past, segregating the aliens in homage to the infamous District 6 or even recent xenophobia camps. The movie is one that doesn’t wax lyrical on the usual issues of apartheid/dying African child/ AIDS/poverty/White guilt that international audiences lap up or expect, and is an unadulterated, actionpacked ride with believable characters – no fake accents. The success story seemingly begins when Blomkamp started working
for Sharlto Copley, whilst still at school. This producer saw him as quite a talent: “I started a production company immediately out of school. I mean that really was a joke, hiring Neill, because he was still in high school. I didn’t actually hire him, but I did get him to do some stuff for free... He had this incredible talent for animation and he kept on doing stuff that was inspiring me even at his young age,” said Copley in an interview for vanityfair.com. Blomkamp subsequently left for Canada after matric, and the two worked on many other projects (commercials, TV) separately and together, culminating in him casting his friend in the role for his first feature film. The missing link? After cutting his teeth and working up the food chain in the commercials industry, Blomkamp was going to direct the Halo movie, which eventually fell through. Peter Jackson (director for Lord of the Rings, King Kong) – who was producing the Halo production – decided to give Blomkamp his full producing support in allowing the young director to start the journey to District 9. According to Blomkamp,
Jackson said he could make the film he wanted to make and he echoes our thoughts when he says on movieretriever.com: “It’s pretty rare for a first-time filmmaker to get to ‘go off and make what you want to make.’” The concept for this film came from Blomkamp’s incredible short, Alive in Jo’burg, which he never consciously thought of making into a feature until much later. “I did the short film [Alive in Jo’burg] because I wanted to do science fiction in South Africa. It was purely messing around on an artistic level...Never once did it occur to me that I was doing it to try and make a feature film out of it...I just started to realise I wanted to make something that was my own.” (movieretriever.com) You might wonder why is there so much focus on other worldly genres like sci-fi or fantasy these days? Besides the geek factor, or huge appeal of effects-driven action sequences, escapism is on the rise. Whilst economies took a bashing and people are earning less money, when it comes to movies, the crazier EDUCATION
16 > the better – take the audience away from their daily problems into another world of fantasy. Then of course a number of facets in the film can present itself as current realities or as predicted developments for an unknown future, which is something that will always be intriguing. According to Blomkamp: “All of these topics I feel will become more important to the first world in the coming years – wealth discrepancy,
gated communities. I feel like I’m actually in the future in Jo’burg. I have the sense when I’m there that it’s a scaled-down version of Blade Runner. Every single house in the suburbs has an electric fence. It just feels like this place is absolutely electric and futuristic. It’s where it’s actually going. That’s why I love it. Not the same as in Hollywood”.
The lead conceptual designer for District 9, Greg Broadmore from WETA workshop, had this to say about his initial thoughts on the project: “Knowing the film was going to be set in South Africa was a major part of why I found District 9 such an appealing film to work on. Working in the film industry as a conceptual designer, you get to see a lot of different projects and unfortunately, most of them are
17 > incredibly derivative and safe. Neill’s take on sci-fi, his decision to cast unknowns, shoot it in a faux documentary style and to set it all in Johannesburg are all brave decisions – both for him and for Peter who produced the film. It’s these kinds of risks that make a film feel unique and stand out from the usual suspects. It was really a nobrainer to work on something so fresh.”
Developing this world in South Africa and more specifically Johannesburg, gives the film a very relevant visual edge, as well as social constructs between humans and aliens that mirror our country’s past segregation, providing a new and clever injection of optimism for how we can depict this country in the proper context. But what other references came into play to construct this visual feast? Broadmore
enlightened us as to his visual references: “For my job as lead concept designer, and focusing on the technology of the film, I took from many inspirations. Growing up in New Zealand I think allows an interesting perspective on eastern and western cultures. I grew up with Star Wars and Aliens and was able to discover Japanese movie design through Nausica and Akira – these and a multitude of other references come
18 > together and I hope distil into something different. It was also my and Neill’s intention to reference 70s and 80s sci-fi design, like that of Chris Foss. However, nothing I’ve designed in the film is a literal translation of design ideas, it was my intention to try and create something new.” Developing and executing the visuals of the MNU (police-like force or organisation) or aliens, with the South African context in mind wasn’t blatant or in-your-face. According to Broadmore, “the setting didn’t consciously affect the technology or design of the aliens. They had to stand separate and define themselves, but I’m sure there are
subconscious connections being made to South Africa. The costume and graphic design of the MNU security forces are for instance referenced from existing private security forces, which were often taken from South Africa. In MNU’s case, they were dialled up in the technology stakes with slightly futuristic looking armour – intended to look as if MNU had gleaned something however small from the aliens’ materials technology”. Parallels can, however, be drawn with the ‘No Prawns Allowed’ signs, and ‘Slegs blankes’ (Whites only) signs of the past as well as the MNU’s look and feel of ADT (security company) on steroids.
David Meng at WETA workshop was the lead designer for the prawns and he gave us his thoughts on the conceptual processes behind the creature design in D9. The main references for the aliens are derived from humble enough sources: “mostly we took inspiration from crabs, lobsters, praying mantises, and more”. On how far they were willing to push the design of the aliens, Meng says there was a strong emphasis on the character of the aliens as the social outcasts of society. “Neill would reject certain things as being too flourished or fantastical. On the other hand he did want a lot of things going on within the alien
19 > anatomy, for them to be very busy. He was not at all afraid to make the aliens inhuman or ‘disgusting’. But again, there was still a mundanity about the alien design, which ended up being very fitting for the movie. In the film the human populace are completely over-towering the aliens, and think very little of them. You are supposed to accept them as real, and like much of reality, they are unremarkable. I didn’t think this movie was the kind of film where the creatures needed to be showcased, such as in Alien or Predator. It would have defeated the purpose if the aliens stole the show.” In the context of the reality of the D9 world, Meng says, “visually the
aliens had to look real, dusty and beaten up, reflecting the environment they lived in and their social status.” So with the success of a multitude of sci-fi films, the medium of film is choc-full of futuristic, postapocalyptic, fantastical elements of design, which sometimes can feel like an overload of rehashed clichés. District 9 seems to be very unique within its genre, striking a perfect balance between real and fantasy that is not so unbelievable or implausible so that the audience will loose engagement. Whether this is the case or not, Broadmore says “...we strive to make our designs feel authentic...
We always try and go as wild as we can with designs at the start of a project and reign it in as the films’ story dictates. Even though a device may be doing something incredibly far-fetched, it’s our quest to make these things feel practical with common sense in some way, especially in a film like D9 where the rest of the setting and performance is so gritty and grounded...Science fiction and fantasy is certainly as popular as ever before, but as to whether that gives more opportunity for diverse design thinking and risk-taking, I’m not so sure. Hollywood is not taking too many risks at the moment given the state of the financial world, but ultimately it’s all up to the filmmakers. There
20 > are certainly many important people in the film industry who are currently making safe and boring decisions, but eventually it’s up to us and the rest of the up-and-coming film makers to push for more new ideas.” The prawns also weren’t too similar to what audiences have previously seen, and Meng says ”there’s also a number of permutations that work aesthetically. If you have designed a creature within the confines of, say, a bipedal organism, there is a certain anatomy that makes sense for that... Designers will do certain things because they look good and because they work. They intuitively make sense, for instance, like an inborn language shared by everybody.” So one would assume that only so many variations that would work could ever be realised.
that everything has been done all ready.”
District 9 is a great movie, which resonates with everyone across different generations in South Africa and in making an honest South African story, the universal themes in the movie shine through to an international audience. So, ultimately, what did we learn? What type of movies should we be making? Blomkamp puts it simply: “I made this film because it was something that I wanted to see. I think that’s why filmmakers make certain films because it’s the kind of movie they want to watch” (movieretriever.com).
And if good, successful design in the film industry is nothing more than passion, a belief in what you are working on and something you yourself would want to watch, Meng goes on to say, “I also think then we should stop producing films that as we move further into the simply on request by commissions future, the backlog of creature de- if people won’t actually watch it. If signs gets bigger and bigger and District 9 teaches us anything, it there’s that much less stuff left to would be that quality filmmaking try. Things like Giger’s Alien and does not mean safe or conventional.
Predator could only happen once. But on a brighter note, you still see unique creations being designed even now. I loved the creatures in Pan’s Labyrinth, and the monster in the Korean movie The Host . These really inspired me, especially how they managed to kick down walls during a time when it seems
It demands risk-taking and that we should stay determined to keep writing, filming and talking about the films of our generation. A generation influenced by apartheid – but not a bi-product of that past – and with a view to represent South Africa and Africa as a whole is more than just a safari or history lesson <
Click to view the trailer of District 9.
THIS IS THE CURRENT
‘SEXY’ OF SOUTH AFRICAN FURNITURE DESIGN By Suné Stassen
After winning a gold award at Decorex, being featured in many prestigious publications, followed by numerous television interviews, the design duo, Danielle Ehrlich and Ewaldi Grové (previously known as LIV Design) also won the Real Simple Fleur Du Cap Green Innovation Design award. To top it all, their products are exported to the UK, USA, Australia and Norway and are also exhibited at The Rockefeller Centre in New York. This young duo is on top of the world.
Danielle Ehrlich and Ewaldi GrovĂŠ recently moved to Cape Town and begun working with DesignFaktorii, a satellite company of TWIICE International. They are currently working on a new range of sustainable furniture while also developing interior environments that follow a progressive sustainability philosophy. Their work is refreshing, quirky, exhilarating and unique with a serious touch of cup cakes and an array of wonderlands. With the amount of detail entailed in all of their product designs it is surprising to see how effective they are in anchoring sustainability in each and every aspect of their design solutions. These two girls are a wealth of information on sustainable product development. They had this to say in an interview with ED>. ED > Explain the uniqueness of this design duo. Danielle > We are two unique individuals who love to dissect and question life and design. We do not take anything at face value and we love to delve deeper into superficial solutions, question them, dissect them and re-make them in a way that makes sense to us. Ewaldi is my soul sister, and Liv Design is the creation of our shared magic. We are able to mirror and elevate each other to reach our potential and become a power team. Ewaldi > We also keep each other in check, making sure that we keep our integrity and that we stay wellgrounded. ED > Your background and training? D > I studied a BA Interior Design degree at the Greenside Design Center. The course really helped me to conceptualise and dream up magical and interesting spaces.
However, I was always more inclined to designing for society and considering the environment and always spinning the brief in that direction.
helps to create a product-consumer link that automatically lessens the likelihood of landing up in a landfill. This creates products with a longer lifespan.
After college I travelled to Israel where I was blown away by the ingenuity of the simple yet highly effective design of daily life, generated with very few resources. Inspired by this form of thinking and fed by the Green Apprenticeship Course run by Kibbutz Lotan, I became motivated to create new sustainable models in South Africa. Living, learning and building in an eco-village shifted my thoughts entirely towards sustainable design.
E > Most contemporary designers don’t conform to
E > I grew up in a home that celebrates art, music, food and design. After school I travelled through Europe and Australia and came back to study interior design at Greenside Design Center. I then moved down to Cape Town to study industrial design at Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Industrial design was challenging. It stimulated and fulfilled my need to create and manifest my creativity in a 3D world. ED > What is your take on sustainability and the responsibility of designers as such?
any ‘isms’, yet I believe that the work that we produce fuels consumerism, an addiction to consume and persistently replace products and lifestyles. I am trained to produce desirable products but I’ve chosen to use this skill in a responsibly. Design is so powerful and influential. It is constantly changing the way we appear, move, perceive, think and negotiate. My long-term goal is to solve the moral predicament of the consumer-age by implementing sustainable and realistic alternatives that perhaps could lead to healthier ‘isms’. ED > In hindsight, what changes would you propose to the curriculum of the design training you have received and why? D > More emphasis should be placed on nature with ample examples of elements that are successfully designed. Observational skills can be better explored and developed, especially when it comes to the built environment so that more sustainable techniques and materials can be realised and used.
D > It is a huge responsibility to be involved in socially responsible and conscious design. The methodology, materials and concept of the end product, if considered in the design stage, could make a drastic difference in the way that products are perceived and consumed. Items made from carefully considered materials that are either biodegradable or able to be disassembled at the end of their lifecycle and reused or recycled. I also believe that by creating products with soul, stories and careful consideration,
Explanation of carbon footprint and chemical implications when producing materials should be better explored, especially questioning the design norms and ethics and whether they are in fact compliant to current best practice. Furthermore, there should also be more factory visits where students can come in touch and are connected with the processes involved in the materials that they so casually spec for interiors.
E > Sustainable studies, green technologies, ecological design and other related studies need to be introduced into academic curricula. It can’t just be taught as abstract ideas or philosophies. These philosophies need to be considered and applied to design briefs. ED > Tell us about the beginnings of LIV Design and describe that special moment when you both realised that ‘people get your ideas’. D > It all started with an exciting journey into factory waste bins in Jozi that resulted in a product range and a company which exuded uniqueness and the rethinking of all the design formulae and methodology that we had been taught. For us, it remains an everevolving social experiment that questions thinking about design and its relevance and resonance to society. E > Ours is a story of shared ideology. Within four weeks after us starting to work together, we created a whole range and it only made sense to start a company. Ten days before the Decorex Expo we requested a stand, having no expectations or any idea what the response to our new concept would be. We put ourselves on a public ‘chopping board’ but never envisioned the butterfly-ripple effect that would soon transpire. Decorex was an ideal platform to launch our company. The event inspired and motivated us to carry on with the work that we are so passionate about, allowing us to grow and learn and to continue empowering and uplifting design and craft in South Africa. The fact that we won a couple of awards since then, the great media exposure and the public acceptance that we received is amazing and a great bonus. ED > You seem to have found a happy place where you successfully combine crafts, high-end industrial
design, ergonomics, interior and even surface design. Tell us more about this successful combo and the balance you strike to produce new product ranges. D > I believe in collaboration between materials, styles, ideas and people. Society has a funny way of boxing, sorting and categorising things. This leaves very little room for originality, diversity and magic to happen. By testing our new design approaches, we open up other ideas that become rich with the flavours of many other philosophies. E > I think it’s really important to stay in touch with different communities and cultures. Local and international youth culture – ranging from fashion to film to music and graffiti – keeps me connected to the desires and needs of our contemporary world. Youth culture is always a good source of things to come in the future. The craft world, on the other hand, keeps me grounded and humbled and it reminds me that I come from Africa. It’s like a balancing act to try and find a symbiotic interaction where diverse worlds and needs meet. ED > What makes your products unique? D > We like to think that our products offer an element of quirkiness, sophistication, soul and originality that become highly talkative and special ‘little creatures’ in their own right. Every aspect of their creation has been specifically de signed with consciousness, care, fair trade and generally good vibes. They also speak a South African language that everyone can understand but do not fall into any stereotyped brackets. E > We design products with a conscience. Our ethos is aimed towards sustainable design. To us, this means design that acknowledges human beings,
that is sensitive towards culture and the community,
E > At varsity you are given a brief and this is followed
that makes economic sense and that considers the
by research, concept development, cadding or draft-
impact it has on our planet.
ing, material and manufacturing exploration and prototyping. However, in professional practice, we
ED > What process do you follow when selecting
often find the materials or manufacturing process
materials for your new products?
first, explore its potential and then design a brief or product around it.
D > We choose the materials based on the concept and sometimes the materials become the product ED > Tell us more about the crafters who you employ brief. We have also begun looking at the qualities
to produce your products.
of manufacturing, examining their attributes and choosing them specifically based on the sustain-
E > Finding the right crafters was quite a long and
ability approach. For example, the pros and cons frustrating process. The ‘crafters on the streets’ are of a material: how it can or cannot be reworked, re- often the sellers and not the actual craftsmen who propolished or recycled, looking at it’s longevity as well duce the products that are sold. We had to dig deep as it’s durability and deciding consciously whether into the heart of Berea, Hill brow and Troyeville in Jozi or not we can spec it. Sustainability is definitely not
to find real talent. The African informal sector is very
a straightforward equation.
different to traditional Western business constructs and it took us a while to gather a skilled and reliable
team who could work with us and our specifications.
Ghost series by taking a very traditional piece and
After much effort, we managed to source a great
injection moulding it in plastic and basically, creating
team that understood the long-term vision of what
tension through the unexpected. The AfroDutch col-
we are trying to achieve and they are producing lection is an African rendition and it uses the approour products to spec.
priate skills and material that speak the language of our rich and exotic culture.
ED > And the impact on their lives? ED > What is in stall for you in 2010? D > Unlike many NGOs, we allow our crafters to be independent from us, otherwise it is not sustain- D > Our products are in the development stage with able. We deal from a business collaboration point DesignFaktorii, which will enable us to deliver higher of view and encourage our crafters to be entrepre- quality products in higher quantities and distribute neurs. We do however manage them and do strin- to more countries. We are also working on new prodgent quality control in order to ensure standard high-
ucts specifically for DesignFaktorii that explore new
and exciting design approaches and techniques as well as sustainable interiors. In other words…
ED > What is the philosophy behind your AfroDutch watch this space. collection? E > Settling into our new Capetonian playground. D > This is our contemporary African interpretation I really look forward to rediscovering the magic, of the traditional Afrikaner Ball and Claw tradition. creative influx, nature and sub-cultures that this The pieces in the range question the excessive use
beautiful city presents. It’s about system design,
of material by responding with very little material.
brand placement and market research to root us
We achieved this by reducing the frame back to the firmly in local and overseas markets. original line drawing (our wire frame). The frame is hand crafted by skilled wire artists and the claw
They say, “Let go of limitations, try with the correct
feet are finished off with beads. The wire is finished
intentions and explore your own creativity.” <
off with powder coating to protect it against rust and wear. E > For us it symbolises transparency, honesty and explores cross-cultural pollination by taking a very traditional piece and turning it on its head and hand crafting it from something unexpected. Phillippe Starcke achieved a similar effect with his Louis
CONFESSIONS OF A SIDESHOW POPSTAR > SHOTOPOP TELLS THE TALE UP TO NOW
Shotopop is the ‘carousel-careening cirque du dreams’ of Carin Standford and Casper Franken. Raised on the yellow gold-encrusted streets of Jozi and a white gold-moustached milk farm of the Free State respectively, both members of the Shotopop troupe trained at the University of Pretoria. Now based in Brighton, UK, their work includes print-based design, motion graphics, art direction and illustration for an impressive list of international clients.
We would like to think of the Shotopop brand as an
delights for the likes of Computer Arts, Orange, Derrick
evolving roly-poly. We currently have a font that we gen-
Santini, Asics, Chris Chameleon, Skunk Anansie and
erally use to write the name ‘Shotopop’ and an image
Absolute Vodka amongst others.
of a deer’s skull that started as our email signature and has been adapted to a few other bits and bobs (call it
If we think back, the projects that really made us back-
a logo or identity signature if you want), but we don’t
flip on the tightrope were probably the Skunk Anansie
want to view them as our definition because they could
and Chris Chameleon music videos and the Absolute
change tomorrow depending on a whim. That’s the nice
Vodka Wall in Milan. The Absolute wall was a bit of a
thing about being in the creative industry – you’re not
spin-off from the Skunk Anansie stuff we’d been doing
expected to be a one- trick pony; your worth isn’t based
already like their website, music video and album art-
upon your ability to add two and two and make them
work. Skin, the lead singer of the band, was approached
equal four. For all we care if the sum looks prettier as
by Absolute to be their official spokesperson for the
nine, then nine it is.
new Rock edition bottle which is covered in black leather and studs and she asked us to be her designers on the
We entered the ‘real world’ of design one trick at a time.
project. The wall is the size of a six-storey building in
We started off by freelancing and doing a bit of Shoto-
central Milan, Italy, and has become a space for Absolute
pop work on the side in every spare moment we had until
to merge art and urban spaces. It was really exciting
such time when we realised that the Shotopop work was
seeing our work on such a large scale and the outcome
taking up more time than freelancing and so the studio
was born. We now also have representation in France through Valerie Oualid and Wizz, both who source a large
Skunk Anansie as a project, has been a ‘phantasma-
percentage of our work.
gorical carousel’ journey. It started with the logo revamp which metamorphosed into the website, album artwork
We’ve been really lucky to work as the ‘illusionists’ for
and music video for Because of You, their first single
various clients and being able to conjure various visual
off their new album, Smashes and Trashes.
34 > While busy with the website we realised that the band would soon be releasing a new music video so we asked if we could pitch a concept. They didn’t have much of a brief other than the visual portrayal of the new single’s lyrics. The only limit we really had was time – very little time! The first step was to repeatedly listen to the song, interpret the lyrics and come up with a visual concept. Initially we had a few ideas floating around but eventually settled on a narrative of a tragic love affair between unlikely lovers – a bird and a balloon – with interplay between tranquillity and turbulence. Through a cruel fate the infatuation of the duo is also their demise as a kiss between the lovers destroys the balloon causing the bird’s heart to break sending it plummeting back to earth from its astral love journey. The climax of the song sees millions of black balloons rising from the ocean to fill the starry night sky as they float out into space. We initially pitched it as a predominantly animated production. When we first pitched the idea for the video, the band was really enthusiastic about the narrative. Their only concern was that since it was the first single of their comeback album, the band would need to feature more prominently. As a result we realised the necessity for the combination of live action with animation. As we were not ready to let go of our animation roots, we decided to also pitch a concept that would tightrope down the middle and we jumped into a whole live action video. Frighteningly, we realised that we only had one day with the band to shoot live footage, so a lot of groundwork had to be done. It was really important that every single The Skunk Anansie Limited Edition Deluxe Box set.
shot should be planned in detail so that we would know exactly what had to happen on the day of the shoot. We
Animatics for Skunk Anasie’s Because of you video.
Shooting the live footage.
Skunk Anasie’s Because of you, the first single from the new album, Smashes & Trashes.
Click to view the Because of you video.
36 > Absolut Vodka Wall in Milan.
Animatics (left) and studio shoot (above) for Chris Chameleonâ€™s All of Me video.
worked alongside a Brighton-based film company,
action to flow as one and not look like a tale of two halves.
Fractured Films, who helped us out with filming and
The one needed to support the other. The animation bit
was a mix between after effects, cell animation and 3D on which we had a little help thanks to Stu. Once we have
We started with the outline of the narrative which devel-
finalised the edit and animation we graded everything
oped into a detailed shot list and supporting animatics.
shot by shot and added the effects and sparkle.
We were responsible for organising various things for the shoot day â€“ from make-up and wardrobe to catering,
Overall we always believe that once you have a good
light and sound equipment. Once we had the rushes from
design, it is so much easier to produce and get away with
the shoot, we could start to edit the first footage. We
a stylised and simplified animation version. In the case of
used this edited version to set the animation ball rolling.
the Skunk Anansie video, we had to deal with crazy time
By this stage the designs had already gone through a
limitations so simplification was crucial. We only had one
few changes. Getting the look and feel right was the
month from start to completion, which only allowed
toughest part. We needed the animation and the live
for two weeks to develop and produce the animation.
Design boards for Chris Chameleon’s All of Me video.
Screen grabs of the final video for Chris Chameleon’s All of Me.
39 > For the Chris Chameleon video for the song All of Me the brief was very open. Chris had written a basic storyline, about a worm that falls in love with a flower. The story changed a bit in the execution, but everyone was happy with the outcome. Wizz, our animation representatives in France, wanted to produce a Shotopop video at the same time we got the brief from Chris and offered to put us up in Paris for a month. As a catalyst to be on their directors’ roll, he also gave us a team to work with. Realising the potential for the two opportunities to coincide, we had to jump – a month in Paris, a whole team of animators, cameras and gadgets at our disposal and a highbudget looking project later, we had a music video.
guideline and to develop further ideas. However, the storyboards still played a vital role, especially since we were working on a music video. As it was really easy to get lost in this overwhelming creative process, the storyboards helped us to stay informed of the allowed time for each shot. All the stages after storyboarding happened simultaneously. While we were building and shooting sets, the 3D people were hard at work constructing the main protagonist – the worm. We took some photographs of thick oil paint, which became the visual inspiration of the oily worm. At the same time, we were feverishly cutting and filming. After completing all the shots, it was time to string together the 3D bits, animations and effects. Once the entire thing Chris allowed us visual carte blanche and Wizz’s only was animated and in a semi-understandable linear concern was that we produce a high-production value end flow, we graded it and added the final touches. product. We came up with a few initial boards to set the style and tone and to give both Chris and Wizz an idea Planning is good especially if you’re directing and workof the direction that we were planning. We wanted to ing in a team. On the flip side, too much planning can build a paper world and in keeping the rest of the team also make a project tedious and visually overworked. going in the same direction, we realised the necessity We kept changing and mending as we went along, for a storyboard. This also assisted in structuring and continuously trying new things, replacing what didn’t developing our ideas. The next step was to build a set. work even if it took three days to build. It’s important This became a more fluid process as we went along. Plan- to make mistakes, but even more important to pick ning is necessary but too much sometimes spoils the fun. yourself up from your foibles and try again. We had to strike the correct balance for the task at hand. In essence Shotopop is the recollection of a man and the This project was a rare opportunity, as we were trusted curiosity of a little girl animated on the dusty surfaces of to make all the creative decisions and it was really fan- old diaries and desktops. Back then, Shotopop didn’t tastic to have such creative freedom. The concept was necessarily imagine all the finer details of where they never formally presented to anyone. Chris saw a few are today – but there was definitely an urge to see the sketches and mood boards as we went along, but no- world and introduce its travelling bag of goodies to all the inquisitive folk that might want to take a look. < body seemed to mind that we just got on with it. As we received the storyline it was time to embroider around it and add extra flourishes that we thought would add greater value. Although we initially created the storyboards, we decided not to follow them religiously. This allowed us to use the storyboards as a
Click to view Chris Chameleon’s All of Me video. Click to experience Shotopop’s interactive website.
HOME-GROWN AND SUSTAINABLE WITH A NATURAL FLAIR FOR WORLD-CLASS PRODUCTS By Suné Stassen
There’s nothing quite like the plush look and feel of exclusive packaging to elevate a brand to be a cut above the rest. The aura of luxury imparted by leathers, suedes, specially treated papers, heavy flocks and woven textiles can make an emphatic difference to the positioning of a brand in the marketplace.
41 > Contemporary designers are faced with a dilemma. We can no longer only concern ourselves with developing trendy products. Sustainability, environmentally sound processes, systems and materials, as well as job creation and in many cases, social and ethnographic sustainability should also be part and parcel of today’s entrepreneurial pot of considerations that designers need to deal with in daily practice. Ironically, our past greed has now forced us to become ‘responsibly trendy’ in the decisions that we make and the lifestyles we aspire to and that we now advocate. Consequently, we have noticed a paradigm shift towards producing products that are not only great because they are trendy but also because they solve problems and speak of social and environmental consciousness. Today it is not enough to be an ingenious product developer or an entrepreneur in the development of systems and workable environments that will only benefit a few. We should also have the ability to be responsible creators who consider how every choice we make can be life-changing for others and the environment. How many of us can proudly say that we are responsible designers who consider all, any or most social and environmental development aspects in our day-today-operations and take aspects like impact studies into account in our consulting work? South Africa, like Brazil, India and a number of other developing countries, is one of the special places where opportunities for such developments are naturally presented and there are many admirable examples of successful sustainable community projects that prove the viability of the ‘homegrown sustainability approach’. The developing world, particularly designers from Africa, know best how to address our continent’s unique challenges and we should stop depending on the developed world to offer solutions to Africa’s unique problems and challenges. This is the exhilarating part of being creative. Africa offers end less inspiration and opportunities and there is a lot we can create for ourselves and for others. Following this philosophy, textile designer, Ronel Jordaan started investigating the possibilities of using felt as a creative medium 26 years ago and today the Ronel Jordaan™ label is sold across the western world, from Canada, the USA, UK, France, Germany and The Netherlands to Italy. But part of the success of this African EDUCATION
42 > home-grown business is that its foundations remain firmly cemented in sustainability, social, environmental and economical development and job creation for many more than only the elite that buy its products. When Jordaan started out, felting in South Africa was not exactly a booming industry and information about the specialist craft sector was difficult to come by. To become a master felter takes many years of precision training and the consistency of the felt is vital for the production of quality products. So, despite the fact that this was not an easy business direction, Jordaan has – through persistence and an abundance of passion for her craft – managed to develop original and unique products that have found an immediate market. The most recognisable of all her products are her felt pebbles and rocks. From the word go, job creation was an integral part of Jordaan’s business plan. This was pretty forward-thinking for those times and today she can say that having your heart in the right place has definitely paid off: life and business revolve around good human relations. At present, 40 previously unemployed women between the ages of 19 and 40 have been trained and they can count themselves part of the small global community of master felters who can certainly compete with the best in the world. Jordaan has also trained women at the WesRandse Christelike Gemeenskap Feeding scheme in Johannesburg to knit specifically for the Ronel Jordaan™ label. Then there is also a self-help co-op of women in the Western Cape supplying the brand with felt sheeting. Just outside Johannesburg in Sebokeng a small group of men are also produce wire sculptures that eventually become the support of exotic felted lamps that for part of the brand’s extensive product range. Nature is the main inspiration for all Jordaan’s products and the Ronel Jordaan™ label functions in harmony with nature with all the processes implemented in the workshop being eco-friendly.
But before we get to grey water and organic foodstuff, we first need to understand a little more about the history of felt and the felting process. Felt originates from Genghis Khan’s Mongolia in the 13th century. These people were nomadic warriors so, one can only imagine that for them, felt was extremely valuable as the fibre is warm, waterproof and very strong. This explains why they produced shoes, blankets, clothes and even tents that could be easily transported from stop to stop as they migrated. These warriors discovered that when you rub wool fibres together each minute follicle of the strand interlocks. When you continue to apply the same process, layer upon layer, you will eventually be left with a very matted and dense surface. Even though this process and production of felted sheets has been mechanised in modern times, hand felting is still widely preferred as the best solution for producing the highest quality product – machines can simply not produce the same quality felt that what the human hand can produce. Jordaan’s company receives its wool from Port Elizabeth in large bales and they only use wool of the highest quality. They then card and dye long strands of raw wool and only when these strands are completely dry will it undergo a second carding process before it will be ready for the felting process. Biodegradable soap is then rubbed over these long fibres to open all the follicles, similar to the process used by the nomadic warriors in the 13th century. Further layers of fine strands of wool are then added and rubbed and as soon as hot water is added, the wool shrinks because the follicles cling together. The result is the matted and dense surface. At this stage, strands of different colours are added to create a marbleised effect and/or combined with other natural fibres like cotton and silk for more colour and texture. The result of this combination adds the magic to the final products.
43 > The Ronel Jordaan™ workshop is situated in downtown Johannesburg and it has a number of containers on the building’s roof which are used for organic food gardening. After the felting process is completed, the residue waste water is re-used to water the rooftop garden. The vegetables harvested from this garden are distributed amongst the workforce to either take home or to resell as an extra income. The soap used in the felting process of Ronel Jordaan™ products is completely biodegradable and the dyes used, although imported from Germany, are specifically selected because they are lead-free and meet the European eco-standards. The products are also completely free of harmful acids that are traditionally used to clean wool. If you are not familiar with the extraordinary range of tactile products, treat yourself with a visit to www. roneljordaan.com to experience a world-class act of textures and shapes, of leaves and flowers, webs, thorns, hides and bark, scarves and thorny cushions that has secured Jordaan with accolades from around the world. In 2006 Jordaan was awarded the Elle Magazine Decoration and Design award in the soft furnishing category; the same year she also received an Award of Excellence in Montreal; in 2007 Visi listed Jordaan as one of their top 10 designers; in 2008 she was a finalist in the Best Product award in Sweden. Overall she has managed to have had a different product for three consecutive years that secured her a finalist position at the Design Indaba’s South Africa’s Most Beautiful Objects awards from 2007 up to 2009. The Ronel Jordaan™ business is sustainable on many levels – creating jobs and fostering good relations with staff on various levels, highly regarded for skills development, recycling and making environmentally friendly decisions, while also producing high-end products that are recognised and acknowledged not just for their beauty, but also for their world-class quality. < EDUCATION
By Weyers Marais
DESIGNING OUR WORLD FOR 2050
44 > If someone asked me what I think about design in the year 2050 I’d have to say the first thing that comes to mind is a super-futuristic landscape where the balance between natural and man-made is tilted heavily towards the artificial. I’d also think of it as a time far into the future, yet when I take a moment to consider it, 2050 is not so far away; in fact I shall hardly be 60 at the time. This makes it quite a relevant topic for thought. In 2009, the member countries and organisers of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) World Design Congress turned their collective focus to this very near future and asked the question: How will the solutions we design for our current global challenges shape our world in 2050? A prominent bi-annual international event focusing on the advancement of the industrial design industry, the Icsid World Design Congress, held in Singapore in November 2009, extended its focus beyond industrial design to deal with questions about urban development, healthcare, mobility, education, climate and agriculture in 2050. While extending their focus and boundaries, the organisers also decided not to go the conventional one-toomany-speaker route, but to rather combine keynote speakers, studio design leaders, as well as the congress delegates to all interact during the congress. In a prelude to the congress, Prof. Carlos Hinrichsen, the then Icisd president, remarked that he looked forward to see “great design solutions arising from creative collaboration that will shape our desired future”. This alluded to the main theme, Design2050 Studios, which were structured to facilitate such collaboration and consequently deliberate future mapping. On day one of the congress the Design2050 Studios the principal advisor, Arnold Wasserman, introduced the concept as being designed with an awareness that our journey towards 2050 is one that will require combined wisdom and dynamic networking. To this end, the Design2050 Studios were to be led by prominent international design leaders who would facilitate studio teams in developing design propositions aimed to initiate a practical plan towards a sustainable future. This meant that the studios would see interaction between delegates and design leaders from all over the world during a process that would generate a roadmap to the future. One of the streams that particularly caught my attention was Protofarm 2050, directed by Ravi Naidoo of Design Indaba, South Africa. At the core of Protofarm 2050 is its definition of farming as “the
45 > sustainable cultivation of a renewable source”. The proposal considers farming as one of the few renewable production systems existing today. In an introduction to the proposal put together by the Protofarm studio, however, facts about the influence of farming on the global environmental tell a less positive story than this definition would inspire. Agriculture is currently contributing to greenhouse gasses in alarming quantities which are ever-increasing due to the growth in the demand for fresh produce. This same demand has increased the distance between farms and points of sale to a global scale and it is not expected to decrease. While the demand for food is on the increase along with population figures, biofuel production is threatening to shrink the land dedicated to food production. Amongst these and other facts about population and climate change, Protofarm 2050 still considers farming for food and sustenance on a smaller scale as the basis for global sustainability. It suggests replacing larger carbon-emitting farms with more widely dispersed, smaller farms designed to be self-sufficient. It also proposes reviewing existing agricultural practices and replacing them with farming methods that could transform farms from carbon emitters into carbon sinks. Taking up the challenge outlined in this dark climatic picture are five Protofarm 2050 design companies who have stepped up to open their minds beyond predictions existing in the public domain today and envisage scenarios that would yield the sustainable cultivation of renewable sources in the future. The first of these is Futurefarmers, a group of San Francisco-based designers whose work focuses on what is most relevant to our current context and surroundings. The Futurefarmers scenario is called the ‘Multinational Feedback Loop’ and is a collaboration between Amy Franceschini and Noah Murphy-Reinhertz. The Multinational Feedback Loop is based on the concept that where there is an excess of waste, there are new pastures for harvesting by future farmers. This concept far surpasses recycling, because it does not speak of mere re-using, but rather a new way of using through merging, adapting and reassembling what would be considered obsolete. When I was in playschool, we would arrive in class every morning and there would be a plastic sheet full of old packaging boxes, toilet rolls, plastic containers, wooden blocks, paper, glue and paint.
The Futurefarmers scenario is called the ‘Multinational Feedback Loop’. EDUCATION
5.5 Designers’ ‘Guide to Free Farming’.
47 > The task was to use your imagination and make something, any thing, out of what you found in front of you. Today we are faced with a very similar heap and recycling that heap is not enough – we need to re-inhibit the heap. That is the scenario of Futurefarmers for our world in 2050. The Paris-based group of 5.5 Designers is made up of Vincent Baranger, Jean-Sébastien Blanc, Anthony Lebossé and Claire Renard. For their 2050 scenario, the 5.5 Designers considered the ever-diminishing relationship between humans and nature, specifically in the context of urban living where all your so-called ‘natural produce’ is brought to you with such efficiency; you cannot even smell or see the dirt of its origins. The product of their scenario is ‘The Guide to Free Farming’, a project which is aimed at re-establishing the links between us and the origins of our food. The difference, however, between conventional farming and the ‘free farming’ is that free farming is undertaken on an urban farm situated in a city eco-system. The free farming guide is designed to help urban dwellers to discover the sources of food veiled in our concrete pastures. Examples include instructions for plucking pigeons as opposed to chickens and collecting street flowers for salads. Guidelines such as these will make The Guide to Free Farming invaluable in 2050. London-based Dunne & Raby designed the third 2050 farming scenario. Anthony Dunne and Flona Raby’s scenario is called ‘Designs for an over-populated planet: No. 1 Foragers’ and is centred on a United Nations’ estimate which suggests that over the next 40 years, there will be too many people and too little food. Dunne & Raby’s solution to this scenario considers the possibility of modifying ourselves to consume non-human foods, giving us nutrition through sources only animals would have found in the past. This project is also based on the premise that these types of solutions will not come from the top down, but will rather emerge from the bottom up where the need is mostly felt. Echoing Dunne & Raby’s Foragers concept is Revital Cohen’s ‘Electrocyte Appendix’ with its concept of human-modification for adaptation to 2050 scenarios. Cohen’s scenario suggests the design of an artificial Electrocyte Appendix, inspired by electric eels, which will allow humans to be self-sufficient producers and farmers of electricity from their own bodies. Cohen suggests this scenario as a natural progression in self-sufficiency from today’s virtual networks which allow us to stay in contact and receive the social attention
Anthony Dunne and Flona Raby’s scenario is called ‘Designs for an over-populated planet: No. 1 Foragers’
Revital Cohen’s ‘Electrocyte Appendix’ with its concept of human-modification for adaptation to 2050 scenarios.
‘OOGST’, designed by Frank Tjepkema’s studio, Tjep from The Netherlands.
49 > we seek without ever leaving our homes. The artificial appendix is a way of redesigning the human body to better sustain its possible new way of living in increasing seclusion. Although this kind of design enables us to design our own evolution, I cannot help but consider our holistic nature and wonder how much of its complexity we can really redesign to ensure smooth transitions from one way of being to another. This, however, is the nature of Revital Cohen’s work as it provokes and explores scenarios of contrast between the natural and the artificial – a subject for that could well become a great deal more common by 2050. The fifth and final Protofarm 2050 scenario was called ‘OOGST’, designed by Frank Tjepkema’s studio, Tjep from The Netherlands. Through an investigation into agricultural self-sufficiency, Tjep started out by asking if self-sufficiency is even the answer to a more globally sustainable world and if so, on what scale it is workable. The result of this investigation was three design proposals for farms: Oogst 1 for one person, Oogst 100 for a 100 people, and Oogst 1000 Wonderland, a self-sufficient farm, restaurant, hotel and amusement park that could accommodate a 1000 people in one day. The findings of this project were that technologically, these scales were in fact plausible, but perhaps there is still food for thought when we consider the idea of self-sufficiency and its viability for creating a more sustainable 2050 society. In his keynote address on the second day of the congress, Ged Davis from Global Energy Assessment, Austria, proposed three different generic futures or future paradigms we could use to inform our thinking: one that is shaped by history and global trends, one that we choose to envision and shape ourselves, and one that is completely unknown to us and will surprise us. When considering Protofarm 2050, even though it was only one of the studios at the 2009 Icsid congress, it becomes quite clear that employing only one of those paradigms is not enough. Perhaps to really be equipped for 2050 and the years leading up to it, we have to start living in complete peace with all three paradigms presented by Davis. Perhaps we should take complete responsibility for designing our future whilst being aware of where we have been and still leave enough space for the elements of surprise. < All information and images courtesy of Design Indaba Magazine. EDUCATION
By Prof. Des Laubscher
â€œThere is no straight line in the universe.â€? â€“ Luigi Collani
This magazine has been a long time in the making and it has now finally arrived. It is hoped that this publication will generate much needed healthy debate between academia and the profession and ultimately between designers and the end-users of their creations. From a South African perspective most design institutions are still stuck in the modernist era, and more specifically are still using the Bauhaus model, a model developed in the 1930s. Basically this means design disciplines have their own silos and boundaries that are very clearly defined. Everything is neatly placed in boxes, labelled as Jewellery Design, Industrial Design, Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Interior Design, and more and put on the shelf. Never mix the boxes up!
This is not in line with 21st-century thinking which is already deeply imbedded in the post-modern era. According to N. Katherine Hayles, in The Condition of Virtuality, the world is made up of permeable membranes rather than leak-proof barriers. This concept applies to design practice as well as design education. In solving design problems the boundaries between research, analysis, creativity and communication are permeable. In teaching design this fluidity between the key elements of design production is best achieved through a constructivist learning approach.
with the lecturer/facilitator and fellow students. Through sharing, first assumptions are modified. The underlying principle is that knowledge is not stable but constructed and it is the teacher’s role to assist the student in constructing new knowledge.
From the constructivist viewpoint, learning is an active process in which the learner engages with the world in order to construct meaning. The learner not only constructs meaning but also systems of meaning. Thus the learner learns to learn. This viewpoint is supported by Donald Schon who, in describing a ‘Reflection-in-Action’ approach to learning mentions learning how to learn. He states that learning involves several kinds of learning, which are interwoven. These include learning to recognise and appreciate the qualities of design, to produce these qualities in learning, and learning how to learn.
When design education is not focused on individual design disciplines but on the student being facilitated to make new knowledge, we will produce designers who will contribute to the economy of the future. It is now well documented that knowledge-based economies will lead countries into the future, beyond the manufacturing mentality of the past. We cannot compete with the competitive output of the Chinese in this regard. The thinking that produces problem-solving individuals is very unique to design disciplines. We need to blur the boundaries to ensure our learners understand the ‘Big Idea’ and are not restricted to solving disciplinespecific problems. This is not to say design educators should produce ‘Jacks of all trades and masters of none’. Rather than learning a specific range of unrelated skills design education should focus on the ‘Big Idea’.
A constructivist teaching approach concentrates on the fact that learners create meaning from interactions with researched data, their own previous learning and the context in which they are forming new knowledge. For example, in an educational setting, which is the context, students will be asked to design a studio cum study area. Students would research precedents both aesthetic and functional. They would apply this knowledge to their own experiences in terms of studying/designing. In the context of the learning environment knowledge gained is shared
The ‘Big Idea’ is to produce designers who are problem solvers, able to work through a seamless process to produce meaningful results that impact on the end user. Designers should be able to contribute to solving the issues of climate change, social responsible design, and many other areas related to design for humanity. In fact, we know design touches all we do; from the time we wake to the time we go to sleep. Our education system is not doing us justice. We need to rethink, redefine and set up some kind of forum to discuss the road ahead. I hope this is possible. <
GRAND DADDY’S TRAILER FLASH The Grand Daddy Hotel in Cape Town is the world’s first hotel to boast a penthouse suite of seven authentic vintage Airstream trailers, The Airstream Penthouse Park, resulting in a luxury accommodation experience with a novel spin.
The Afro-Funk Airstream.
The Airstream Penthouse Park is the ultimate location for the traveller who seeks novelty without giving up on comfort. The trailers came to rest on the roof of The Grand Daddy Hotel only months after Jody Aufrichtig and Stefan Botha went to America to source the highly collectable Airstreams. The visionary owners of the much-awarded Daddy Long Legs Art Hotel, Aufrichtig, Botha, Nicholas Ferguson, Sergio Dreyer and Francois van Binsbergen, were quick to hand over their newly imported vintage Airstreams to a talented crew of local artists and designers for a fantastical creative makeover. The Airstream Penthouse Park takes this artistic theme to a new and playful level, resulting in a surprisingly
affordable adventure into an American apple-pie yesteryear with a distinctly South African future. So let’s meet the trailers and their creators. The Afro-Funk trailer’s earthy colours set the tone for an African experience – minus the wildlife. Architect Carla Soudien was inspired by the street fashion of Cape Town and this is represented in her careful attention to texture. The Ballad of John & Yoko was created by fine artist Tamsin Relly, textile designer Cara Rosa and Chloe Townsend who has her own leather accessories label. Their trailer is a tribute to peace, love and total relaxation with a bed that you would want to stay in. Guests
54 > also have the opportunity to spread their messages of love and peace on the trailer’s creativity board and, if so inspired, pick up a musical instrument to add onboard acoustics. The Ballad of John & Yoko has a fantastic en suite bathroom with a shower that will have you whistling in no time. Sarah Pratt, a fine artist and a lecturer at Michaelis was responsible for the sublime Dorothy Airstream. The Ballad of John & Yoko Airstream.
The Dorothy Airstream.
Dorothy has a duck-egg-blue foundation colour which is covered with white polka dots. Some of the dots are three-dimensional and hinged to contain mini exhibition items. Surprisingly, the dots are far from dizzying. In fact, it’s a serene and relaxing space to return to after a day of exploration. Tracy Lynch used her signature colour pink as the key inspiration for the Love of Lace Airstream which has a feminine appeal and an intriguing seclusion that says boudoir not bordello. Lynch invited iconic South African women to select ‘heart-stoppingly beautiful’ lingerie, which are decoratively framed for added effect. Pop open the bubbly and lock the door, there really is no reason to leave. Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a fantasy Airstream designed by Mark and Jo Stead which becomes the mini set for a much-loved bedtime story about a little blonde girl and some bears. This Airstream serves it up in threes – just like the fairytale and even has a bear suit and a Goldilocks outfit to inspire play. This is the only Airstream with a bunk bed and is suited for couples with children. Adults will appreciate the more obscure interpretations on the old theme with gorgeous bear art and naughty bear humour.
The Love of Lace Airstream.
According to designer Liam Mooney, the Pleasantville Airstream is a trip into the 50s with Louis L’Amour novels and plenty of Formica. It is a utopian heaven incorporating a wide variety of period colours and fabrics.
55 > Cheesy romance novels, ferns, wall ducks and blue melamine will have you wishing for the days when Mom hosted Tupperware parties and Dad was home by 4:30 PM for a hot cooked dinner around the family dining table. The Moontides Airstream, designed by Susan Woodley and Brigitte Dewberry, is a dreamy, ethereal world below the waves. Freeworld’s Earthcote Paints collaborated with The Grand Daddy on the project, supplying edgy coatings and working closely with project developer Jody Aufrichtig and his team of artists. Woodley and Dewberry combined crushed and layered materials with Earthcote Worn Leather in midnight blues and greens and Tidalcote, a coating containing bits of crushed pearlescent marine material.
The Goldilocks and the Three Bears Airstream.
Woodley and Dewberry vinyl coated the entire bedroom of Moontides in pitch black and then layered it with shapes that look like luminous jellyfish. “This is kind of like a place where love and magic collide, giving visitors a subliminal feeling of the strands and layers that connect us,” says Dewberry.
The Pleasantville Airstream.
Wherever possible, choices regarding materials were governed by a regard for environmental sustainability. All woods used in the creation of the timber decking are FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) approved and the plants selected for the landscaping are entirely indigenous and watered by a drip irrigation system. The Park supplements its power demands with a solar grid. The trailers are equipped with low-energy extractor units to lessen the power demand created by the air-conditioning units.
The Moontides Airstream.
Of course, aluminium trailers are not championed for their biodegradable properties, but it is not anticipated EDUCATION
Park. Liam shoves open the door of the vintage lift and we rise to the top. I am met by big shiny silver bubbles and canvas kites hovering above – it is as if I have just stepped into a fantasyland. It then becomes clear that the bubbles are trailers and the kites are the canvas covering above the wooden deck that connects all the trailers to a communal dining and performance area. Each trailer has been beautifully restored and placed along the perimeter of the rooftop, complete with a quaint garden. Packing that extra 1950s punch are the letterboxes, proudly on display and bearing a phrase that hints at the inspiration for each of the trailers.” AK > Liam what led to you becoming a designer? LM > It was either architecture or product design, and I went for product design. I come from a design background – my grandfather was a master craftsman, my aunt an architect and my sister a sculptor. I applied for a point-of-sales position after graduating, but was turned down. I am so grateful that it happened because my career turned out for the better. One of the Airstreams being lifted into position.
that these old beauties will be going anywhere soon, recycled as it were, into a new life miles away from their origins.
AK > Off the top of your mind, name a few things from which you draw inspiration.
A bit more about the project’s creative director
LM > Materials and the whole manufacturing process are what fascinate me most; for instance, the joining techniques of timber. Also, how to do something new with an old material. My personal history also influences me a lot; such as the pieces we had in the home when I was a child.
Ayesha Kamalie met up with Liam Mooney, creative director of Whatiftheworld and also the creative director of The Airstream Penthouse Park project.
AK > Cape Town is full of interesting contrasts. How did your idea for the Trailer Park on top of a boutique hotel come about?
Kamalie shares her first impressions: “We meet at the ground floor of the Grand Daddy in Long Street, of which the rooftop is home to the Airstream Trailer
LM > It was collaboration between Jody, the owner of the hotel and myself. Initially, we wanted it to be a moving hotel, kind of like the ‘Madame Zingara Tent of
Each Airstream has a 50s-style letterbox bearing a phrase that hints at its inspiration.
Dreamsâ€™ concept, but it proved to be too tiresome in terms of logistics and moving/carting these 50s trailers around on the road would be a mission! AK > What part of the design process is most important to you? LM > I was creative director of this project and the biggest challenge was working with the trailers. We are not technicians and we knew little about trailers, so we had to get creative in dealing with the more technical aspects and conceal problems such as waterproofing and insulation. AK > What were some of the challenges you faced while designing and during construction?
LM > They were different for each trailer. Since we were dealing with a four-star hotel, we had a standard to maintain for each of the bedrooms in the six-foot trailers. There was minimal space, but a good quality bathroom is essential in four-star hotel. Other than that there was quite a bit of artistic freedom. To get the trailers to the location we had to block off Long Street and had them lifted into position by crane. The entire project took about six to seven months to complete, one month of crazy concepts and ideas, and one day to erect trailers by crane. The Airstream Penthouse Trailers is definitely a project that is testament to quality design with crazy and wonderful ideas, and why not? <
FOXP2 > THE PRODUCT OF AN INSPIRATIONAL ENVIRONMENT By Sarah Stewart
How does our immediate environment affect us and how can surroundings further stimulate creatives? These were the questions posed to Rotem Shachar, art director and owner of the Biblioteq bookshop, who was responsible for the design of the Grand Prix Loerie awardwinning FOXP2 office interior. Shachar shares her insights about the conceptual process of designing an office interior and the skills she has developed as an art director. The reception area with its floating desk.
Detail of the boardroom table and pot-plants on intravenous drips.
The FOXP2 office is a futuristic â€˜science labâ€™ where bold thoughts evolve into grand ideas. Table Mountain forms the dramatic backdrop to this all white interior. Frameless glass partition walls separate public and private spaces. Bold graphics are intentionally juxtaposed against the surrounding white space which in turn reflects light throughout. All of these elements were the direct result of consciously-made decisions.
Rotem Shachar was responsible for the spatial layout and conceptualisation of the FOXP2 office and worked on this project with FOXP2 creative director Andrew Whitehouse. Together they discussed a visual aesthetic for the interior. As Shachar is married to another fellow FOXP2 director, Justin Gomes, she was familiar with the ethos and image of the company and the needs of the staff. Shachar described the discussion phase
The boardroom and mezzanine area and creative offices with retro-lab desk designs.
The ‘radio active’ copier room emitting its green light.
as being very low-key and relaxed with a lot of design decisions being made over rough sketches. The original brief for this office was to create a space that would encourage and stimulate staff to be more creative. The agency wanted an open plan studio that accommodated the possibility of future expansion with space for more staff members. Offices needed to be private and a photocopy room was to be hidden in order to hide unsightly office supplies. A stimulating library, bar and boardroom needed to visually embody the spirit of the FOXP2 brand.
graphic on glass dividers throughout the office. The boardroom table is made up of a series of brightly coloured resin-filled test tubes positioned in the shape of the hexagon logo. These test tubes are not only a reference to the concept of a laboratory but also to pixels which are integral to communication design.
THE VISUAL BRANDING
Shachar began conceptualising by researching the visual world of science. She did this by pouring over images, visiting the University of Cape Town’s science department and consulting with a taxidermist. She contacted a laboratory glassware distributor to ensure the authentic use of beakers for the bar. Budget proved to be the only constraint, with Shachar having the rare privilege of total creative freedom on this project.
The agency’s visual image and philosophy are mirrored in simple, clear and clever solutions. FOXP2 derives its name from the creativity gene. This visual image led the design team to create a concept and visual language around a sci-fi laboratory. A hexagon forms the FOXP2 logo and this motif is repeated to form a frosted block
The project took five months to complete with conceptualisation beginning in January and FOXP2 moving into their premises in May. Shachar was also responsible for overseeing the physical production of the project. She chose sub-contractors whom she thought would be the most successful at producing her ideas and stresses
The boardroom table and a view from the copier room.
the importance of giving sub-contractors clear instructions – be pedantic. There were problems along the way – it took several attempts to ensure that the correct colour ratio resulted in opaque coloured resin test tubes. A more serious hitch was the need to redo the screeded concrete floor a sum total of four times. “We are all products of our enviroments. As a creative advertising agency FoxP2 needed to both reflect its brand identity and inspire its staff. The space is unmistakingly a FoxP2 space and the agency has just won best performing ad agency at the Loerie Awards and awarded a Grand Prix [for the Category: Architecture and Interior Design]. I guess one can say that they are inspired,” says Shachar.
ABOUT ROTEM SHACHAR After completing a year of architecture at WITS University in her hometown of Johannesburg, Rotem relocated to
Cape Town to study art direction at The Red & Yellow School of advertising. After finishing her studies, she worked as an art director in the USA. SS > You spent several years in New York. What were you doing there and what did you learn from living in that city? RS > I was working as an art director in advertising, first at Ogilvy and later at TBWA Chiat Day. I think that New York is the epicentre of the creative world. There’s a great saying that goes something like this: when it’s 1967 in London, it’s four o’clock in New York City. I love that city. It’s exciting and large and at the same time, small and ‘villagey’. You have access to everything and sometimes feel like you are nothing. This contrast and dilemma allows you to take in so much stimulation, fill up with inspiration and reference and then spend the rest of the time neurotic about what to do with it. SS > What are five sources of constant inspiration to you? EDUCATION
The ideas lounge and outside deck with its splendid view of Table Mountain.
RS > My books. Big cities. A good meal. The problem. Ugly spaces. SS > Youâ€™ve worked as an art director, photographer and now own and curate an art and design bookshop. What have you learnt from your experiences and what particular skills have you developed?
RS > As an art director I learnt the importance and strength of a good idea. As a bookshop owner I have met many talented and interesting people. As a business owner I have learnt how difficult it is to make money and to appreciate it when it comes. SS > Your initial approach to tackle the FOXP2 office interior?
The foose table and conical separators which serve as beverages dispensers in the ideas lounge.
RS > I look at space as a 3D sheet of paper that longs for a concept â€“ I did the same with FOXP2.
SS > Who would you like to collaborate with?
SS > What other projects you are currently working on?
RS > Andy Goldsworth, Takashi Murakami, Gregory Crewdson, Maartin Baas, Herzog & De Meuron, Gregor Jenkin and Tara Donovan. <
RS > A reference room for a contemporary art gallery, a coffee shop and a wellness lounge for an investment company.
All images courtesy of FOXP2.
View of the central laptop station.
Scene from The Parlotones’ video, Dragonflies & Astronauts.
LUNG ANIMATION CREATES TOP ENTERTAINMENT By Suné Stassen
Scene from The Parlotones’ video, I’ll be there, co-produced by Lung Animation and Blackginger.
“How difficult can it really be to run your own studio?” believable as it added a grungier real feel to everyasked Claudio Pavan and Arri Reschke who had worked thing. together for four years before opting to establish “The main question was how to get a good video done their own little studio, Lung Animation. in only three months with only a handful of people These two describe their creative shop as a “no non- working on it during downtime. We came up with the sense and humble” place where you will find a well- idea of making a stylised version of the band; the balanced environment that ensures high quantity and band members had to be recognisable off bat by their high quality work. Besides producing a lot of other fans but stylised enough to help them fit into the video work, they are certainly best known for the produc- seamlessly with all the other wacky characters. tion of music videos for The Parlotones. In 2009 Lung won a South African Music Award for best music video for their production of Overexposed. Claudio explains: “We think the fact that it had funny little characters that inhabit our world made it appealing and unique to people watching it. We also believe the hand held camera motion made it a little more
“Once we knew the direction we were going to take, we had to shoot the background plate and the little kid that links our world to the animated world. We got our friends at The African Attachment to shoot it for us in one day on a shoestring budget. We also wanted the animated characters to have the same movement as the real band members and since we didn’t have budget for motion capture we got the band members EDUCATION
Some of the characters featured in the video for The Parlotones’ hit single, Overexposed.
Click to view the video.
Click to view a clip of the ‘rigging’ that show’s how Lung designed the movement and facial expressions of lead singer.
67 > to film themselves with a regular hand cam while performing the song. We then took the footage and used it as a base for our animation. We decided to push the animation further to exaggerate it and make it feel snappier.” Claudio shares some more insights into the studio’s work: ED > What feedback have you received from The Parlotones after this production? C > The band is no stranger when it comes to awards but they had never won a SAMA for a music video. Kahn (the lead singer) and the rest of the band have always been extremely supportive of what we do and we make a great team. ED > Three years ago you started production on characters and animation for the fully animated commercial for United Airlines, produced by the famous The Black Heart Gang. Tell us more about this. C > Well, this was Lung Animation’s first job. Jannes Hendrikz, the animation compositor and director of Blackheart Gang and Shy the Sun used to work with Arri and me at Blackginger studio. Arri and I had to breathe life into the awesome characters designed by Ree Treweek, the illustrator of Black Heart Gang. That involved modelling and texturing, and then rigging and animation. Once it was rendered we would pass it on to Jannes who was responsible for compositing it and giving it that over all feel that makes Shy the Sun. What they do is absolutely beautiful and it was a pleasure to work with such talented team. (View this project on page 71) ED > 2007 seemed to have been a great year for Lung. In March you won Best Animated Music Video on MK89 for The Parlotones’ Dragonflies & Astronauts and a month later you were nominated for a South African Music Award for the same video. In November you received an Animation Excellence Award from Animation SA.
Scenes from The Parlotones’ video, Dragonflies & Astronauts. EDUCATION
Storyboard and selective process work for The Parlotones’ new video, Stars fall down.
C > The Cape Film Commission decided it was time to start recognising animation as a vital and growing role player in the film industry. I think this award was based on the very first music video I did for The Parlotones’ Dragonflies & Astronauts and to be honest, I never thought of winning any kind of award with this production. In the end I don’t think the video was perfect but I think it was a good start and inspired me to want more.
ED > Tell us about the main character in Dragonflies. He seems to represent a specific stereotype in society. C > The gist of the story was about this blue-collar worker that is just bored with his lifestyle and he dreams of more. In the subway Kahn’s character walks in and trips, with his Parlotones flyers flying all over the train. One lands in our lead characters’ lap, which sparks off a fantasy and at this stage, we cut to his imaginary
world where he is the hero fighting evil robots. From of did it as I went along. I now understand how important then on every time the character sees something that a storyboard and structure are. If I could go back I would has to do with The Parlotones or his dreadful life, he have planned it a little better. fades off into his fantasy world. ED > What feel were you trying to create? ED > How long did it take to produce this production? C > The main feel I wanted was to create this almost C > It took eight months from start to finish. With Dragon- ‘Apple iPod’ feels to the interior of the spaceship while flies & Astronauts I didn’t storyboard at all. I just kind keeping a gritty and raw feel to the outside. I wanted EDUCATION
Scenes from The Parlotones’ soon to be launched video, Stars fall down.
the interior well lit and peaceful. The kind of space that would be relaxing and non-invasive. My friend and colleague, Jason Stapleton, has an amazing eye for architecture and helped me get just the right look for the interior. Once that was done I noticed that we have a bunch of guys on a ship and it was seriously missing a female presence, so I decided to add a female looking robot just to soften it a little more – after all what is a spaceship without AI? Marcelle Maris who has joined
Lung earlier last year helped me design and create the robot – I love the work he has done on her. ED > Lastly, tell us a little about the latest music video. What can The Parlotones fans expect? C > The video is for the single, Stars fall down, which will soon be released. I hope it will be a clean sci-fi styled video with some eye candy for the person watching. The
overall concept explains that Kahn and the band have somehow left earth since it is dying or pretty much dead already. There is also a last goldfish and the last plant. Throughout the video the plant starts growing and taking over the entire ship (in a non-violent way). I guess in a way I think nature will find a way to survive, with or without us. <
> > >
Click to view the trailer of Stars fall down.
Click to view the ‘making of’ Stars fall down. Click to view more of the ‘making of’ Stars fall down.
SHY THE SUN > CRAFTING EACH SPOT TO PERFECTION By Suné Stassen
The creative wizards behind Shy the Sun describe themselves as specialists in animation and storytelling. They say that: “No product, band, brand or hairstyle is ever boring after passing through our doors. To work at Shy the Sun one must have grit, imagination and an extremely pale complexion.” Let’s meet this quirky gang of highly talented creatives, Jannes Hendrikz, Ree Treweek and Nina Pfeiffer.
73 > ED > Tell us more about the beginnings of Shy the Sun? StS > Shy the Sun’s history starts a while before it actually opened its doors. It was found because of a short film, The Tale of How, created by The Blackheart Gang. The short film created a huge uproar at film festivals, leading to the gang being approached by different production companies and agencies to do commercial work. Jannes and Ree, two of the three members of The Blackheart Gang (BHG), then realised that they did not want to associate the BHG with other people’s concepts and brands, so we, together with producer Nina, started up a separate commercial company, called Shy the Sun. We were approached by Duck Studios in Los Angeles and signed up with them. We then signed up with Passion Pictures and also form part of their list of directors for Strange Beast who represents us in Europe. Our first job, United Airlines, kick started the company in September 2007. It was a unique project because we were given an open brief to do what we wished with enough time to craft it to perfection.
us, as well as traditional art from all over – Mayan, Indonesian, African, Indian, Medieval and much more. ED > How would you explain your work? StS > We consider ourselves to be artists, crafting each spot to perfection. With each spot we try to do something completely different, pushing our own boundaries, trying things we’ve never done before. People react very well to our work. Fantasy provides an escape from the mundane and it seems that people in general want to be taken to places they’ve never been. We take all the pain of the world on our shoulders when creating these portholes for the human race. One minute of happiness and then it’s all gone. ED > How did you came up with the company’s unique name?
ED > What inspires you and what really stimulates your creative juices?
StS > The name had to be epic, like a title of a storybook. After weeks of thinking and searching we decided to phone Markus, the third member of The Blackheart Gang. As a last resort, he read us some poems and stories that he had written. Then, as if a beam of light shone upon us, he read: “To slip from sight | to shy the sun | So sleeping eyes | shall see no one | I am the slight | of hand in spell | I leave no footprints | where I dwell.”
StS > People that inspire us: Todd Schoor, Patrick Woodroff, Ernest Hackle and Jim Woodwring. Travelling inspires
Ree and Jannes then created the look and feel on a happy day.
We’ve been working on fun campaigns with creative freedom in terms of styling and concepts ever since.
Shy the Sun’s studio in Cape Town.
74 > ED > Tell us more about the creation of your ground-
ED > Looking at the Bakers commercial?
breaking commercial for the United Airlines. StS > Ogilvy Johannesburg briefed us to create nursery StS > The agency, Barrie D’Rozario Murphy, came up with a special one-line brief: Sea creatures serenade a passing plane. Our story goes like this: We open on a bird/fish sitting on his lookout post. He spots a glint in the far away background and he blows a signal. Suddenly a huge structure, sitting on the back of a huge sea turtle, rises from the deep revealing an orchestra. Our conductor sets his orchestra in motion. We are introduced to our string section, then brass and then percussion. We cut to a few close-ups and then cut to a wide where we reveal the shadow of an airplane entering the frame. ED > Talk us through some of the challenges during the design and production of this commercial. StS > The most challenging part was setting up the company while beginning this job. We bought a whole lot of new equipment in preparation. The trickiest part of the production process was synching animation to music. Gershwin’s track is 13 minutes long. The big challenge was to pick the best part, compressing it into a minute to tell our story. We created an initial base track that accompanied our animatic. That was then given to Trivers & Myers Music who was the composers; they then supplied us with a closer to final track to animate to. Finally a recording was made as the orchestra played live to our final animation. Barrie D’Rozario Murphy understands the dynamics of working with artists. The agency is professional, always progressive and constructive. Throughout the process we made suggestions. They were happy as long as we stayed true to the original concept of sea creatures serenading a passing plane. This made it possible for us to concentrate on our strengths.
rhyme characters scrambling for biscuits. We were given a basic brief/script with the freedom to interpret it in our own way and come up with our own creative solutions. We had a very good relationship with the agency right from the start. Trust and open communication played a big role, enabling us all to get as much out of the project as possible. We went wild in our interpretation of the brief. First we chose our favourite characters, gave them all personalities and then devised ways for then to interact with one another. We decided to hold a grand tea party in a forest clearing to tie them all together, making it seem that the magical arrival of Bakers Biscuits is the event on which this entire environment is built. Casting the characters was difficult. Nursery rhyme characters all come with baggage. We’ve all heard the story of the three blind mice and the carving knife...that sort of thing happens over and over in this industry. Trying to fit all of our creative ideas and sub-plots into a 60 second commercial was a challenge. Peter Pumpkin Eater was always trying to chat up Polly whose really dating the Gingerbread man. It created a lot of tension on set. The mice constantly came to work drunk and sometimes the big red ‘make-it-look-good’ button got stuck. Cape Town’s unpredictable weather caused problems during the live action shoot with CAB films, resulting in damaged sets and massive continuity problems. Nearly all the plates were reconstructed, roto-scoping the children off every shot, adding more trees, plants and rocks and enhancing each background plate of the commercial with matte paintings. Our clients were great, they really trusted in our process, and us even though for much of the project they had to
ABOVE: Storyboard for the United Airlines commercial, Sea Orchestra. LEFT: Character development board for BelondeHarper, one of the many creatures featured in Sea Orchestra. The text reads: “Belondide-Harper are piscivorous fish that are primarily associated with shallow marine habitats or the surface of the open sea. They are elongate with long, narrow, toothless jaws. Their bottom fins mimic kelp. The precise relationship between these two groups is based upon the Belonide-Harper’s enjoyment of getting his long bottom fins rubbed. To escape predation the flying fish happily obliges. Approaching from below flying fish soothe the Belonide-Harper by rubbing him with their extended beaks. In doing so a sound is produced that is remarkably similar to that of a violin.”
Click to view the Sea Orchestra commercial.
Title: Sea Orchestra. Client: United Airlines. Agency: Barrie D’Rozario Murphy. Executive creative directors: Stuart D’Rozar Directors/Animation: Jannes Hendrikz and Ree Treweek (Shy the Sun). Production company: DUCK Studios. Executive pro & Claudio Pavan (Lung}.
Title: Bakers Precious Biscuits. Client: Bakers. Agency: Ogilvy, Johannesburg, South Africa. Executive creative directors: B Directors/animation: Jannes Hendrikz and Ree Treweek. Designs: Ree Treweek. Compositing: Jannes Hendrikz. Producer: N supervisor: Darrin Hofmeyr. VFX supervisor: Marc Horsfield. Modeling: Francois Conradie & Hayden Barnett. Rigging: San
rio & Bob Barrie. Copywriter: Phil Calvit. Art Director: James Zucco. Agency producers: Holly Stone & Jack Steinmann. oducer: Mark Medernach (DUCK Studios). Producer: Nina Pfeiffer (Shy the Sun). 3D modelling & animation: Arri Reschke
Bridget Johnson. Art directors: Monique Kaplan & Amy Auret. Agency producers: Lisa Jaffee. Creative: Shy the Sun. Nina Pfeiffer. Storyboarding: Graeme Cowie. Production house: Blackginger. Producer: Tracy-lee Portnoi. Animation ndy Sutherland. Animation: Richard Clarke. EDUCATION
Building type out of cookies for the Bakers commercial.
Concept drawings of the vast cast of characters featured in the Bakers commercial.
Sketches and mood boards for the sets and character development of some of the cast of characters featured in the Bakers commercial.
79 > really use their imagination to envision the final outcome. Two weeks before the shoot the rough shapes were modelled to depict each character, allowing the team to set up the shots. By taking photographic reference on location before the shoot we were able to reconstruct the layout of the forest. The area where the action would be taking place was modelled and used for blocking the shots before any camera was turned. Using those rough shapes as scale guides, Blackginger’s modelling team continued to build the characters and add detail. Once the characters were 75% complete they were sent to rigging, any stage later and we would not have completed Bakers on time.
MEET THE GANG Nina Pfeiffer, producer and creative ‘conductor’ As the daughter of an artist it was no surprise that Nina developed a love for the taste of paint but her parents were astonished to discover Nina’s first words when she pointed at a chandelier and said “symmetrical arrangement”. Over the next few years Nina stopped eating paint but continued to surprise her parents with her ability to arrange, organise and conduct activity in her room. Nina studied Visual Communication and eventually arrived at the logical stage of producer.
Jannes Hendrikz, compositor and creative
During the last weeks of the production character anidirector mation and compositing happened simultaneously, getting more and more detailed as the days went on. A lot Brought up by Zulu warriors, Jannes is an artisan with a of effort was put into making the 3D blend perfectly with driving lust for life. He found that his interest in moving the real life elements used. pictures and music offered great artistic satisfaction. Completely self-taught, he set out vigorously on a ED > What’s in stall for the gang in the near future? mission from which he would never return. StS > The Blackheart Gang just published The Tale of How
Ree Treweek, illustrator and character
coffee table book. There’s talk of translating The Tale of developer: How into a puppet show next year. Yes, we are in pre-production for The Tale of Then, as well as developing conRee grew up on a farm near Kokstad, on the Transkei cepts for future projects...the trick is finding a way to fit Border. It was here that she received her real education them all together. being surrounded by stories, both mythical and historical. As most farm girls do in that area, she was sent off ED > Some words of wisdom? to boarding school in Pietermaritzburg where she spent most her time in the art room. Ree went on to study StS > Follow your passion – working in this industry Fine Arts in Durban. At that time she focused mostly on consumes your life – sometimes totally. If you don’t street art, creating miniature fantasy worlds to hide love what you do, it’ll squeeze you dry! in the cracks and paths of the streets. She then went travelling for two years where she was inspired by Indonesian craft and architecture and the stories surrounding them. She has spent the last seven years creating other worlds in Cape Town. < Click to view the Bakers commercial.
A STORYTELLER ROOTED IN AFRICA Design is one of the most important vehicles for storytelling. It adds value to our existence and should add to any product, environment, system and process that have been and will be designed in the future. Hilton Tennant, founder and partner in the company Tennant McKay, knows a lot about storytelling. Based in Johannesburg and represented by The Ebeling Group in the USA, their projects range from illustrations, promos, programme and channel identities, to animated and live action commercials. According to Hilton it is really difficult to offer a single descriptor for what they do. He says: â€œThe most inclusive title would most likely be Communication Design and Commercial Direction.â€? Working with many established brands from around the globe, Hilton shares his story, as a designer and as a storyteller from Africa.
Our company was formed in Johannesburg 2003 and because of our representation in North America we also have access to a global network of clients. The one element that overlaps in the majority of our projects is the inclusion of stories. From logos to commercials and even in the case of non-narrative communications there is always a story evoked.
their children tales of the monsters that lived in the flames, monsters who would reach out and hurt them if they got too close. Their fathers, on returning home after an unsuccessful hunt, would fabricate elaborate tales of creatures that almost killed them while in pursuit of their dinner and how they barely escaped if it wasnâ€™t for their stealth and vigour.
South Africa is a place of stories . Stories of suffering, stories of hope, stories of injustices and stories of reconciliation. These all inspire us.
These two examples constitute two primary themes of all stories throughout history, either individually or in combination. These are stories of warning (based on fears) and stories created by virtue of human vanity.
Before I get into discussing some of our work and processes, I would like to first take you through a brief history of the story. Since prehistoric times storytelling has been part of human nature. Mothers would sit around the fire and tell
People in these times travelled far more than you would imagine, spreading their stories as they moved, leaving their imprint on the minds of their new audience. These stories were told and re-told, and
in the process, dressed themselves in local costume, becoming part of the widely differing cultures we see today (Rob Parkinson). Different stories and the different ways of telling the same story did shape distinct cultures. Peopleâ€™s stories are often similar to those of other cultures, but distinct in themselves. A cultureâ€™s stories become part of their self-identity (Jamie Wilson). It is plausible to suggest that all culture is rooted in stories. When we invented stories, we invented gods, heroes, villains, and magic. The roots of psychology, of teaching, of religion, all lie within stories. But to primitive man, storytelling was magic. Cave paintings are our first storytelling art, but also our first visual art, our first cartoon, and our first narrated
slide show. The technologies we use today are new, but the methods for storytelling are ancient. Our world is shaped far more by the stories we tell and repeat than we like to acknowledge, something that is as true today in our media-dominated world as it was a thousand years ago. Stories show life as it might be, should be, shouldnâ€™t be and never could be. Basic social values, skills, wisdoms and just about everything you can dream of show reveals itself in stories. Storytelling has evolved drastically. The oral traditions of folk legends made way for the printing press, allowing stories to travel far and wide, and allowing artists to mix words with images to further convey their thoughts, ideas, and experiences. Today storytelling is an integral part of our lives â€“ from the daily papers and novels that we read, what we see on television to all the millions of stories transmitted globally via the Internet. Good storytelling has the ability to transcend all these mediums, help people relate to a theme and (most importantly for us designers) cohesively combine content with communication.
Various stages of the character development of the animated spokesperson for Hotels.com.
Not everything has to have narrative to tell a story. Take logos, for example, and their use of semiotics. When I first started working I never fully appreciated the importance of pitching or presenting an idea, but over the years
I have come to realise it is probably the most crucial skill to master. I plan to give you an insight into not only how we employ stories in commercial communications but also how various disciplines like graphic design, illustration, drawing and photography all contribute and combine to create a cohesive final product. Similarly our approach to animation hardly ever sees us utilising a single technique of animation in isolation. The desired tone of the final product generally dictates the techniques we use but more often than not a combination of 2D, 3D, stop frame and cell animation are all combined in varying degrees to achieve the desired treatment and outcome. For the Hotels.com project the client required a spokesperson to be developed which would be able to translate across any media platform. He needed to be accessible, smart and appeal to the average American businessman. First, we started with what we call a ‘character exploration’, which looks at various visual nuances within a character theme. Here we knew the spokesperson should be a businessman, that he should not look too young – still you can see for yourself by looking at the characters that the slightest change of proportion or hairstyle alters his visual personality dramatically. Although this is not a live casting session where the director tries to find
the correct character, it is still paramount to find the perfect personality for the role. Of course, the only difference is that these guys take a little more time to produce than just a call to book a casting session with a model agency. From this point we select the character we feel best suits the tone of the brand and his required communication before developing any secondary characters. While the characters are being developed we will do colour explorations based on the client’s identity system. We are generally looking to see how far we can push the combinations of the accent colours before it stops resembling the client’s identity.
animation and lighting to make it successful.
Ytv stings Ytv is a Canadian youth TV channel that approached us to develop 12 5-second channel branding stings.
The physical appearance and treatment of characters ‘in the real world’ influence the way the audience relates to them but most importantly it defines a set of expectations: The further we move the character away from the simplicity of the one on the left, (see the central panel on the facing page) the greater the audiences expectation will be of him – judging him more closely on the physics of the scientific world where the physical attributes of nature and of reality is used as a reference point of how we expect these characters to behave. The one on the left relies heavily on the theory of Gestalt which describes the brains capacity to fill in the missing detail so the animation is a little more forgiving while the one on the right requires far more subtle
A selection of character development sketches for Ytv’s branding stings. EDUCATION
As we all know, most often simple animated logos are used to tell us which TV channel we are watching. For Ytv, we decided instead to write stories and introduce the logos through short narratives. By doing so, we hoped to attach associations of creativity, fantasy and imagination to the Ytv brand. Featured here are some of the characters we have developed for the use in the different narratives. The character set developed for Ytv.
Finally, after a couple more weeks of animation rendering and compositing, we managed to deliver a number of short narratives.
Coke BetterWorld Optimism: an African story Five directors, one from each continent were asked by Coke to create individual short stories to visually explain their unique interpretation of ‘BetterWorld Optimism’. These short stories came to life as music videos – each set to music tracks from different indie musicians.
Screen grabs of some of the Ytv stings.
It was important for us to capture something uniquely African without utilising any clichés, both in concept and visual execution. Because each campaign was being made accessible to audiences all over the world, it needed to have international appeal, and more importantly, because
Click to view clips of the Ytv branding stings.
it was targeted specifically at the itself as carved figures so this beyouth market, the design solution came a stylistic inspiration for our needed to resonate with them too. character who is based on an East African spirit called Malaika, which When conceptualising our short story, is said to be sent from heaven to help we drew inspiration from the African people in a time of turmoil. myths, legends, fables, songs and proverbs that define the birthplace Selecting the right track to create a of mankind. We found that they had music video was quite challenging as striking similarities with so many there were a lot of great choices from cultures that have developed in op- some amazing independent musi-
the perfect soundtrack to our interpretation of ‘BetterWorld Optimism’, and became an inspiration in itself for the visual tone of the whole campaign.
Having created the story we proceeded to extend the design language into print and various other merchandising solutions. Drawing inspiration from the animation we designed the posite corners of the world. African cians. In the end, though, Fischer- label for a collectors’ edition aluminmythology most often manifests spooner’s track All We Are felt like ium Coke bottle.
The final video for Fischerspoonerâ€™s track, All We Are.
These were printed using seven spot colours including two fluorescent inks which allowed the bottle to glow in night clubs and bars. Because the project was aimed at the youth and club scene, Coke did not fill
the bottle, instead they left space Finally we developed posters to be in the bottle to be filled by a choice used at the launch of the project of spirits without having to decant it. around the world. < The merchandising extended into t-shirts, iPod covers and a vinyl toy.
Click to view the video of Fischerspoonerâ€™s, All We Are.
Series of posters for the launch of the project.
ABOVE: Malaika, the main character featured in the Fischerspooner video. ABOVE LEFT: REX & TennantMckayâ€™s final packaging design. LEFT: The final designs from the five design groups who participated in the M5 project.
By Fatima Cassim
XIN: ICOGRADA WORLD DESIGN CONGRESS 2009, BEIJING
Exterior view of the NCPA at night. Image: NCPA.
Interior view of the main foyer of the NCPA. Image: NCPA.
Massive banners announce the opening ceremony at the NCPA. Image: Stuart Alden.
â€œNo future for countries without a creative industry. Design should be at the front end of innovation. It is a strategic way of thinking.â€?
More than a year after the Olympics, Beijing was host to another milestone event: the Icograda World Design Congress 2009 and the first ever Beijing Design Week. The World Design Congress that ran from 26 to 30 October is a bi-annual event held by the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (Icograda). Founded in 1963, Icograda is a design body that is actively engaged in promoting communication design and encouraging cross-disciplinary design dialogue. In keeping with these aims, the Icograda World Design Congress 2009 was a simmering hot pot fuelled by pressing issues and contemporary design challenges.
Beijing, with its bright lights and ubiquitous cultural history, also proved to be an interesting backdrop for the international event which saw over 2 000 design practitioners, educators and students attend. On the first day of the congress, after many a hand signal and sketch (owing to our foreign vocabulary void), my colleague and I managed to make our way from our hotel to the cultural and political hub of the city for the opening ceremony. It was held at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, an impressive futuristic structure. The centre is an icon of modern Beijing and stands in stark contrast to the surroundings, including Tiananmen Square and the Great Hall of the People, as well as the Forbidden City.
The lake’s reflection on the underground entrance to the NCPA. Image: Jacques Lange.
The traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony. Image: Stuart Alden.
Inside, the centre was teeming with people, eager to listen to the keynote speakers. The theme of this year’s conference was based on the Chinese word Xin – literally translated as message or letter and signifying human communication. In keeping with the conference theme and the meaning of the word Xin, the visual identity of the conference was made up of black and white overlapping envelopes. I felt that the organisers really pushed the envelope in this instance by cleverly applying the identity on all the collateral for the event, ranging from the innovative conference bag to the event signage. The title sequence that was designed especially for the opening ceremony was particularly impressive.
The day’s proceedings began with speeches from officials and keynote speakers. It was encouraging to see that the mayor of Beijing and other high-ranking government ministers were present to lend China’s support to the event. Don Ryun Chang, Icograda president, also acknowledged this when he stated, “design is an integral force fostering socio-economic growth, innovation and sustainable development for many countries and communities. The support of the Beijing Municipal People’s Government, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education is a testament to the value that China places on design”. The content and theme of the opening ceremony focused largely on the
Spectacular exhibition opening at the China Millennium Monument. Image: Jacques Lange.
central idea of China moving from a manufacturing economy into a creative economy and the role of design within this changing environment. In his address, Long Youngtu, the Secretary General of the Boao Forum for Asia, also spoke about this transition and maintained “a country without a design industry is a country without a future”. The rest of the day saw an impressive line-up of speakers including the influential Dutch designer Jan van Toorn and American designer Sol Sender, to name a few. Sender’s presentation entitled Designing for Change was about the conception and evolution of the branding for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. He spoke about the complexity EDUCATION
Keynote speakers (LTR), Long Youngtu, Patrick Whitney, Jan van Toorn and Sol Sender. Images: Stuart Alden.
Keynote speakers (LTR), Kohei Sugiura and David Kester. Images: Bruno Porto and Jacques Lange.
of identity and symbolism and transformative design strategies for society. In light of Sender’s call for designers to “architect and implement solutions that can realise a better today”, the highlight of the day for me was the memorable David Kester, the chief executive of the British Design Council. Kester continued with the topic of China’s growth in the creative industries and the inherent role of design. He mentioned that
Lenovo China (the multi-national technology corporation) began with only one designer in their in-house design office three years ago and that number has subsequently increased to 150. Kester also reflected on innovative design strategies in the United Kingdom. In particular, he referred to service delivery and innovation within the healthcare industry. All his examples pointed to design at the front end of innovation where
design is no longer considered an end in itself but rather as a strategic way of thinking which is employed as a means of creating value and providing meaningful change. In conclusion to his presentation, Kester urged the audience to pursue new ways of thinking by saying that “if we tap into creativity and if we tap into design and if we collaborate together with technologists and manufacturers we can be part of solving some of the big problems that we face today in our world”.
The CAFA campus was a hive of activity during the run of the Congress. Image: CAFA.
The highly effective wayfinding system made it easy to navigate between venues. Image: Jacques Lange.
Speakers & moderators (LTR), Ma Ke, Don Ryun Chang, Laurence Madrelle & GrĂŠgoire Serikoff. Images: Stuart Alden.
After viewing this phenomenon, it occurs that a new metric for judging effective presentations could be number of pictures taken. Image: D Fox.
At the end of each day, speakers and delegates engaged in highly interactive Q&A sessions. Image: CAFA. EDUCATION
The focus on the increasing power
very promising with their own list on the idea that designers today are
and current responsibility of design-
of influential speakers.
ers recurred throughout the subse-
engaged in “politics of survival” as opposed to “politics of protest”.
quent two days of the congress which
The ‘balance’ stream covered top-
was held at Beijing’s Central Acade-
ics such as design dialogue and
David Berman, author of the book
my of Fine Arts (CAFA), also one of collaboration between East and Do Good Design also advocated the the organisers of the event. Once West, sustainability and design re- importance of designers to take again, the signage and wayfinding
sponsibility as well as ecological responsibility and action in making
system at this venue was superb.
policy making. The ‘access’ stream
The banners that hung from the cam-
complimented the ‘balance’ masses. Much of what Berman said
pus buildings and the well-marked stream rather well as it focused on
design more accessible for the was in response to Bruce Mau’s well-
venues were not only a visual feast the accessibility of and within con- known question: “Now that we can but also facilitated the delegates’ temporary design practice. Topics do anything, what will we do?” route from one stream to another
such as designing life in urban
without any frantic nods or flailing spaces, proactive intellectual
Both Margolin’s and Berman’s com-
hand gestures. Eager CAFA students
property rights policies in design,
mitment to their subject matter was
were also always on hand to an-
and communication design for in- admirable and, surprisingly, their
swer any questions.
formation environments were cen- presentations were the first and tral to this theme.
Using the theme of Xin as a point of
the very last presentation which I attended. In a way they stood tall as
departure, the conference explored
Two noteworthy presentations were
bookends, which enclosed many
four overarching issues, namely
that of Victor Margolin and David
interesting titles between them
‘access, balance, communicate Berman. Margolin is the Professor over the second and third days of and define’, and their influence on Emeritus of Design History at the the conference. contemporary communication de-
University of Illinois, Chicago. He is
sign. Each issue was presented as
a founding editor and now co-edi- It was apparent that the presenters
a separate stream, which ran par-
tor of the seminal academic design were not there to play a game of
allel to one another. Although the journal Design Issues. In his presen- Chinese whispers. The message was parallel streams spoilt the dele-
tation, Building a Sustainable World:
gates for choice, it was quite a
What We Need to Know, Margolin pre- difference. <
challenge deciding which streams
sented an overview of changing de-
to attend because they all sounded sign practice and focused specifically
loud and clear: Design can make a
12 categories in 3 media areas Interactive Media categories Browser-Based Design Non-Browser-Based Design Application Development Mobile Design Installation Design Video and Motion categories Animation Live Action Motion Graphics Traditional Media categories Illustration Packaging
2010 Adobe Design Achievement Awards
Celebrating 10 years of the Adobe Design Achievement Awards! The 2010 Adobe Design Achievement Awards give higher education students from around the world the shortcut to brilliance to propel their careers in the future. Enter in 12 categories in 3 media areas endorsed by industry. Cash prizes will be awarded during Adobe MAX 2010 in Los Angeles. Submissions close June 4, 2010. For more information and to submit entries: http://adaa.adobe.com Adobe and the Adobe logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ÂŠ 2010 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved.
Photography Print Communications
HOW BIG IS BARBIE? By Suné Stassen
“We want to conquer the world and we want to be bigger than Barbie,” says co-founder of Monkeybiz and well-known ceramicist Barbara Jackson. What can be bigger than our world’s blonde, busty Barbie? In many fields it is probably not really a challenge but in the global consumer market this is an enormous task. Last year saw the world celebrating the 50th birthday of this iconic figure. For most this was a great celebration and bags filled with nostalgic moments but within the context of poverty, HIV/AIDS, war and economic downfalls, not really a celebration with a lot of heart and added value. Deep down south on the African continent you can find a community project with humble beginnings that is adamant to become bigger than one of the world’s most recognisable stereotypes. You have to hand it to them – this is a pretty hearty and hefty goal but this one has soul. Some might say they are setting themselves up for failure and others, present company included, are still admiring them for the shear magnitude of their aspirations. “There’s so much product out there in the world, but there’s so little product that makes a difference. Monkeybiz makes a difference,” says Donna Karan from the fashion world of New York. The original task they set themselves was already a hefty one but the women behind the Monkeybiz project do have their hearts in the right place. And this makes all the difference. “We want to alleviate poverty to uplift the people, empower them and provide them with skills,” says Jackson. As a true blood Capetonian I can, like so many others, testify that Monkeybiz is iconic to our creative city. It is a well-driven and successful project that is truly making
inroads into changing the lives of many – not just the needy, but their products continue to put a smile and new zest for life in the hearts and homes of everyone that owns a ‘monkey’ of this nature. It was in 2002 when Tina Davis, director/producer of Bigger than Barbie, first spotted these funky creatures at a friend’s house in Norway. “I got completely enchanted by them, I thought they had great expression, I loved the colours and kind of crazy quirkiness they have,” says Tina. Not knowing the origin of these beautifully crafted beaded dolls; it was love at first sight. “Three months later I saw them in a shop window in Oslo and bought a couple of dolls,” Tina continues. “And only with my second visit to the same shop did the lady who works there fill me in on this amazing project in Cape Town and its philosophy of empowering women.” Tina then decided that it could be interesting and viable to check it out. “My first visit to Monkeybiz and meeting with the women behind the project was a life changing experience. I saw how they were working in the office in Cape Town but also how these women were working in their homes in the township. At that stage I already knew it was a project that really deserved more attention but I also liked the story behind the project. I wanted to show how these women, somehow against all EDUCATION
96 > odds, were doing something so positive, so creative and also making beautiful art using a great South African tradition like the craft of beading to create these beautiful dolls. This tradition was dead because of apartheid but Monkeybiz rekindled it, which is great!” In the documentary Bigger than Barbie we have the opportunity to meet the special women behind Monkeybiz and how, through creativity, they learn to fight against HIV/AIDS and overcome poverty. In dealing with such heart-felt and heavy topics like HIV/AIDS, it is quiet challenging to produce a piece of filmmaking that reflects positivism, hope, love, valuable friendships, support, dearness and strong human relations. Yet this documentary is a shining example of positive energy. “When I see these dolls they are like a symbol of hope,” says the iconic singer/superstar and activist, Annie Lennox. It is a fun and informative documentary that will educate the world using the honest and sincere portraits of the women behind this project as a very valuable vehicle to communicate to the world. We also meet the dolls as the movie’s leading characters, taking us on their exciting journey from the dusty roads of Khayelitsha township to Donna Karan’s high fashion store on Madison Avenue, New York, to the Mandela concert for HIV/AIDS in Norway. And this was all done in the spirit and belief that they can become Bigger than Barbie while making a real difference in the lives of so many. Monkeybiz supplies colourful beads, thread, cotton and skills to the women. On delivering the final product, the women are paid according to the merit of their work. It is then the responsibility of Monkeybiz to market their creations in galleries and in a number of shops worldwide. This project also has a Wellness Centre that provides nutrition, yoga classes and healthcare to the women who live with HIV/AIDS. Today the Monkeybiz community of women is about 450 strong. Monkeybiz is big on economic development and invests about R1, 4 million annually through paying the women for the beaded dolls they produce. Monkeybiz is also a non-profit organisation and all the proceeds from sales go directly back into the community. As one can only imagine, for the women it is a great help to work from home, as they are now able to look after their children while not spending a cent on transport to get to work. Their production line also
97 > reflects a sustainable and environmental friendly way as they use leftover and discarded off-cuts for the fillers of their dolls. â€œMonkeybiz help the people to help themselves,â€? says Desmond Tutu. Director Tina Davis and co-producer, Thomas Robsahm from Speranza Film manage to engage the viewer and give a powerful insight into the lives of some of these women and into the business context of this project, while highlighting their victories, great and small and one step at a time. To work between two very distant continents, with Monkeybiz situated in Cape Town, and with the team living in Norway, created its own challenges. It took them four long years to complete this documentary. The film includes special appearances from Desmond Tutu, Donna Karan, Annie Lennox and Nelson Mandela. Up to now this documentary has been screened in 20 countries on television and at film festivals in Turkey, Germany, Sweden, Norway, France, the Ukraine and Taiwan, to mention just a few. Because of the educational value, Bigger than Barbie has also been screened at many educational institutions such as Harvard University in the USA and Brighton University in the UK. <
Click to view the trailer of the Bigger than Barbie video.
SUPPORTING YOUNG PRODUCT DESIGNERS
It’s not easy to be a product designer in South Africa. This is a puzzling fact, as South Africans have always been known for their ingenuity to make a plan when all else fails. But is ingenuity the same as design? The word ‘ingenious’ means clever at inventing, constructing or organising. It also means skilful and resourceful. South Africans have always been resourceful to survive in a harsh and unforgiving environment, but can they take their ingenious plans to compete on the international market? It is here that design can make the difference. For the past 40 years the SABS Design Institute has been passionately involved with design – product design in particular. Over four decades more than 600 outstandingly designed South African products have received SABS Design Excellence Awards. Some of these products have gone on to make a huge impact on world markets.
Views of the Celebrating 40 Years of Design Excellence exhibition hosted by the SABS Design Institute in 2009.
The characteristics of a product designer
The ten commandments of good design
What characteristics should one have to become a product designer? The Princeton Review, a reputable source when it comes to tertiary training in the USA, explains it as follows: “A product designer combines a talent for design with an understanding of the production and marketing of consumer goods.”
World-renowned German industrial designer, Dieter Rams, whose Less and More – the Design Ethos of Dieter Rams exhibition is on at the Design Museum in London from 18 November 2009 to 7 March 2010, offers his ten commandments of good design. These should be intrinsically part of the thinking of every potential product designer.
The Review continues: “It’s important that the prospective designer be able to work as part of this team, which means understanding that his personal preferences may not be chosen. Besides the time spent actually working on designs, the remainder of his time is spent working with graphic designers and cost estimators in order to coordinate the production of potential product lines. Because of the collaborative nature of the process, this job requires strong interpersonal skills. … While aesthetic skills are obviously critical to product designers, business savvy is just as important. Successful product designers are equally comfortable producing three-dimensional models of their designs and providing cost estimates to production executives.”
1. Good design is innovative. 2. Good design makes a product useful. 3. Good design is aesthetic. 4. Good design makes a product understandable. 5. Good design is unobtrusive. 6. Good design is honest. 7. Good design is long-lasting 8. Good design is thorough down to the last detail. 9. Good design is environmentally friendly. 10. Good design is as little design as possible.
What the SABS Design Institute can do for you Design education has always been high up on the agenda
The Design Institute was also responsible for initiating
of the SABS Design Institute. The Institute has been
the Joint Standing Committee on Design Education which
instrumental in promoting leadership amongst young
was the forerunner of the Design Education Forum of
designers for more than 20 years. Back in 1987 the
Southern Africa (DEFSA), a professional organisation
Design Achievers Award was born of the belief that
of design educators. The main aim of the forum is to
opportunities should be created for young designers
foster design education in the southern African region
to define the future and to prove that South Africa is
and to host annual conferences to bring design educa-
a country with great creative potential. This initiative
tors together under one umbrella, offering academics
is based on the assumption that design leadership is
the opportunity to present academic papers towards
imperative for momentum to grow the industry.
Design Achievers is a unique award scheme insofar
The Guide on Design Education, with information on
as it not only recognises design talent, but also seeks
design career options and study opportunities, has
out and awards leadership in design and entrepre-
been published since the early 80s at regular intervals
to keep potential design students informed of possible educational avenues they would like to pursue.
The lifeline: Prototype Initiative In an attempt to support new product development,
Consultations are confidential and applicants can be
the SABS Design Institute assists product designers
sure to receive expert advice and opinions. The con-
with working prototype models to get their proto-
sultation sessions are held in major centres in South
types out of the garage and on their way to produc-
Africa and by entering their prototypes, designers
tion through the revamped Prototype Initiative that
also become eligible to attend the Idea to Product
started in 2008.
seminars presented at these centres, free of charge. These seminars deal with common problems experi-
The Prototype Initiative includes a free consultation
enced by product developers.
with design experts, a patent attorney and a fund manager. The design expert advises product designers
A total of 44 aspirant designers benefited from the
on the design aspect of the prototype, the patent attor-
2009 Prototype Initiative consultations.
ney explains how to protect the intellectual property of the designer, whereas the fund manager looks at the
For more information on the SABS Design Institute, to
viability of the product and the chances of acquiring
view products that won Design Excellence Awards in the
funding for further development.
past ten years, to find out more about the Prototype Initiative and design careers and training institutions, visit www.sabs.co.za and click on Design Institute. <
CREATIVE THOUGHT AND EXCHANGE FLOURISH AT DUTCH DESIGN WEEK By Adrian Madlener
What makes Dutch design Dutch? Every October the city of Eindhoven is partially transformed by the Dutch Design Week into a mecca of creative thought and exchange. Needless to say it makes for Eindhovenâ€™s bread and butter. For students, this non-commercial fair that spans over 200 locations and over a hundred events, provides the perfect exposure to the current design climate. Sceptics say that Dutch design canâ€™t weather the current global economic storm. Yet, during the opening speech the trend forecaster and design guru, Li Edelkoort said that designers should embrace the economic downturn as a means for allowing creativity to flourish. For students there is no better time to be studying design. Everywhere you went during this week, you were presented with the theme of change or at least the attempt to change.
104 > The main locations during the Design Week centred on three hubs. The first hub was the Witte Dame (White Lady); the old turn of the century Phillips light bulb factory, which has been transformed into a multi-purpose building with shops, design bureaus, and most importantly, the famous Design Academy, Eindhoven. The academy’s graduation show generally sets the tone for the entire week. It is a view into the future as the graduates prepare to move into the design and business worlds, ready to make their mark. The graduation projects are less professional but rather on the haute couture end of what’s on show around town. In this area there were also exhibitions like Paper Zoo at the MU gallery and Happy Living, a small show presented by the local technological industry authority, Brainpoort Design Point. The next major hub was the Strijp S where the more commercial portion of the Dutch Design Week featured a huge number of company and school exhibitions. The last hub was the Stadhuisplein (Town Hall Square) with the Designhuis’ European Talent exhibition, the Dutch Design Awards pavilion and a few other shows in the actual Stadhuis. The world-renowned Van Abbe Museum hosted most of the lectures and debates throughout the ten days. There were also many other hubs or clusters of exhibitions which tended to be more focussed but no less interesting, like the Technical University, Eindhoven, which showcased its industrial design department graduation projects as well as the architectural department’s latest work. It was also worthwhile to venture outside of these main hubs where one could find other pleasant surprises. It seems like anybody with the smallest affiliation to creativity or commerce gets involved or at least tries to get a piece of the Dutch Design Week’s action.
105 > In October the Strijp S was expanded to include the Strijp X, where the studio of Kiki van Eijk and Joost van Bleiswijk was open to the public, a pleasant look into the workshop of an emerging Dutch design label that calls Eindhoven home. Next-door is the collective Ateliedorp’s Chaos/Order half-store, half-showcase of highly conceptual design. The original Strijp S also changed things a bit, adding a purely automotive design section and a material production portion. This place can be somewhat of a whirlwind – it was jam-packed and a whole afternoon or even day was necessary to experience everything. The crowd of 100 000 people over the entire week did not make it any easier. Eindhoven takes on a new hue during the Dutch Design Week and provides us with what is lacking during the rest of the year. Many doors open and inspiration flows. Certain themes and practices become evident as trends, helping along the understanding of what is to come in the future. In 2009, paper in all of its forms and properties seemed to be popular, as was the theme of death and rebirth. The state of design is changing but it seems that what was shown during this week was an attempt at holding on to a type of Dutch design which is only accessible to a few. I was surprised by the fact that many of the exhibits did not address the need to be sustainable or socially responsible – obviously, there were exceptions. No doubt, the 2009 Dutch Design Week was invaluable for students looking at new trends in materials, colour, processes and conceptual frameworks. It created the basis for discussion but also personal development in intellect and practice. <
JAMMING WITH CREATIVITY With our brains divided into two hemispheres, development of both is necessary to process information. Reading, writing, arithmetic and science are activities that are primarily controlled by the left hemisphere of the brain. The right hemisphere controls imagination, visual and spatial perception. However, right brain activities are often neglected and seen as less important when, in fact, it should be a no-brainer to realise the benefits of engaging in creative activities. Research has shown that it enhances problem-solving skills, assists in thinking out of the box and develops a sense of individuality. These are some of the reasons why Artjamming™ has become increasingly popular. Already a hugely successful worldwide phenomenon, Artjamming™ was launched end of July 2008 in South Africa by local fashion and textile importers and distributors, Ralph Israel and his daughter Leora. After extensive re-
search they realised the need for this kind of activity as amusement and distraction from everyday stress. Whether it’s playing, painting, sponging or spraying, Artjamming™ is about putting on an apron to face a blank canvas and unleashing your own individual creativity. It allows you to create your very own unique full-colour art piece by fusing creativity and colour to a chill out beat and is dubbed the most fun you can have with a paintbrush. According to Paul Lee, founder of UniqArts and Technologies overseas, five or six is an ideal age for children to develop creativity and artistry as they are not conditioned in logical thinking at this stage and their fine motors skills are developing fast. Of course, it is never too late for any child to be exposed or trained. Even adults can re-learn these free-thinking artistic and creative abilities. The best part is that
it’s a fun way for parents and children to connect by being innovative together and to express what can’t always be translated into words. Artjammers are provided with a menu of 12 differently sized canvases, easels, a choice of non-toxic acrylic paints on tap, brushes and tools to freely express themselves. Participants are not given instructions or classes, and no drawing or painting skills are required, but for those who would like a helping hand or some inspiration, there are qualified artists at the studios to assist and give guidance. The Israels decided to bring Artjamming™ to Cape Town first and have also acquired the sole rights for South Africa. The first studio was opened at the trendy Wembley Square Shopping Mall in Gardens, Cape Town, and since then it has become so popular that another
studio opened in November 2009 at the unique lifestyle shopping centre, the Cape Quarter. The first Gauteng studio will open on 1 February 2010 at the Blubird destination shopping centre in Birnam, Illovo. On average the two Cape Town studios host 70 birthday parties, team building exercises and corporate events per month. For young artists, design students and art enthusiasts Artjammingâ„˘ is a great resource with various professional art materials, brushes, sketchpads and top quality brands including Gouache from Australia on sale in store. Student discounts are given and the Wembley Square studio is situated in the middle of the student buzz and close to various design schools. For as little as R95 you can create your own artwork without having to carry the cost of buying expensive EDUCATION
108 > materials needed for projects, exams or portfolio examples. With 45 colours to choose from, a variety of drawing materials, different tools, paint brushes in all sizes and even a hairdryer to create special effects or speed up the drying process, Artjamming™ can also become your own studio in an environment which oozes creativity.
of the world’s most accomplished tattoo artists, including Paul Booth, worked together on three extra large canvasses. The canvasses, donated by Artjamming™, was auctioned off at the convention and the proceeds were donated to MaAfrika Tikkun, a non-governmental nonprofit organisation that works toward the transformation of South African communities by caring for Artjamming™ has been involved vulnerable children and orphans in with many innovative projects such townships. as hosting the first ArtFusion Experiment (AFE) in South Africa in Another event, in which they were January 2009 as part of the Southern involved in April 2009, was the Urban Ink Xposure International Tattoo Art Write on Africa Mural Fund Convention, the biggest tattoo event campaign. Six of South Africa’s top held on African soil and in the south- local urban artists (the new PC ern hemisphere. The AFE is a collabo- term for graffiti artists), including rative art demonstration where some internationally recognised Faith47,
Mak1one and Senyol, created rare works of art which were auctioned to raise funds for Write on Africa, an organisation that aims to create inspiration in the form of murals for the youth to encourage social upliftment within underprivileged communities. In July 2009 they facilitated a teambuilding session for the BestCities Client Imbizo, hosted by the Cape Town & Western Cape Convention Bureau (Cape Town Routes Unlimited), an important platform that converged significant meetings of representatives, managers and sales officials from the BestCities Global Alliance of convention bureaux with representatives from cities including Copenhagen, Dubai, Edinburgh,
109 > Melbourne, San Juan, Singapore and Vancouver. Artjamming™ was featured in Top
Billing’s “Artist Workshop” in November 2009 as the hosting studio for up-and-coming Cape Town artist, Daniel Popper, who presented a workshop to 20 children on creating puppets from canvasses, lycra, wood, buttons and sequences. Even KykNet’s “Boer soek ‘n vrou” found Artjamming™ to be a fun event for the ‘boer’ and his ladiesin-waiting to explore their inner artist and show their true colours. Artjamming™ also presents drawing classes, different medium workshops and hosts exhibitions. <
HIGHLIGHTS OF LOCAL FASHION TRENDS FOR 2010
By Lucilla Booysen Few fashionistas would dare to match their knowledge of the South African fashion design industry with that of Lucilla Booysen, one of the grand dames of the African fashion industry and founder of the SA Fashion Weeks.
We have seen more collaboration between master crafter and designer. Designers are using craft to create their own identity.
ED> asked Booysen to review the 2010 Summer and Winter collections presented at SA Fashion Weeks in 2009 and show what and whoâ€™s hot and fashionable this year.
Romantic, soft fabrics combined with wool, knits and leather create a very individual look for the different labels.
The long day dress, as well as the full-length evening dress is back in fashion.
One can see the focus on detail within the design and the use of certain fabrics to enhance the same detail.
House of OlĂŠ
Caption goes here
House of OlĂŠ
Gugulam Black Coffee (far left) & Lunar (left)
Two Guillotine (far left) & Gideon (left)
Vino Amanda (far left) Laird-Cherry & Colleen Eitzen (left)
Ephymol Ephymol Caption goes here Thunderstorm
Sies! Isabelle Colleen Eitzen
The overcoat featured in most collections and is suggested to be a lighter in-between season overcoat. Print detail on fabric develops the individual styles and looks of different designers.
Variations of long and short pants were features in the 2010 Winter Collections. There is most definitely a move away from the very tight to a more loose and comfortable look. Jumpsuits and bodysuits will follow this look.
CLive Rundle (far left) & Soul Child (left)
Two (far left) & Guillotine (left)
Masses of sheer came through strongly and this romantic look will be huge in the next season.
Bodices and dresses that leave the shoulders uncovered. This style should not be confused with the bustier that includes the lace-up at the back we had in the past.
Gideon (left) & Gugulam (right)
Tiaan Nagel (left) & Soda (right)
Clive Rundle (left) & Lunar (right)
Vino (left) & Soul Child (right)
Black Coffee (left) & Tiaan Nagel (right)
Terrence Bray (left) & Two (right)
Ruffles and pleats will definitely add to the romantic look. Staggered hemlines and the overlap of layers are creating a very interesting look. Bits and pieces of leather came through. This might get bigger for the next winter season. Knits should be much bigger in South Africa, so maybe this will come through stronger next winter.
Designers were using jewel-like colours to create colour highlights throughout their collections.
Lebo Mash (left) & Soda (right)
Ruby (left) & Thunderstorm (right)
We have not seen the cardigan for a long time. It is making a strong comeback, especially since Michelle Obama wore a cardigan when she met the British Queen recently. There is a lot of focus on comfort and luxury. Consumers want to feel comfortable and luxurious in their designer outfits.
Vino (left) & Black Coffee (right)
Menâ€™s suits will have a lot of detail. We can see that Lunar showed a more relaxed version of the suit while Clive added his detail through print on womenâ€™s suits.
House of OlĂŠ
Narain Samy (far left) & Soda (left)
Soul Child (far left) & Black Coffee (left)
Lunar (far left) & RjKay Creations (left)
Emerging creatives to watch are: 1. Anisa Mpungwe 2. Marize Malan 3. Megan Perks 4. Elme Bekker 5. Amber Jones 6. Celeste-Lee Arendse
Black is still playing for the A-team. We found more detail in the shoulder design, which emphasises bigger shoulders.
7. Liza Benson EDUCATION
CIFF SUMMER 2010 TREND FORECAST
Copenhagen International Fashion Fair (CIFF) has asked French trend agency, Nelly-Rodi, to compile a forecast for summer 2010 (2011 for us southerners). These are the four main trends for the ready to wear market.
By Angie Hattingh Reprinted with permission from (iFashion www.ifashion.co.za)
LIGHT TECH BACK TO THE FUTURE > A new beginning showing optimism and progress. Technology becomes playful in a sweet way. A new positive high-tech is restarting with references to the naivety of the 50s. COLOURS > Fresh, acidic tints that evoke chemical elixirs and experimental emulsions. The flashy, slightly pop colours of vitamin-charged smoothies: green, pink, turquoise, yellow and acidic orange. They are accompanied by a second range of more faded and somewhat veiled, greyed tints. SILHOUETTE > A blend of functional, resolutely modern strictness in 60s structured shapes. We see clean appeal, sharp-cut lab coats or absolutely simple basics reworked in luxurious, technical fabrics. References to medical bandages and an 80s sporty mood in fitted pieces are also forthcoming. MEN > A very clean style in fresh colours. This simplicity enables experimenting with new associations and new manners of wearing garments. FABRICS > Taffeta, coated canvas, cotton, jacquard and thick linen â€“ textured surfaces with miniature motifs in clean, precise graphics. Elsewhere, a futurist mood is illustrated by synthetic, compact, girdling fabrics with technical finishes. Transparent harmonies and layering are more refined.
ODE TO NATURE
ODE TO NATURE AN HOMAGE TO NATURE > Modern ceremonies, half-pagan, half-religious, which evoke the goddesses and vestal virgins of antiquity, pre-Raphaelite paintings and symbolism. A romantic, spiritual, poetic appeal. COLOURS > A soft, serene palette with kaolin accents. Chalky, light, faded, powder and talcum colours are accompanied by more intense shades of taupy beige and mauve. A range of dynamic, springtime pastels is added to this base: pink, greenish yellow, orange, vibrant green. SILHOUETTE > It is stretched in length to emphasize vertical structure for skirts, dresses, tunics or fluid, vapoury pants. The antique toga inspires onepiece garments like cover-up or T-shirt dresses and jumpsuits, but also details such as random drapings, drawstring shapes, twisted effects, knots or braids. The accent is on elegant ease: pants adopt the suppleness of pyjamas while fluid jerseys soften a tailoring mood. MEN > A nonchalant look, minimal, elegant and sober treated in a supple, almost homewear style: limp volumes, large comfortable shapes, naturally crinkled aspects, rolled hems and finishes. FABRICS > They are light and fluid: crepe, crepon, voile, gauze or fine tulle are worked alone or in layers for a young, romantic mood. In a natural atmosphere, we see refined, rustic effects: muslins or silk shantung worked in light weaves. In complement, vegetation or natural motifs are sometimes blurry or undefined.
POPULAR APPEAL ALTERNATIVELY CHIC AND MORE WILD > A woman-child with a retro look set in a Twin-Peaks universe. She looks like Mom and he looks like Granddad. A playful, girly mood juggling vintage patterns and faded 60s and 70s Americans colours creates a mundane atmosphere with a twisted angel. COLOURS > A cheerful, yet slightly faded range evoking 70s colours, which seem to have been softened in the washing machine. Muffled tones: pale blue, faded beige, soft khaki. A range completed by more intense hues of yellow or violet with stronger accents of red or sky blue. SILHOUETTES > A blend of retro elegance à la Jackie O reworked more romantically with fitted, high-waisted, slim-bust jackets and tops with jewel-like embroidery worn with mid-knee length, slim pencil skirts or Capri pants … and the campus inspiration of worn denim mini blousons and high school tops paired with tulle tutus. MEN > 70s style, composed of bellbottom trousers, floral shirts and fitted jackets. A rock vintage spirit with military jackets and boot-cut jeans. Retro campus style with a polyamide blouson worn with a baseball T-shirt and bleached snow-coloured jeans. FABRICS > They cultivate a vintage mood with cottons and wool being worked to seem used, faded, softer and suppler. In a 70s, sporty mood, a range of relaxed fabrics: supple denims, thick canvases, casual fleece, washed out, checked yarn-dyes. A more sophisticated, Halston-style of chiffons, crepes and satins for a femme fatale look.
SOUTHERN FOLK WE HEAD TO SOUTH AMERICA > A creative melting pot in a mix of influences and civilizations. From this universe, we rediscover both the appealing glamour of seductive movie actresses like Maria Felix and the humble elegance of traditional folklore outfits. COLOURS > Vibrant, joyous party tints in splashes of colour. Blazing red and deep violet blend with more neutral shades evoking dry, South American landscapes: ochres, clays, beiges, cactus greens. SILHOUETTES > They take into account Latin America’s diversity. A military uniform mood reworked with a city attitude. Big, rustic shapes inspired by Indians and ornaments, which take their cue from Aztec motifs. But also: defined waists, the tapered, chic lines of gauchos, 50s seductive women and tango artists. MEN > The silhouette is inspired by retro-Hispanic elegance, black-trimmed jacket and floral shirt. The preppy look in a bad boy version from the Latino districts – full of fantasy. The ‘resort’ style nylon jacket is sportier and more modern calling on the comeback of boat shoes. FABRICS > A folklore inspiration: rough looks, rustic weaves, fresh cottons resembling household linens. On a more refined note: laces and macramés. A more precious inspiration with fabrics decorated by opulent ornaments, embroideries and appliqués. <
DESIGNING THE FUTURE OF WATER By Suné Stassen
To compete for a $10 000 grant in an international design challenge is not too shabby for a student. Originally about 450 students from 28 countries competed for this prestigious prize. An international jury selected seven finalists that eventually competed for the INDEX: AIGA Aspen Design College Challenge, Designing
Water’s Future. The Aspen Design Challenge is a joint project developed by AIGA and INDEX: with the purpose of engaging the millennial generation in solving an emerging set of global issues. The idea for Designing
Water’s Future grew out of discussions at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, led by Brian Collins, chairman of Collins, a New York-based communications and design firm, and journalist J. Carl Ganter, co-founder of Circle of Blue, the international network of journalists, scientists and communications designers that reports on the global fresh water crisis. The finalists attended a three-day workshop where they met design and business experts who helped them to refine their products. These experts taught them how to develop a business plan and how to emphasise their focus whilst presenting the product and business plan. According to Richard Grefe, the executive director of AIGA, the idea was to take these concepts, work with the students and help them to develop their ideas into viable realities, but also to guide them in finding the correct partners that would assist in executing and distributing their new product.
Troels Lund Poulsen, Danish minister of environment, said at the award ceremony that the collaboration between high-end design products and green technology is something to celebrate and to explore as a viable option for the industry. Jo, who won the 2009 INDEX: AIGA Aspen Design College Challenge with her Veggie Patch project recently moved from Australia to the Netherlands to join the Masters’ course at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. ED > Who is Jo? JS > My name is Joanna Szczepanska and as an adopted Australian, I’m generally just known as Jo. I graduated in Industrial Design from Monash University with Honours and I’ve also dabbled in multimedia design, collage and set design but nothing too formal. I was born in Poland to two Solidarity activists who felt they needed offspring to carry on the fight once they were jailed for ‘crimes against the state’ under the martial law imposed in Poland during the early 1980s. After my birth my mother and I were under house arrest for three years until, through the petitioning of Amnesty International, we were given the opportunity to leave to the country of our choice. My mother was both highly idealistic and practical, a real survivor at heart. I can attribute my ability to empathise to being the child of a migrant, a single mother, and
a woman from a non-English speaking background. With the freedom to explore my passion I found design, more specifically social design and environmental sustainability because they are avenues for change. ED > In your portfolio you showcase stunning freeflowing visuals that are more graphic than just the traditional technical feel of endless perspective drawings. JS > I’m not too sure what a real industrial design portfolio should look like, but I think most of what I produce reflect what is going on in my mind. I tend to have a need to organise thoughts and processes in the hope that it can help others if they come up against the same problem or issue. I enjoy sharing my findings and research. For that to be communicated well, I need to use graphics and imagery. I’ve never really studied graphic design, even in high school I opted for fine art and woodwork instead, but I think designers have that knowledge instinctively, which is why they are designers. Being able to communicate your work and being proud of your process is an important part in your design evolution. ED > You seem to have projects and interests that are clearly diverse. JS > A lot of the projects I have on my portfolio are quite conceptual and they arise from a range of briefs. I guess their range of diversity reflects on what I found captivating at the time. I think each project is EDUCATION
a fantastic opportunity to explore new things and push yourself as a designer. For the Zirh bra, for example, the brief was sporting goods, and I concentrated on the aspect of protective products, and it just so happened to lead to the gap in the market for women who play contact sports.
was demanding, but it was a very successful project and I think it made an impact. ED > Explain why you decided to do your thesis on the Veggie Patch. JS > The core of my project developed from the topic
Then I have also worked on toys, interfaces, packaging and educational products and my most recent full-time job was working for Victoria Police, in crime scene reconstructions. I find designs that are centred on the user tend to bring about greater personal outcomes and some interesting deviation and discoveries.
of food and sustainability. I had many different solutions, but in order to make the most impact you really have to ‘grow’ your own food whether they are meat or vegetables. By doing so you reduce food miles, you can control chemicals, you have no packaging, things are fresh, and you use a lot less water. And if you include composting at the end of the food cycle,
Veggie Patch has been my longest running project, but in terms of which project I am most proud of to date, I would have to say Refugee Realities. It was a project run through Oxfam Australia where we built a refugee camp in the middle of the city. My role was that of creative assistant, but it meant overseeing all the design in the project, from the set design, to a website, advertisements, movies and a range of educational materials, all of which aimed to raise the awareness of refugee issues among schoolchildren and the wider community. For me as a refugee it was very close to home, and it was great to be able to use my design skills to give something back. Physically it
you produce less rubbish. Composting your own food scraps also reduces the likelihood of toxins from the rubbish leaching into the water supplies and contamination, and most importantly, growing your own food makes you value it. ED > How did you end up in Copenhagen? JS > I ended up in Copenhagen, and Aspen thanks to the INDEX: Aspen Design Challenge. The topic for last year’s competition was water conservation and among other features Veggie Patch reduced water consumption when compared to mainstream agriculture. Growing
your own vegetables at home has been shown to use half of the water used by commercial growers.
Netherlands. The Design Academy has a totally different approach to teaching design in general and I can
only hope I learn as much as I can so that I can become I met many inspiring and intelligent people, from dif- a well-rounded designer. I am really excited about the ferent fields, who not only listened to what I had to prospect of designing practically in the field as part of say, but gave me invaluable feedback and advice on the course. This degree is not just for the sake of gethow to ‘sell’ my idea and further develop my product. ting another piece of paper with a stamp on it, but it’s Although they were all very encouraging, they defi- about having the experience of living far away from nitely didn’t hold back with their opinions, and, when home, exploring Europe, and immersing myself in dethey needed to, they were brutally honest. sign. After that I’m still not too sure. Going home and enjoying the sun is definitely on my list, though. Winning the award was fantastic, and overwhelming at once. I was so amazed that all these other people from ED > Any tips for aspiring designers? across the world believed in my idea as much as I did. I also made many contacts with entrepreneurs and human- JS > I guess my tip for aspiring designers is to take itarian agencies who are continuing to assist me in every opportunity, to give things a shot. I think, as making this product a reality. $10 000 dollars isn’t re- designers, we are very self-critical and we censor and ally enough for me to start a large scale production of choose not to share our work and ideas. It is importhe Veggie Patch but it is enough for me to create new tant to remember that none of us are perfect, we are prototypes and distribute them for testing. It also gives all learning constantly and that it is only from external me the ability to recruit help to create an educational feedback we can make great ideas happen. kit with Veggie Patch which I am very excited about. ED > What is in stall for Jo? JS
Right now I’m taking baby steps into a totally new environment. I just moved to Eindhoven in the >
I would like to invite other young designers and students to join me on my blog that I am currently running for my Master’s programme http://sites.google.com/ site/joszczepanska/ <
DESIGNED FOR AFRICA By Sarah Stewart
As a designer you have a social responsibility to the people for whom you are designing. Being aware of what is going on around you can be the starting point to creating the next life-changing solution. John Hutchinson (chief technology officer), Philip Goodwin (industrial designer) and Stefan Zwahlen (electronics designer) and their collaborators are individuals whose designs do change lives and, in fact, save them. The Freeplay Energy team are individuals who are actively aware, they are constantly investigating, and they encourage discussion amongst themselves and enthusiastically seek collaboration with others. Their efforts have not gone unrewarded. Their latest design is the INDEX: award-winning Freeplay Fetal Heart Rate Monitor that is selfpowered by a hand crank. INDEX: is the largest monetary design award in the world and is dedicated to change global mindsets by showing and exploring how design can improve life.
The situation In 2005, 500 000 women died in childbirth – 99% of these deaths occurred in South Asia and Africa. The absence of basic healthcare was the primary cause of their deaths, meaning that with the medical technology available today these deaths were preventable. In sub-Saharan Africa, a woman’s risk of dying from complications in childbirth is 1 in 22, in comparison to the risk of 1 in 7 300 of women in developed areas. Four out of five maternal deaths are the direct result of obstetric complications and could be avoided with the presence of skilled healthcare workers and basic medical equipment. The Cape Townbased Freeplay Energy team wanted to do something about this situation. Freeplay Energy is a consumer electronics company that balances profit with humanitarian need by designing and developing camping gear while also providing NGOs with products that meet educational and
medical needs in developing countries. Freeplay Energy’s company’s goal is to make energy available to everyone all of the time. They design and manufacture products that empower the user to be selfsufficient. African clinics are littered with remnants of western medical equipment that is either broken from harsh use or discarded through a lack of electricity. Hutchinson and his team work closely with the NGOs that use Freeplay Energy products and are thus more aware of this problem. After conducting research of their own, the team became aware of the drastic infant and maternal mortality rate in Africa and South Asia. The team felt pressed to use their resilient designs and self-powering hand crank technology in developing medical devices.
The design process begins with research Freeplay Energy design team begin the process by having vibrant discussions. They put down on paper what they want the proposed product to be able to do and develop a ‘want list’ and a ‘need list’. Hutchinson explains that the need determines the design and that by asking questions, possible problems that could arise can be dealt with before they do. Hutchinson stresses that the success of a product is determined by fine-tuning the relevant issues of cost, production volumes and quality. The product is doomed to fail unless each of these three issues is deliberately considered regardless of how relevant the product might be. The second issue is the design itself. Hutchinson and his team felt that designing a fetal heart rate monitor would be relevant and could possibly be the first step to making a significant difference in dropping infant and maternal mortality rates. If a mother’s blood supply to the EDUCATION
placenta is inadequate the baby reduces its oxygen requirement and subsequently slows its heart rate. This is a sign that the baby is stressed and not coping. A fetal heart rate monitor will not prevent an emergency but it will inform the medical worker of the problematic situation and then can either delay the delivery or seek more specialised help. The device needed to be hardy and resilient to dust and frequent use. Zwahlen was responsible for the design and the positioning of the electronic hand crank. The winding of the external crank turns sev-
The Freeplay team receiving their INDEX: Award in Copenhagen.
eral internal gears which in turn
charge a rechargeable battery. One minute of turning the crank by hand will result in ten minutes of operation time. The hand crank has been designed for the cadence of a human arm which means that the gears have been optimised to make the turning of the crank easy to wind at a fast pace. An On/Off button allows the energy to be stored and saved for time of need. A numerical display shows symbols to indicate the cardiac response of the heartbeat and an audio component amplifies the heart beat. The Cape Town team lacked experience
Click to view a clip of the 2009 INDEX: Award ceremony. Click to view a clip featuring the development and workings of the Freeplay Heart Rate Monitor.
and CE accreditation to design and
The medical fraternity is known to
This product was conceptualised
produce the medical Doppler ul-
be highly conservative, electing
and put into production because
trasound technology responsible
to only work with and endorse
it is socially relevant and will
for tracking the cardiac response.
products that they know well. A
make a positive impact.
For this device, they sent their development that proved to be highly beneficial to Hutchinson In an age where natural resources trasound Technology to install and the team was the involvement are becoming depleted at a rapof John Wyatt, a professor of neona- id rate and where user consumpthe ultrasound component. product to Welsh company Ul-
Testing a working prototype The next step for the team was to start testing the product. The heart rate monitor was sent to the Elsies River Community Health
tology at the University College tion is at an all around high, this of London Hospital. Wyatt was self powered medical device will eager to help and give the monitor
be beneficial to all in both devel-
his vote of confidence. Wyatt
oping and developed regions.
was able to acquire funding from
This fetal heart rate monitor is
the Sir Halley Stewart Trust to
an example of design that has
financially assist the monitor’s
Centre in Cape Town. This testing centre was close by, and, as
Form and context
Hutchinson says, one does not have to go far away from home
The process of researching, de-
to help people. Hutchinson made
signing and testing the Freeplay
contact with Dr David Woods at
Energy Heart Rate Monitor took
the University of Cape Town who
nine years to perfect. What the
put the team in contact with Mé-
team is left with is a thoroughly
decins Sans Frontières (Doctors
considered design. Its form was
without Borders) who also test-
deliberately bulky in order to
ed the monitors in the Philip-
withstand constant and vigorous
pines. The feedback was highly use. It has a universal plug point positive with the Elsies River
if electricity is available, but the
midwives not wanting to return
sturdy hand crank has been de-
the product and Médecins Sans
signed to be reliable at any time
Frontières reporting that they
and in any condition.
also experienced success with the product.
CO-CREATION PRODUCES INDEX: AWARD WINNING CHULHA STOVE By Olivia De Gouveia
The Chulha, a low-tech stove designed to limit the dangerous health conditions caused by the traditions of indoor cooking in rural areas of the developing world, is truly an award winning solution, which could only have been made possible by including co-creation in the design process. Philips’ Philanthropy by Design programme was launched with the generous idea of donating creativity to design meaningful solutions and the Chulha is its founding project. Through this proposal Philips Design made a significant attempt to support the work of NGOs in order to explore opportunities to create innovative humanitarian propositions and in turn, enable better living conditions for low-earning end users. “For many women in rural India it is normal spending several hours a day cooking over an indoor open stove. What these women fail to realise is that there is an invisible killer in their kitchen: burning biomass fuels causes almost 500 000 deaths every year in India alone,” states a report by the World Health Organisation in 2009. Initially the Philips Design team was challenged to come up with a solution for healthy and safe cooking with a minimum smoke output. Secondary to that, and even more importantly, the result had to be designed to suit the local context of rural and semi-urban India,
taking both social and cultural factors into account. This is an example of where it can become difficult as a designer to create solutions to problems one is unfamiliar with and where using a process like co-creation can be most beneficial. The design brief specifically required the designers to question how their product could reduce indoor pollution and as a result, minimise health-related diseases. They also needed to research how they could respectfully consider local culinary habits and cooking behaviours in order to model a solution that would be appropriate to users’ daily routine and dietary requirements. Chulha users say: “The house used to be full of smoke but now it is much clearer because most of the smoke goes out of the house.” The designers not only paid attention to an easily accessible product, but also had to ensure that it was easy to use and maintain. And on top of everything they needed to construct an intelligent production process that would allow it to be manufactured at low cost, ensuring its spread into the marketplace. The designers obviously needed all the help they could get, and a set of ‘personas’ were created to get them to try and understand the end-users’ circumstances. These ‘fictional characters’ provided insights
into a day in the life of the targeted communities. Case studies, testimonials, as well as individual and collective stories, which reflected people’s requirements and ambitions, were used to investigate their interactions with certain products and services. An intuitive understanding of these people gathered from both statistical data as well as subjective information were then used as design tools to help create a human-focused design. Emerging opportunities and context-specific technological challenges were also mapped out from this research. However, without personal interaction with the users or first-hand experience, the designers still lacked a complete understanding of the context in which their product would exist. In order to design a truly effective solution they needed to get to the heart of the problem – rural India. This is where the most holistic part of the experience came in – co-creation. Together with an organisation called Green Earth, a local sustainable development agency that dealt with grass root behaviours and social studies, they were able to gather more specific insights into the community. An introductory visit with people from the villages of Kerwadi, Phaltan, Maltan and Karad, in the state of Maharashtra, was followed by a week of observation and extensive interviews, which were focused on four rural and two semi-urban families. This included
not only studying all the family members, their behavioural patterns and routine but, most importantly, the role of the women who were in charge of the cooking activities. These rather informal interviews were conducted in the local language, Marathi, to ensure that the individuals would be able to express themselves clearly. After an intensive research phase and personal interaction, it became clear that there were a number of important things to consider when designing the stove. It had to be adaptable to different biomass fuels, for example, the most commonly used are cow-dung or wood but they are only available either seasonally or geographically. The stove needed to be able to accommodate the non-standard sizes of cooking pots that are used in the rural areas, as well as be flexible for the cooking of different kinds of meals, for example, steaming rice, boiling water or preparing chapatti (bread). Chulha users continue to say: “The second pot is very helpful for boiling water or milk and the stove is especially good for cooking regular meals.” Major design innovations were proposed by the design team as the next step. They needed to create a modular design to make the stove easier to transport, distribute, install and repair. Ensuring the chimney could be cleaned easily and safely was another EDUCATION
The designers faced particular challenges from the outset. More intensive one-on-one research and incorporating collaboration into their process definitely helped them to make informed design decisions but also resulted in the task of trying to build community trust and engage with the inhabitants to communicate the stove’s value and possible benefits. Difficulties weren’t only present at the beginning of the project, but also during important decision-making during the development stage. By giving a voice to the rural and semi-urban individuals who would use the end product, the team had to represent their viewpoints in the discussion with the project’s stakeholders. This part of the co-creation process proved to be problematic to ensure that all opinions were taken into account for the final designs and resulted in a prolonged process that required patience and diligence. However, the hardworking team persevered and in the end, the product speaks for itself. According to Dr P Karve, Chulha has a better chance of succeeding than other concrete smokeless stoves because it is more attractive, and has improved functional features. Currently Philips intends to go beyond only a scientific evaluation of their stoves’ performance, but also to assess their long-term economic and social accomplishments. In the meantime, they can bask in the acknowledgement they received through winning an INDEX: Award in the Home category. This is the biggest global design award scheme and supports the INDEX mission to generate design that improve the quality of life globally. The Chulha stove received top honours because of its ability to burn biomass fuel efficiently and direct cleaned smoke out of the house through a chimney, as well as the open-source business model for the distribution of the design. <
Click to view a clip featuring the development and workings of the Chulha stove.
FOLLOWING PIG 05049 By Marieke Adams
What do a bullet, a porcelain deer, a cardiac valve and bubblegum have in common? They are four of the 186 products that came from one pig. Dutch designer, Christien Meindertsma is the designer behind the project, PIG 05049, where a real pig was followed, from a Dutch farm, through slaughter, and on to the production of over 186 different products all around the world. Meindertsma conducted this three-year-long project to communicate and create an awareness of the products that we consume and the materials they are made of and won a prestigious INDEX: Award last year. The intent was to “help people in a highly mechanised and ‘packaged’ world understand how things are made and where they come from so that the resources involved can be cared for by enlightened, informed people.”
yellow tag. This simple cover, with a copy of the yellow ear-tag that the original pig wore, compliments the relatively simple idea it stands for. However, this simple starting point stands in stark contrast with the unexpectedly complicated information that it led to. The book is filled with one-to-one scaled photographs of all of the products resulting from the pig in question, while simple diagrams are included, illustrating which parts of the pig were used for which products. Divided into the chapters Skin, Bones, Muscles, Blood, Internal intestines, Fat and Other, the book visually documents all of the resulting products that came about, either directly, or via production methods, from this one pig. With such a subject matter, the book could justifiably tend towards a critical
Some of the particularly unusual or unknown outcomes discovered by Meindertsma include a production process with gelatine, where it is used to inject gunpowder smoothly into the bullets. Yet another is the use of pig-related components in food items. Gelatine, produced from this particular pig, was used in confectioneries, gums and desserts, while protein from the pig’s hair was used to make bread soft. Bone ashes were used in the production of bone china and porcelain. Pork fat was also found in an array of cosmetics, such as anti-wrinkle creams, make-up and shampoo. And these diverse and unusual outcomes are but a few of the 186 products documented in the book PIG 05049 that highlight the general alienation of final products from their origins and their raw materials.
or moral commentary about the treatment and conditions of animals, or the unspecified use of pig parts in cosmetic creams or food substances, which could raise religious concerns for some. But this is not its aim. Instead, it provides an informative and nonjudgmental approach, with the sole purpose of communicating interesting information. As winner of the INDEX: Play category, Meindertsma received €100 000 with which she plans to continue with similar communication design projects. Her next project also stems from the farm. She is working on a series of colouring books that each revolve around a different type of farm, using yet another approach to communicate, inform and create awareness in society
The extensive three-year research project culminated in a clean and understated brown covered book with
where so much gets lost and where there is a lack of understanding that often leads to ignorance. <
Click to view a clip where Christien Meindertsma explains the concept behind her book, PIG 05049.
STREET SWAGS > PEOPLE’S CHOICE AT INDEX: AWARDS By Suné Stassen
Jean Madden & HRH Crown Princess Mary
At first glance, Street Swags is a bed and a bag designed to provide more comfort, warmth and protection from weather for people living on the streets. But, Street Swags is much more than just a well-designed product that addresses the immediate needs of a minority group who are often sidelined by society. It is an integrated concept that engages many stakeholders in addressing the multiple and complex issues of being homeless in contemporary urban society. The Australian social entrepreneur and creator of the Street Swags project, Jean Madden, who won the coveted INDEX: Peopleâ€™s Choice Award 2009, shares some insights into the project and her views on life and design in an interview with ED>. ED > Who is Jean Madden and what do you value? JM > I was brought up in a big Catholic family where doing charity work and helping out in the community was a very normal thing. At university I studied to be a school teacher whilst completing a second degree in fine arts and music. I then went on to complete a Masters in Theology, specialising in Eco-feminist Theology. I still teach religions and ethics part-time. ED > What was the original thinking behind the Street Swags concept and how did this grow into the product we see today? JM > To me the world is a single organism with all components reliant on each other for their existence. Itâ€™s like playing with a ball of Plasticine, when one part is raised another part must go down. Wealth and status always develop at the expense of others. The earth will not be able to run smoothly if it continues to be pulled out of kilter.
As a teenager I had worked with the local homeless for many years and I had seen their situation deteriorating. The numbers were increasing and local authorities were making things even harder for them. It was up to the community to look after their own and to take responsibility for each other. The Street Swags project is a means of educating and changing the way that members of the community relate to each other. ED > What are Street Swags about? JM > Homeless people, who live in dire poverty and fear, needed a portable shelter, bed and blanket in which they could carry their extra belongings. It needed to be comfortable, yet able to withstand harsh weather conditions. Most importantly, though, it needed to not look like bedding, as to protect these people’s safety, particularly that of the women and children. It needed to be simple enough so that untrained helpers could produce them by the thousands and cheap enough to be disposable. Based on the concept of a single sheet of folded piece of paper, I sewed the first couple of designs on ‘Barbie doll’ size, which was about the extent of my sewing capabilities. I used felt instead of foam and ribbon for strapping. My
mother then made the first full size model. Mum and I love the benefits of natural fabric so we went looking for cotton canvas and we found a wholesaler who sold a very specialised super-light weight, waterproofed canvas. He helped is to find the kind of foam that we were after. We then trailed them and made further refinements. The media was also vital in spreading the word and telling the com-
Disadvantaged indigenous communities gain from government employment, home industry skills and their finished product for their families. School children roll and package Street Swags with blankets, pillows, hygiene packs and knitted winter essentials and numerous aid organisations, hospitals, community groups and volunteers distribute them. ED > Tell us about winning the INDEX:
munity what we were aiming to do and together, within a couple of weeks, we had a nearby prison making hundreds for that up-coming Christmas period. Since then we have bedded over 12 000 people across Australia, and beyond.
People’s Choice Award 2009.
ED > Explain the extended design
What I value most from my big journey are the amazing people I met. It was such an honour to be in the company of some of the cleverest, most creative and caring people in the world and for that I am truly grateful.
process and philosophy. JM > A bag with room for extra belongings, the Street Swag is made of super lightweight waterproofed canvas with a high-density foam mattress. It offers its users a degree of comfort, warmth and protection from the weather. Street Swags empower and bring together all levels of community. Corporates, private entities and service providers donate funds to sponsor these specially designed beds. Prisoners sew, gaining work readiness skills and qualifications.
JM > It was a very long way for me to come from Australia to Denmark, and it was an even bigger deal to leave my husband and little boy for the ten days, but I felt I had to go.
ED > What did you do with your stunning prize? JM
My Egg chair designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1958 is an iconic Danish design and the ‘swag’ is an iconic Australian design, which I adapted. You may have heard of ‘the Jolly Swagman’ who is the character in a very famous Australian song >
Jean Madden & students from Nudgee College after packing 400 emergency swags with blankets and pillows for the recent Victorian bush fire disaster in Australia.
‘Waltzing Matilda’ (Matilda is his swag). So I thought it was a beautiful gesture to honour one country’s iconic design with another. The Egg sits gloriously in the main room of my house and my little boy loves giving rides to all our guests. He thinks I bought it back for him. ED > What are the future plans for your product?
JM > As an Australian charity governed by our countries taxation laws, Street Swags Ltd could only send 10% of what we make overseas. So in order to respond to the massive need and interest for Street Swags generated by INDEX: we started a second company, wholly owned by the charity, Walkabout Beds Pty Ltd. This subsidiary company not only has the ability to supply the Street Swags to aid organisations in other countries,
but it also sells a new version designed for emergency relief, The Walkabout Bed. The website www. walkaboutbeds.com shows what these are about. I also plan to further my work, pushing communities to take the next step in caring for each other and their world and changing people’s minds on how they value these relationships. <
Jacques Rossouw, the first winner of the Design Achievers Awards.
YOUNG DESIGN TALENT GETS THE SABS STAMP OF APPROVAL By Weyers Marais
Until June 2009, if I encountered the acronym, SABS, I would think of the little white SABS stamp of approval symbol on the window of my dadâ€™s old VW Citi Golf. On long trips I used to stare at this symbol while the scenery hazed past in the background. As I grew up, I learnt that this stamp of approval meant that a product had been tested by the SABS to make sure it is a quality working product that adheres to strict local and international standards. In June 2009, however, I learnt that since 1987, the SABS has also been putting its stamp of approval on young design talent, and more specifically, leadership and entrepreneurship development in South Africa, resulting in great talent being uncovered, promoted and given opportunity to grow and thrive. In the mid-eighties, the SABS Design Institute started taking steps towards becoming involved in design education with the end goal of promoting young design talent to, in turn, benefit South Africa and its people. During that time, Adrienne Viljoen, now manager of the SABS Design Institute, took her inspiration from the international success stories of designer Kenji Ekuan and the Abe Bailey Award Scheme. Viljoen believed that,
Jacques Lange, the second winner of the Design Achievers Awards.
like Ekuan and the students involved in the Abe Bailey travel bursary, young designers in South Africa could be empowered by an initiative that exposed them to international design. She also believed that this platform could inspire such young designers to take ownership of design in their own communities and as a result, new South African design leaders would be born. This developed into the SABS Design Achievers Awards initiative. To the same end of inspiring young designers to plough back into their own communities and country by the means of creativity, the Achievers Awards have for the past 23 years been judged with a focus on talent, leadership and social entrepreneurship. This focus has for many years unlocked or emphasised the participating students’ potential and has resulted in many success stories of past Achievers. The first Design Achiever winner was Jacques Rossouw, a graphic design student from the University of Stellenbosch. Today, Jacques heads a leading communication design consultancy based in San Francisco, USA, which has won numerous prominent awards.
Monica Di Ruvo, the third winner of the Design Achievers Awards.
The second winner, Jacques Lange – yes, another Jacques – a former graduate from the University of Pretoria, went on to become president of the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (Icograda) and co-chair of the International Design Alliance (IDA). Jacques is creative director and partner at Bluprint Design, group editor of the DESIGN> stable of publications and will chair the jury for the 2010 Design Achievers Awards. The first female winner of Design Achievers was Monica Di Ruvo, a former interior design student from the Technikon of the Witwatersrand. Today Monica heads an interior architecture firm which operates in several African countries. She has also remained involved with the Achievers Awards acting as chairperson of the adjudication panel from 2007 to 2009. These are only three of the many and varied success stories of past Design Achievers and although it seems too good to be true that so much success can come from one initiative, I can personally vouch for the extent of the influence this award scheme has on a young designer’s life. EDUCATION
Sidhika Sooklal, winner of the 2008 Design Achievers Awards, explaining her innovative winning project with Martin Kuscus, former CEO of the SABS.
In April of 2009, while still completing my fourth year in Surface Design at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, I was encouraged by a past Achievers Awards finalist to enter my thesis project. My research topic was based on making a design difference through social entrepreneurship and fitted quite well into the judging criteria. At first, all I could think about was going there to win, winning a trip to an international workshop and experiencing international design. After writing my entry motivation and compiling the portfolio required, I sent in my entry and waited with great hope. I soon heard that I had been selected as a finalist and along with 24 other students from across South Africa I was flown to Johannesburg to present my project and personal ideas to a panel of discerning judges, representing many different industries, dimensions and perspectives. From the first day spent with the other students, I started to realise that this opportunity was about much more than a trip abroad, and definitely about much more than winning a competition. At the time I was surrounded by some of the top young design minds in South Africa and not only did I get to meet them, but I got to spend time talking to them about their work, their ideas, their paradigms. I was able to network with like-minded people of my own age an many inspiring mentors who have made their mark in the design industry.
Weyers Marais, runner-up of the
Before Design Achievers, I thought I was the only person who worked and thought the way I did. However, when I met the other Design Achiever finalists, I was greatly humbled and inspired to find there are others who share and exceed my burning passions and my thoughts about ploughing back into my community and country. I did not only meet students, I met industry leaders with amazing ideas and thoughts about design. This experience encouraged me and filled me with hope for our countryâ€™s future. To me, Design Achievers was a journey that still continues today because I know I shall stay involved in some way or another in future. After the rigorous adjudication process I was selected as runner-up and although this was an incredible honour, I still look back and what really stands out are the people I met and what I learnt from them. Two of those people are Sidhika Sooklal and Ntibile Zonke. Sidhika (Sid) was the first Indian woman to win Design Achievers and did so in 2008. At the time she was studying Information Design at the University of Pretoria. Sid won Design Achievers with her design of a cervical cancer prevention campaign for South Africa called â€˜One in twenty nineâ€™. Ntibile, who won in 2009, was at the time a fourth year Visual Communication Design student from Stellenbosch University. He entered his fourth year project, an
e 2009 Design Achievers Awards.
Ntibile Zonke receiving the winner’s trophy in 2009 from Martha Bateman, patron of the Design Achievers Awards.
educational game for young children based on games WM > Being the awarded Design Achiever 2009, your already familiar to the children in the Cape Town prize was to attend the Zsennye Design Workshop that townships. was held for a week in Hungary in September. Tell us more about this experience. Recently, I met up with them again and asked them to share their Design Achievers experiences. NZ > I represented South Africa at this workshop, which in itself was a huge honour and a great responsibility. WM > Ntibile, tell me a bit more about your thinking There were different groups that you could particibehind the game you designed for Design Achievers pate in – automotive design, catastrophe design, phiAwards (DAA). losophy in design, eco-media design and eco-design. I chose the latter which was about understanding the NZ > Because I think it is important for the game to have role of the designer in the whole product life-cycle. a South African identity, I designed my game based on existing indigenous games, I grew up with like ‘diketo’. There were designers from Hungary, Taiwan, Malaysia, The main aim is really to educate children and I believe Turkey, Poland and the Czech Republic. The different that games are an effective way to do so because chil- groups were given briefs and we had to come up with new dren enjoy learning while they play. The game is rooted ideas. Our group was very focused on finding ways to in my own backyard. it’s about my community and the tackle the ecological problem that the world currently issues that I am exposed to. I want to use my design skills faces. One of our ideas was to build a place that could teach children about recycling. There were also presentations and apply them to help children in my community. from different university professors. I enjoyed everyWM > Do you have future development plans for your thing and I’ve learned a lot during my time in Hungary. project? Interview with Sidhika Sooklal (SS>), the 2008 DAA NZ > At the moment the game is still an idea that needs winner to be developed into a final product, but I do plan to WM > As the winner of 2008 Design Achievers, tell us a do this as part of a Masters study project. bit about your experiences. EDUCATION
SS > DAA 2008 was a phenomenal experience. As a finalist I had the opportunity to meet other young designers from around South Africa as well as Africa. DAA 2008 allowed me to engage with young people from other institutions and disciplines, as well as learn about the calibre of design education at various institutions. One aspect that DAA has introduced in recent years is the involvement of young designers from other African countries. Personally I really enjoyed not only seeing South African design from a local context, but from a continental perspective as well. The structure of the DAA programme allowed me to build personal relationships and networking opportunities. It also provided us as students with presentations on things you may not learn about at university, such as public speaking and intellectual property law and many other aspects. Being a finalist in itself, was a memorable and invaluable experience and has changed my ideas and concerns about design. Being surrounded by 20+ other passionate, hardworking and committed designers and chosen as ‘the best out of them’ all is a very humbling experience. WM > As the overall winner, you were awarded a trip to Nagoya, Japan, to attend an international student design seminar. Japanese culture and design must have been quite viscerally contrasting to what we are used to in South Africa. What stood out for you with regards to the country’s culture and their way of thinking about and approaching everyday life? SS > Japan is definitely a culture shock to the average South African. Culturally what stood out to me is the amount of respect instilled in the culture. Japanese people exude respect in everything, from etiquette to work ethic. Respect depicts the ultimate value and gratitude people
have for other people, their occupations, the environments and so forth. Their attitude to respect, hard work and dedication was awe-inspiring. WM > What stood out for you in your trip with regards to the Japanese’s approach to design and how did this influence your personal design approach? SS > Japanese designers are very hard-working and dedicated. Contemporary Japanese design is definitely moving towards a user-centred and humanistic approach. I think brands such as MUJI testify to this emergence. Furthermore, I think the conventional thoughts of Japanese design conjure up images of Manga and Anime, as well as the use of illustration in way-finding systems. The Japanese are definitely very playful and creative in their design solutions, such that they are unique, culturally specific and striking. I think the experience has made me consider the implications of everything I design. The experience of both DAA and Japan has made me realise that design is not a vacuum. We as designers have a responsibility to respect what we do and fulfil our obligations to the best of our abilities. WM > Your thoughts on DAA and award schemes in general? SS > I am very grateful for the experience that the DAA allowed me. I think in South Africa the initiative has numerous values. First of all, awards schemes are motivations for young designers. It motivates designers to want to produce exceptional design work and aspire to be recognised for their abilities. DAA is based on the concept of using design to solve social issues. It therefore allows designers the opportunity to
engage in problem solving a social issue. All the design books in the world state design is a problem solving activity. What better use of design skill, than using it to solve social issues. DAA is for some students the only opportunity and exposure to this realisation. It therefore can be a gateway into a new career path, innovative new product or just a realisation of the power of design. The initiative and media-hype surrounding it is an awesome platform to build public and governmental awareness of the power of design. The SABS Design Achievers initiative is doing invaluable work towards promoting and investing in South Africa’s design future, but this is not where it ends. The international design arena has always been characterised by constant change. As a result, Design Achievers has never been static in its development and has stayed in a constant state of flux since inception. I briefly spoke to Design Achievers founder, Adrienne Viljoen, to find out more about where Design Achievers is headed next year and also asked her about her longterm vision for the initiative. “Design Achievers has never been static and we have kept our forward motion by encouraging past finalists and winners to be involved as mentors in the programme after their participation, whether it is through speaking at our weekend of judging or being a part of the judging panel,” said Adrienne. She went on to say that these same mentors are really the ones she sees as responsible for the programme’s direction in future.
and develop design in Africa, not just in South Africa. We have been inviting African students to the Achievers judging week for the last few years, but in 2010 we want them to participate more actively as the South African students will.” While elaborating about the future of Design Achievers, Adrienne also spoke about plans for 2011. The SABS plans to see Design Achievers 2011 held in an African country where students from South Africa and other African countries will meet for the Design Achievers Awards. With this in mind, the 2010 Design Achievers, again from both South Africa and other African countries, will participate in a workshop where they will ask questions about what value design could have for Africa as well as discuss the theme, content and possible outcome for the 2011 Design Achievers meeting. Next year and 2011 will be made possible by a collaboration between the SABS Design Achievers Awards and the Network of African Designers – a relationship which will continue to play a vital role in the future growth of design in Africa. While, in my mind, the SABS has always been synonymous with quality approved South African product design, it is clear that their stamp stretches far wider than design within our own borders and that beyond the quality of products, they are investing in the quality of young design leaders from our continent. With this knowledge, one cannot help but share Adrienne’s vision that such investment will prove invaluable in the development of those who will inevitably be our future design leaders. <
When asked about Design Achievers 2010, Adrienne shared her long-term vision as the context for the 2010 programme. “A country is strong when its neighbours are strong, for this reason we want to invest in
Vases designed by CornĂŠ Edwards.
HOUSE AND LEISURE AND WOOLWORTHS JOIN FORCES TO NURTURE LOCAL ECO-FRIENDLY DESIGN Now in its second year, the House and Leisure Green Designers at Woolworths competition aims to promote an emerging generation of eco-design stars. Students are encouraged to take green prototypes from idea to retail. Over a seven-month period House and Leisure features the creations of students from various tertiary design institutions around the country. House and Leisure and Woolworths then select the top ten designers, who will take their prototypes one step further, by sourcing manufacturers able to convert their designs into shelf-ready product. “The aim of the competition is to allow South Africa’s young designers the opportunity to give expression to their eco-friendly designs,” says Naomi Larkin, editor of House and Leisure magazine. “We then profile the best of these creations in House and Leisure. This year, together with Woolworths, we have decided to take the concept further and have
challenged students to source appropriate manufacturers to help them turn their prototypes into reality. “Eco-friendly design is not only about creating things that will make our lives better without harming the environment, but is also about being responsible in terms of the suppliers and partners used in creating the final product,” concludes Larkin. This sustainable approach to design resonates with Woolworths, which is again sponsoring the competition this year, and which hopes to see some of the designs in its stores. “Over the last five years we have taken major steps in supporting local design,” says Paul Duncan, head of design, homeware at Woolworths. “This year we are pushing the students to think further than just concept. We’re encouraging them to work where possible with our suppliers in an effort to come up with a product that has commercial value. Good ideas are one thing; good ideas that sell product are quite another. These are the realities of retail.”
Naomi Larkin, editor of House and Leisure magazine and Paul Duncan, head of design, homeware at Woolworths. EDUCATION
Vases designed by Lee Chee Mee.
Vase designed by Karolien Perold..
Lamp designed by Andrew Mossop.
Lamp designed by Rudi Snyman.
Lamp designed by Hennie Weideman. EDUCATION
Notepad designed by Thomas de Beer.
Notepad designed by Motlatsi Kathekiso.
159 > The cream of the local design scene has agreed to
expressiveness in South African design that’s unique.
mentor students from seven South African tertiary de-
We just need to learn to believe in our own sense of
sign institutions. “Students have the privilege of being
mentored by some of the top creative minds the industry has to offer,” says Larkin. The mentors for this year’s
Kate Carlyle, owner of Mustardseed & Moonshine >
competition are: Melissa Kerkhoff, owner of Lula Fabrics;
On why she is involved in the competition: “I’m excited
Sally Arnold, owner of Karoostar Interiors; Lise Butler
to work with young, innovative, lateral thinkers who
and Amanda Haupt, owners of Design Team; Richard
believe they can change the world…and will do so.”
Hart, owner of Disturbance; Kate Carlyle, owner of Mustardseed & Moonshine; Philipe Bousquet, Jewellery
Philipe Bousquet, jewellery designer > On what he
Designer; and Pierre Swanepoel, owner of Studiomas.
would like to take away from this mentoring experience? “To meet students full of dreams and to feed
And access to great mentors is not the only thing stu-
dents stand to gain. Each of the finalists will receive a R1 000 Woolworths gift voucher, and the three overall
Pierre Swanepoel, owner of Studiomas > On what he
winners (who will be announced at Design Indaba in
would like to teach the students: “Share more. Commu-
February 2010) will each receive a MacBook.
nities can achieve more as a collective.” <
Comments from the 2010 mentors Melissa Kerkhoff, owner of Lula Fabrics > What are South Africa’s design strengths? “Our rich heritage and recycling – look at township art and Heath Nash’s fabulous lighting.” Sally Arnold, owner of Karoostar Interiors > On why she is involved in this competition: “I like helping to create design that’s good for the soul, the environment and the purse.” Lise Butler and Amanda Haupt , owners of Design Team > On why they are involved in the competition: “We gained valuable knowledge ourselves through industry-related project while studying and believe it’s appropriate now to offer inspiration and guidance from a professional point of view.” Richard Hart, owner of Disturbance > What is South Africa’s design strength? “I think there’s a joy and EDUCATION
Judges trumpet vuvuzela-inspired light >
ELLE DÉCORATION’S SOLVE NEW TALENT SEARCH
A lighting design inspired by South
The judges looked for a simple and
savvy visitor will look for something
Africa’s iconic vuvuzela has won a top
unique design that captured the zeit-
more. The ‘Vuvu lamp’ will be made
award for John Edwards (24), a Uni-
geist and a solution that was eco-
of timber and will be turned to get
versity of Cape Town School of Archi-
friendly and showed an understand-
the right shape.”
tecture student. Edwards’ design
ing of design as part of a process,
was selected from over 120 entries
from its origins to how the waste
Edwards admires South African
in the eighth annual SOLVE New
materials are dealt with. A clear
designer Adriaan Hugo for his in-
Talent Search award. The ceremony
understanding of the brief was es-
dustrial-like, simple designs. Inter-
was held at the Green Point, Cape
sential and the production cost
national inspiration comes from New
Town outlet of Weylandts Home-
should not exceed R1 800.
Zealand designer David Trubridge. “In terms of architecture, I really ad-
stores at the end of last year. The prestigious annual competition,
“I have wanted to enter the com-
mire the work of the local OMM De-
organised by Elle Decoration mag-
petition every year since its incep-
sign Workshop and, internationally,
azine and sponsored by Weylandts,
tion, but I never thought I had a good
was, for the first time, open to both
enough idea” said Edwards. “I
students and amateur designers.
thought I’d just try out an idea this
Judge Chris Weylandt said of the
year – and the outcome has way
winning design: “Perfectly pitched
exceeded my expectations.”
simplicity means that ‘Vuvu’ can suc-
The other finalists were Carly Warren
cessfully migrate from one room
(20) of the BHC School of Design in Cape Town, Stiaan Bester (30),
“Inspired by the 2010 FIFA World
to another throughout the home,
partner at KarbonBlack Creative, a
Cup, I wanted to design something
and it also translates well from a
Pretoria-based information design
soccer-related. The first idea I had,
standing lamp into a bedside lamp
studio, and Micha Koren (26), an
ended up as the one I submitted –
architecture graduate who is the
a light based on the vuvuzela. Visitors
founder of korigin.com, a fledgling
to South Africa will want to take home
“As we source much of our home-
design company in Cape Town.
more than a plastic curio – the design-
ware and furniture from all over the
162 > world, it is through this competition that we can discover and nurture new local talent. Although I travel the world in search of beautiful and rare pieces of furniture that change, inspire and offer solutions to people’s homes, nothing gives me greater pleasure than to find some of these solutions on home soil in South Africa.” The competition judges are all well-known in the design industry. Adam Hoets is an architect and garnered the Elle Decoration International Design Awards 2008 Lighting Design and 2009 Designer of the Year Award, along with business partner Sian Eliot, for their work on Willowlamp’s chandeliers. Paul Pamboukian lectures on lighting design and runs the Paul Pamboukian & Associates Lighting Design studio. Ravi Naidoo, the founder of Interactive Africa, gives the world the Design Indaba Conference and Expo every year – one of the premier design events in the world today. Chris Weylandt of Weylandts was the fourth invited judge and the winning design will be manufactured and sold by Weylandts. The other judges were décor stylist Doreen de Waal, Elle Decoration’s editor, Karen Roos and deputy editor, Lauren Shantall. < (Top left) Mono-pol-i by Micha Koren, Stack by Stiaan Bester, (bottom left), Dop by Stiaan Bester, Twilight by Carly Warren (bottom centre), and the Solve finalists with Chris Weylandt (featured centre).
THE CARROL BOYES METAL AWARDS 2009 > A CELEBRATION OF YOUNG DESIGN TALENT By Ayesha Kamalie
Overall winner is Martin Doller’s origami-inspired ‘Ga-mi’
Receiving his award from Carrol Boyes is the overall winner, Martin Doller for his Origami-inspired ‘Ga-mi’
What a lovely affair. The perfect setting to a prestigious event, Carrol Boyes’s studio played host to the Metal Fruitfull Awards which saw ten finalists presenting their beautifully crafted prototypes for all to see. With so many well-executed pieces, it would surely be a tough decision. While photographing the scene, I was attracted by a fascinating piece which seemed to emulate bubbles on the surface of water. The designer was third-prize winner Christiaan van Aardt. After studying Industrial Design at CPUT, Christiaan was employed as a designer at point-of-sale for a company called Todwil in Paarl. “I stumbled upon the competition on the Internet. I collected images I could add to my library of inspiration. My ‘library’ became my reference to come up with something that was out of the box and to put the ‘Fruitfull’ theme into context,” says Van Aardt of his inspiration for the brief. The biggest challenge he faced while designing the prototype was trying to find time to produce it, as his full-time job takes up a huge chunk of his time.
Left is second-prize winner, Oupa Vusimusi Mokwena, designer of the hand carved ‘Swivel Tsonga’. Right is third-prize winner, Christiaan van Aardt.
Exhibition of entries in the Carrol Boyes Metal 2009 awards.
Not following any particular style, Van Aardt lets his feelings take the lead when going about the design process, sketching and experimenting with ideas in a 3D modelling programme. “I aimed to work within a limiting size for ease of production and produced a 3D modelled mould using in-house CNC technologies. The model was then turned into a physical mould, and a vacuum form was then produced from the mould. The mould was trimmed, sanded and sprayed and this resulted in the final prototype.”
Second-prize winner, Oupa Vusimusi Mokwena, designer of the hand carved ‘Swivel Tsonga’, is as excited about the prospects the recognition of this competition holds, as he is passionate about his love for wood. “Making the prototype required using machines, but I reverted to the handmade touch. Stemming from handcrafted products, I carved my bowl from wood. It would be original as I see that most guys are blinded by the material – metal – but I stayed true to myself because I love wood.”
Van Aardt is delighted to have received recognition for his design of ‘Bubbly’. “Knowing there are people out there recognising the potential of young designers is very pleasing and means that all the hard work paid off. Just having my name linked with a well known design company like Carrol Boyes means so much to me, and hopefully this will only lead to greater things in the future.”
Deeply influenced by his culture, Mokwena says his style is constantly changing and because of this, interpreting the brief was difficult at first. “I hit a brick wall when coming up with initial ideas, but then I tapped into my culture and looked at tribes in Africa for my inspiration. I was able to build and produce it, adding my motives afterwards. As I am so fond of making things by hand, I set about doing some sketches and
167 > then carved the prototype out of the wood by hand,
ED > Carrol Boyes’ designs have a very distinct style.
sanding it just a bit to get a smoother look.”
Do you follow a particular design philosophy?
A 2001 graduate of Pretoria Technikon, Mokwena is cur-
MD > As I am relatively new to the industry I have not
rently self-employed, keeping himself occupied with
established my own signature style yet. That takes
working tools, commissions and the occasional handy
time, but I would consider my style more simplistic
work stint. “It feels good to get recognition for my hard work. I think things will change a lot after this as it is a great boost to my business venture.” The overall winner was Martin Doller for his Origamiinspired ‘Ga-mi’. Doller had this to say in an interview with ED > . ED > Where did you study?
and minimalist. I see beauty in simple shapes. ED > How did you go about the design process? MD > Once I had established the functional requirements for storing and preserving fruit, it was simply a matter of building a 3D form that incorporated and addressed these principles.
MD > I graduated in 2005 after studying Industrial
Drawing inspiration from the concept of origami, I also
Design at Cape University of Technology.
used a material that not only simulated paper but was strong enough to hold fruit, which in this case, was
ED > Where do you currently work?
stainless steel sheet metal powder coated in white.
MD > I am self-employed. It allows for more freedom
ED > How do you feel about winning the award?
as a designer. MD > It’s exciting and very new to me! I have entered Although I don’t limit myself to lighting, a lot of my
once before but have never been recognised like this.
recent work has involved custom-built chandeliers. ED > In what way does that add to your experience as ED > How did you interpret the brief? MD > I looked at table decorations and the folding of the serviette, which led to origami and paper as inspiration. ED > What were some of the challenges you faced while designing and producing your prototype?
a designer? MD > It gives me confidence in my ability to continue doing what I enjoy most – designing and creating beautiful products. As I have been making custom-built feature chandeliers I am now working on doing a range of mass-produced
MD > Preserving the fruit was crucial, as fruit tends
lights and I am quite excited about this new develop-
to go off really quickly, so my focus was to design a
ment. I have a few projects on the go with various
product using the appropriate material and shape to
architects and enjoy the challenge of interpreting
protect and hold the fruit while allowing for a lot of
their ideas into functional objects that not only look
good but do the job they intend to be doing. < EDUCATION
VERY IMPORTANT EGOS > WHO ARE THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL? By Robyn Mitchell
You’d be forgiven to think that Hollywood had descended upon Cape Town as hoards of well-dressed creatives gathered at the Cape Town Convention Centre for the 31st Annual Loerie Awards. Even typical Cape Town weather couldn’t keep the crowds from pitching at what has been voted as the best ceremony in Loeries’s history. Delegates were treated to interesting fare with food following the Feed your ego/7 deadly sins theme. Grand Prix were scooped up by Naledi Network, TBWA/HUNT/ Lascaris JHB, FOXP2 and Ogilvy JHB. There was a great sense of camaraderie up in the gallery section, especially among Jupiter Drawing Room who were ’drumming up support’ with drumsticks and Ogilvy, who sported red pom-poms and mini Ogilvy flags. Students were also recognised for their efforts, with a Gold Loerie awarded to Jano Booysen, Stephen Galloway, Elske Nel and Barbara Cilliers from the University of Pretoria and a Craft Gold in Illustration awarded to Bruce Mackay of the AAA School of Advertising.
Click to access an overview of all the big winners of the 31st Annual Loerie Awards.
169 > ED> posed some questions to the 2009 Student Gold, Silver and Bronze winners.
The winning pieces The awards are judged according to five criteria; an innovative concept, bringing new and fresh thinking, excellent execution, relevance to the brand, the target audience and to the chosen medium. JOHAN HORN, AAA Bronze Loerie: Posters ED > What inspired the concept behind your winning piece? JH > I thought about bands and events and the arbitrary side of actually being entertained. The band itself, of course, was also a great inspiration. I also looked at big shows, stadiums, events and general photomontage, as well as electro-music and the type of imagery that compliments the music.
Johan Horn, Bronze Loerie Winner: Poster.
ED > Anything extraordinary we can expect from you in the future? JH > I’ve always been into illustration and the process of creating imagery, but more set on motion graphics and animation for future work. ESTIAN FOURIE, UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA Silver Loerie: Publication Design ED > What inspired the concept behind your winning piece? EF > My aunt’s names, Charlotte van Vuuren – Van Vuuren meaning ‘from fire’. This book is about my aunt and her very complex personality, eclectic life and the nature of fire. ED > What was the strength of this project?
Estian Fourie, Silver Loerie Winner: Publication Design.
Estian Fourie, Silver Loerie Winner: Publication Design.
Zolna Minik, Bronze Loerie Winner: TV & Cinema Commercials.
Jenny Glazier, Bronze Loerie Winner: Newspaper & Magazine Advertising.
171 > EF > I think the strength of my project lies in its simple design process, concept and detailed execution, and I feel that any piece with these three qualities will always succeed. I think the judges liked the project because it is bold and simple, yet very detailed. The design process began with trying to understand my aunt and her extremely complex personality and then involved many photos that I took in and around her house and many hours of Photoshop, typographic crafting and paying great attention to page layout. ED > Anything extraordinary install for the future? EF > Absolutely! I’m working with a company called the Kinetic this year and I think it is the start of some great work. ZOLNA MINIK, CITY VARSITY Bronze Loerie: TV & Cinema Commercials ED > Your inspiration for your winning concept? ZM > I heard the Gringo soundtrack from the movie Hot Rod and suddenly, my imagination was filled with cowboys. ED > Why do you think the judges thought that your entry was different, unique and spot-on? What was the strength of your project? ZM > I wanted to portray a clichéd Western moment – the suspense between a bandit and sheriff. I think the strength lies in the fact that you are expecting a shootout, but get a disco ball instead. JENNY GLAZIER, RED AND YELLOW Bronze Loerie: Newspaper & Magazine Advertising ED > Your inspiration for your winning concept? JG > We started thinking about how black garbage bags have an almost sinister quality. You never really know what’s in them – perhaps stolen cash or a dead
body. So that led us to the idea of ‘dirty’ secrets, and an obvious product benefit of Tuffy bags is that they are so strong. Therefore, strength equals their silence over your indiscretions. ED > Explain the design process. JG > I went for a newspaper cartoon-style illustration. It was not too difficult to find references. I kept the style really simple and consistent through all three executions. ROMANO CARDINAL & STEPHANIE ZIETSMAN, AAA Silver Loerie: Newspaper & Magazine Advertising ED > Your inspiration for your winning concept? RC > My language and Afrikaans culture. If you dig deep into your own experiences, that’s when you get original stuff. SZ > Our grannies, especially Romano’s ouma, and childhood memories of all the time they used to spend in the kitchen, baking and whipping up delicious puddings. ED > Explain the design process involved. RC > Good research. Good Photoshop skills. Good coffee. SZ > We came up with the concept, and the headline shortly afterwards. We then spent quite a lot of time sourcing suitable images. Once we’d found ones we liked, it was up to Romano to work his magic on them. While he was busy with the final touches, I wrote the radio ads. ED > Which designer or agency’s work do you aspire to and consider to be your role model/s? RC > I don’t believe in role models, I do my own thing. I also rarely look at what other agencies are doing, ‘cause I don’t want it to influence my thinking process. But my favourite piece of work is a print ad that DraftFCB did a few years ago called “Waar die hart EDUCATION
172 > van vol is.” This inspired me to go into advertising and do what I do. SZ > I really love the work that Angie Batis is doing for Net#workBBDO in Jo’burg. I also think Hanlie Kriel, who used to do the Klipdrift posters is amazing. GREG DARROLL, DURBAN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY Bronze Loerie: Collateral Design ED > Your inspiration for your winning concept? GD > I wanted to create something different that newcomers to the university would enjoy. I took each word and created a character/scenario around it, incorporating bits and pieces, and illustrating them all as uniquely as possible in order to grab someone’s attention and for them to stare at it for ages. ED > Explain the design process involved. GD > The postcards were predominantly illustration with a touch of type here and there; the first step was pen and paper – planning all the twisted body parts and layout. This was all done roughly, just to get a basic shape. Then it was redrawing them all in Illustrator, and slowly adding more and more detail. Lastly it was a case of choosing colours and planning the layout for the backs of the cards. ED > How do you see your future as a designer? GD > I’m just really enjoying everything that’s happening at the moment. I decided to specialise in illustration for my final year at university. I’ve had a truly amazing year, winning contests with my t-shirt designs and my work appearing in various media. So who knows? ELSKE NEL, STEPHEN GALLOWAY, BARBARA CILLIERS & JANO BOOYSEN Gold Loerie: Mixed-Media Campaign, University of Pretoria. ED > What inspired the concept behind your winning campaign?
Romano Cardinal, Silver Loerie Winner: Newspaper & Magazine Advertising.
Greg Darroll, Bronze Loerie Winner: Collateral Design.
Elske Nel, Stephen Galloway, Barbara Cilliers & Jano Booysen, Gold Loerie Winners: Mixed-Media Campaign, University of Pretoria.
Marli Heunis, Silver Loerie Winner: Design – Logos & Identity Programmes and Craft Certificate.
Katie Mylrea, Bronze Loerie Winner: Logos and Identity Programmes.
Bruce MacKay, Gold Loerie Winner: Craft Gold – Crafts: Illustration.
175 > ESBJ > The concept of ‘Rock It’ started off as a joke while we were brainstorming after the briefing. We needed something that could really carry the weight of a music festival and we felt that the rocket theme could do the job and at the same time also easily extend into visual imagery. ED > As a group entry, explain a bit about the design process that was involved. ESBJ > Our group comprised of pretty strong personalities and we were all in the top-end performers of our class. Yet, we balanced this by focussing on individual strengths and divided the workload accordingly. Because we had a pretty strong concept, we felt that it could lend itself easily to further design extensions. In hindsight, we believe our campaign was super-well executed. We utilised the elements associated with rockets to compliment a music event. The concept was simple and strong but could only be elevated through meticulous design. The latter was the key element since all our team members are passionate about detail and crafting. It paid off in the end. BRUCE MACKAY, AAA Gold Loerie: Craft Gold – Crafts: Illustration ED > What inspired you to develop this winning entry? BM > I have always wanted to write and illustrate a book. The basic idea behind it is how people will always look for ways to avoid dealing with the inevitable. ED > How do you see your creative future? BM > I’m busy working on getting my book published and working on a prequel as well as a new book. MARLI HEUNIS, NORTH WEST UNIVERSITY Silver Loerie: Design – Logos & Identity Programmes and Craft Certificate
ED > What inspired the concept? MH > For the development of my fictional company I tried to think of new words to describe graphic design. I have always been very passionate about design and illustration because of the endless possibilities it provides. The concept behind the ‘Royal Visual Invention Convention’ is built on my belief that graphic design is all about having fun. KATIE MYLREA, VEGA Cape Town Campus Bronze Loerie: Design – Logos and Identity Programmes ED > What was the strength of your project? KM > My project was very simple. It is conceptually strong, not just pretty. I took the idea of an impersonator and turned it on its head. It is playful, fun, easy to read, uncluttered and illustrated in a fun, different, quirky style. I think the main strength definitely laid in the concept as a fresh, new, original approach to corporate identities. Research is key. It took me ages to find a good metaphor for my logo for an Impersonator (wolf in sheep’s clothing). Upon finding this quirky theme, all the other elements of the corporate Identity fell into place. Throughout the design the wolf is seen to be hiding in sheep’s clothing and becomes the impersonator. Execution of an illustration style and hand-done font took ages. I decided to keep it very simple in black and white that really added to the concept and design. Endless drawing and research followed, continuously going back to the drawing board for hours on end in search of the best result.<
Click to view a complete overview of the 31st Loerie Award winners.
SEVEN IDEAS THAT MATTER GRANTS FOR SOCIAL GOOD Sappi, the world’s leading producer of coated fine paper, recently announced the names of the designers and the causes they promote that will share the annual US$1 million Sappi Ideas that Matter grant in the southern African region. Ideas that Matter offers the design community an opportunity to showcase their creative talent and come up with ideas on paper for social good. Applications made to Sappi to help promote specific social causes are evaluated by a panel of creative gurus and judged on the effectiveness, creativity and practicality of the campaigns. Grant funding to design students, professional designers and design agencies covers the costs for implementation to either create awareness or raise funds for the social causes. Now in its tenth year, the programme has benefited many causes around the world. André Oberholzer, group head of Corporate Affairs for Sappi Limited comments: “The programme is testimony to Sappi’s support for the design industry and commitment to social responsibility. It also demonstrates the effectiveness and creativity of using paper as a communications medium.” In the South African region seven grants were made to causes varying from environmental to humanitarian and animal rescue programmes. These causes address social issues communicated through the creative applications of brochures, leaflets, corporate stationery and various other elements.
The judging panel comprising Lisa Walters (Chilli Factor), Carla Hall (Itâ€™s a Go) and Sean Fandam (Fandam Design) said that they looked for overall impact and arresting images that communicate the message effectively, as well as the ability to evoke a response from the recipient. The 2009 Sappi Ideas that Matter grant recipients for southern Africa region were: Designers
Amy Bruce, Kyle Mac Donald, Michael Merrett and Megan Wessels
Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town
Volunteer Wildfire Services
Carey Cawood, Kerri-Jane Mitchell and Joanne Stone
Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town
Jikeleza Dance Project
Isola Ashipala, Lindelihle Bhebhe, Brent Peters and Sergio Samuels
Cape Peninsula University of Technology , Cape Town
Amor Coetzee and Jedd McNeilage
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth
Save a Pet
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth
The Summerstrand Cheshire Home
Jaco Burger, Corrine Erasmus, Catrine Louw, Lauren Moses and Sanja van der Berg
The Daphne Lee Centre for Differently Abled
Campaign for the Daphne Lee Centre for Differently Abled.
Campaign for Save a Pet. Far left: Campaign for the Jikeleza Dance Project. Left; Campaign for Sikhula Sonke.
Campaign for the Volunteer Wildfire Services.
Campaign for the Summerstrand Cheshire Home.
Campaign for the Wilderness Foundation.
VUKANI! FASHION AWARDS 2009 Three designers scoop prestigious competition in 2009 Three young designers were awarded the ultimate commendation for their creations at the 15th Annual Vukani! Fashion Awards. The designers, Angelique du Randt, Lindiwe Makoyi, Zandile Meyiwa, scooped awards from a pool of 13 designers competing in the prestigious competition held at the Arena, Maponya Mall. Zandile Meyiwa, a 20-year old designer from Cape Town, won the Vukani! Overall Collection award for her collection which featured garments blending international trends with a contemporary approach to African style for women. “Being recognised for my designs is amazing,” she said. Judges, including leading emerging designer Mosa Mokoena and fashionista heavyweight Eleanor Ford, were impressed with Meyiwa’s attention to detail in a collection which combines earthy tones in her elegant yet humble range that is inspired by pushing boundaries, African chic with a fusion of influences from Asia in terms of shape and styling.
182 > Angelique du Randt, a 21-year old impressed the judges and the crowd of close to 1800 guests with her dramatic designs. Her signature style is inspired by comfort, beauty, innovation and confidence. Angelique’s range is intentionally sexy and cheeky. She was awarded the Metropolitan Vukani! High Fashion! Commendation for her eye-catching ball gown. The Bernina Vukani Most Innovative Dress award went to Lindiwe Makoyi, a third-year student at the Victoria Toma Institution of Fashion. This 23-year old gained the favour of judges for her origami-inspired pleated shapes as well as intricate detailing in finishing off the
Designer: Zandile Meyiwa, overall winner.
garments. All three Vukani! Fashion Award winners received the very latest start-up kit from Bernina, worth a whopping R94 000. The awards ceremony marked the official closing of the 2009 Vukani! Fashion Awards and Fair, which took place at Maponya Mall in Soweto. To tie in with this spirit of fashion, Maponya Mall also hosted an exciting showcase of the ‘must-have’ Autumn/Winter fashion trends for 2010. All shows were open to the public. “I am passionate about improving indigenous fashion in the South and African Diaspora”, says Sonwabile Ndamase, executive president of SAFDA and founder of the Annual Vukani! Fashion Awards. “The awards stimulate the creation of innovative fashion that reflects the cultures of our country, while exposing and promoting great local talent. And, of course, it offers fantastic training, education and career possibilities to promising South African designers.” Guests, including the Her Royal Highness Queen Mantfombi Zulu, wife of King Zwelithini Zulu, Mr Moss Leoka and local fashionistas, were treated to fashion shows celebrating creations from across the continent, with leading designers from Mozambique, Angola and South Africa presenting their collections. Be on the lookout for the 2010 stars of the Vukani Awards in May this year. <
Designer: Lindiwe Makoyi.
Left: Sonwabile Ndamase,Angelique du Randt Most Innovation, High Fashion! Winner, Lindiwe Makoyi & Zandile Meyiwa, Best Collection Winner.
Zandile Meyiwa Best Collection Winner.
Angelique du Randt awarded the Metropolitan Vukani! High Fashion! Commendation.
THE ECO FASHION STORY ED> CHATS TO DEBBIE BIRD ED > How did it all start? Debbie Bird
In 2002 the City of Cape Town was planning to exhibit at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg. Sheryl Ozinsky, then head of Cape Town Tourism, was on the organising committee and asked me and other industry colleagues to brainstorm some ideas for an environmental festival in Cape Town that would bring the feel of the WSSD to the city. >
We approached the Frank Joubert Art & Design Centre to do an exhibition of art using recycled materials to display at the 360-year-old Castle of Good Hope. Principal Jill Joubert and her team were thrilled as they had been looking for a space to exhibit their year-end work. Whilst we were scrutinising the work I noticed some stunning, cutting-edge fashion designs – all made from recycled junk. Seen from afar the garments could have been worn to the opera but up close these marvellous creations were made from cork, bottle caps, bubble wrap, CDs, woven shopping bags,
crushed magazine covers and more. I decided then and there that these garments must go to the WSSD as part of the Cape Town exhibition. We secured sponsorship and called on celebrities to model the Eco Fashion creations. Celebrities proudly carried the message to reduce, reuse and recycle. The slogan for the show was: Real people, with real bodies, wearing real art. And so Eco Fashion was born. The WSSD is a serious affair with lots of global issues being addressed. But when the colourful Eco Fashion with its vibey tunes and beautiful people showed off its important message it was as though a breath of fresh air had breezed through the huge dome. The world’s media turned their cameras to the show and the next day Eco Fashion appeared on the front pages of newspapers and on television around the globe. Every year since then, Grade 10, 11 and 12 students from various schools in the Western Cape have been given a theme – Frida Carlo, Savanna, Paper..., and every year they have been amazing us with their creativity, talent and innovativeness.
ED > What made this year different? DB > We were working on the launch for the new retail development at Cape Quarter so the students were given the following brief: “Your client owns a store at the Cape Quarter. Create a design that best translates the lifestyle of your client’s store.” We had approached the Frank Joubert Art Centre to once again participate but soon realised that the number of tenants in the new Cape Quarter required many more students, so I approached Stellenberg High in Tygervalley and Rustenburg Girls High in Rondebosch. Both Wilna Coetzee and Zelia Simpson, the design teachers at the respective schools, loved the uniqueness of the project and realised that it would give the students a real life experience that could shape their future. Next we approached each of the tenants at Cape Quarter and explained the concept to them, inviting them to participate. ED > How did the process evolve?
DB > I facilitated the meeting of the stores with the students. We called three meeting date options where the students could sit face-to-face with their store owners and discuss the brief. With nearly 80 stores and 80 students this was a mammoth task and we had 80 different experiences and reactions ranging from amazement to enthusiasm, to a cynical: “This little person is going to do WHAT for my shop?” Follow up, follow up, follow up – the success of any venture. Never assume it’s all going to happen without continual nagging. We collected materials to take to schools, collected students to bring to the Cape Quarter, appeased confused parents … all in the midst of planning an 11-day launch programme of which this was just one component. ED > And on the night? DB > After months of planning the Cape Quarter’s grand opening happened on the 6 November. We planned for the Eco Fashion Show to be the highlight of the VIP/media event and repeated it the following evening for the public. The students mostly wore their
own creations and as their designs hit the catwalk the audience went wild with delight. After the show the students were on cloud nine with excite ment, thrill and relief and they shared their experiences with each other, their proud teachers and their proud parents. All the designs were then installed in their appropriate stores and even the most sceptical of store owners now proudly displayed their outfit in a prominent space. ED > How did the stores react to their garments? DB > Owner of Victorian Bathrooms, Margaret Goodall, was thrilled and amazed at the talent of her student, Jamie-Lee Jansen, and kept in close touch with her throughout the process. Jamie-Lee on the other hand said that she got the impression that Margaret had taken one look at her and did not believe that she could fulfil the brief. “That is what really inspired me to do my very best,” she said. Her mother said that she had never seen Jamie so passionate about a project before. Caroline Gibello who owns a photographic gallery of the same name briefed her student, Leila Khan, and
gave her a whole bunch of photographs to work with and was amazed at the outcome. According to Caroline this student just got her – she reflected the essence of her as a photographer and as a person. Melam from Gonzenhauser Fine Rugs had been very worried about her student, Gazelle Swanepoel, as she had not heard from her. Gazelle was really struggling with how to translate a rug store until Melam emailed some pictures of their rugs and that was all it took for Gazelle to do an amazing translation of her intricate design that successfully reflected the feel and look of a kelim through her beautiful full-length design with bustier top. Joclyn and Justin from Extreme Eyewear had met with and given their student, Zayaan Farouk, some of their shopping bags and he created the funkiest outfit, which they were very proud to put on display in their store. Lisa King (Lisa King Gallery) and her mom, Pat, were thrilled with their outfit and Pat asked their designer Nadia Darries if she would wear it – it was the perfect fit.
La Petite Tarte was given to five girls at Stellenberg High to work on. Their teacher, Wilna Coetzee told the girls that only one design would be chosen for the show. However, when we saw them it was impossible to choose so we showed all five.
Art Jamming met with their student from Stellenberg High quite late in the project. The student produced work from paper folds and rolls of such precision that owner Leora Israel commented that it looked like a professional artistâ€™s work and not that of a Grade 12 student.
Debbie Zeelie from Culinary Kitchens was also quite sceptical after she met her student but was thrilled with the design of Robyn Parker-Ross. The tunic dress of crushed pamphlets with woven leaflet halter top is amazing.
Two top art students from Rustenburg Girls High were commissioned to create a male and female outfit for the Cape Quarter itself. This was the last design to be worked on and students Caitlin and Zarah were put under pressure. The students were given paper rolls with the Cape Quarter logo and bubble wrap which they embellished with sparkling mosaic chips to create the feel of this inspirational centre.
One of the most innovative designs created done Pierre Cronje. Without a briefing session the student did her own research. Finding it difficult to design a garment that must reflect wooden furniture, she made the most stunning full skirt from cork with cutout designs, finished off with a bustier top made from linoleum with wood grain pattern. Pieter de Bruin and Pieter Pienaar from Palette du Fleur said that they knew exactly what they wanted in a design and came to the briefing session with Natalie Maggott very well prepared with designs, ribbons and foliage. They were very happy with the result.
ED > Will you do it again? DB > Every year I say never again, but its success shows that it has its place. More importantly, the message that it sends out has lasting implications: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle â€“ a philosophy that we need to take very seriously. <
SCHOLARSHIP CHANGES LIVES In 2008 The Loerie Awards launched The Creative Future scholarship to enable a talented student from a disadvantaged background to further his or her studies in any area of brand communication at a tertiary institution. The scholarship also aims to increase awareness of the creative industry as a viable career path for disadvantaged students and to increase the flow of creative talent into the industry. “It was important for us to create a scholarship that not only made it financially possible for a student from a disadvantaged background to study, but also ensured that they were supported in their studies in a meaningful way,” says Andrew Human, CEO of The Loerie Awards. To this end, the scholarship makes provision for fees, accommodation, study materials and living expenses, as well as offering mentorship and guaranteed employment in the creative industry after graduation. The scholarship was created in partnership with SABC Commercial Enterprises, and implemented with the assistance of the Woolworths Making the Difference through Design (MTDTD) programme, which created the platform for the scholarship to reach out to potential candidates through the Woolworths MTDTD schools’ network. The SABC is an avid supporter of creativity in South Africa, and embraced the opportunity to partner with The Loerie Awards on a project that creates awareness
of the creative industry as a career path in this country. The SABC already sponsors The Loerie Awards Travelling Exhibition, an essential tool in spreading the message of creativity around the country, showcasing the best work in advertising, communication design and experiential marketing. “The SABC has, over the last few years, increased its investment and strengthened its partnership with The Loerie Awards in order to support the creative industry,” says Nisha Jones, SABC sales director and acting marketing director. “Broadcasting and creativity go hand in hand in pushing the boundaries of communication. Because we see the need to fortify and celebrate South African creativity, the SABC has also partnered with The Loerie Awards in the establishment of the Creative Future Scholarship.”
Finding a leading talent In 2008 over 100 schools in KwaZulu-Natal were invited to enter students for consideration for the scholarship. From those entrants a shortlist was drawn up. Those students were invited to a selection day where their portfolios were reviewed; they were interviewed and set a three-hour creative challenge to assess their writing and drawing skills and creative thinking processes. Last year, 400 schools from three provinces – the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng – were invited to participate. From the entries received, a shortlist was
189 > drawn up, taking into account the entrants’ academic records with particular focus on their achievements in language, maths and art or design.
one-year bridging course that teaches disadvantaged South Africans critical skills with an emphasis on creative communication and expression.
The students on the shortlist were invited to bring a portfolio to an interview venue to be examined by a panel comprised of Andrew Human, Suné Stassen, design consultant to the Woolworths Making the Difference through Design programme, David Mashabela, creative director at SABC, and a representative from a design or brand communications school in each province.
In 2009 Busisiwe Mahlangu of Benoni High School emerged as the forerunner in the selection process to receive The Creative Future Scholarship. “It’s exactly what I wanted to do,” says Mahlangu. “It’s what I am talented at, and I was going to try to follow that in my career.”
While the panel assessed the portfolios and academic records, the students wrote an exam that tested their creative, language and writing skills and posed intellectual challenges to assess their three-dimensional thinking, represented through sketches. “The point of the scholarship is to try to find a student who for instance has the potential to become a creative director of a company one day,” says Stassen. “They need strong writing skills, as well as to be creative and analytical, and have strong conceptual skills and visual literacy. We’ve set the bar very high because we are really looking for a talented, deserving learner.”
Three lives changed In 2008 the full scholarship was awarded to Zwelisha Giampietri, a student at Durban Girls High School. A year down the line, having chosen to attend Vega, The Brand Communication School, she has continued to excel, coming out at the top of her class, and filled with enthusiasm about the industry to which she has been exposed. In 2008 a second scholarship was created for Siyabonga Ntambela from the Phoenix Lenarea Secondary School so that he could take part in Vega’s Imagination Lab – a
The judges concurred with Mahlangu’s own assessment that the creative industry is where her talent lies, and selected her as the overall best candidate to receive the Creative Future Scholarship. “She has an amazing understanding of the creative industry,” says Stassen. “She’s extremely mature, seems to be a leader, and is a strong all-rounder with unbelievable communication, problem solving and creative skills.” Over two years, the course of three lives has been dramatically altered by the Creative Future Scholarship. In all cases, financial aid was given to students who would not have had the opportunity to further their educations, who will now actively pursue careers in the creative industry. In addition to changing three lives, though, it is the broader aim of the scholarship to create awareness and influence many more than those it influences directly. “Creativity is an essential tool for business, for life and for personal development,” says Andrew Human. “The Loerie Awards and our partners aim to create awareness and further the understanding that it can also be a career path for many students coming out of our schools. With our scholarship, we are delighted to have changed the lives of these deserving individuals, as well as being confident that we have inspired others to reach for their dreams as well.” <
WOOLWORTHS IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE The annual ‘Making the Difference Through Design’ (MTDTD) competition, now in its fifth year, is sponsored jointly by Woolworths and Sappi, and is held in conjunction with the Woolworths ‘Making the Difference’ education initiative. MTDTD currently supports the design curriculum at some 400 schools in the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. Each year, art and design learners in Grades 10, 11 and 12 are invited to enter projects in categories including visual communication design, surface design, environmental design and product design, which could incorporate the design of packaging, furniture, clothing and fashion accessories. The idea behind the competition is to inspire learners to use their creative abilities and demonstrate them practically, as well as to develop their awareness of the environment. Every year learners are only allowed to use waste or recyclable materials in creating their designs. As Penny Luthi, Woolworths brand manager: ‘Making the Difference Through Design’ programme explains, “As part of our Good business journey, Woolworths is committed to supporting education, as well as to protecting the environment. Limiting students to recycled materials helps them understand the amount of waste that ends up in landfill every day and
challenges their creativity in finding new uses for it.”
‘Zwakala – Bring it on!’ The theme for the 2009 competition was ‘Zwakala – Bring it on!’ and entrants were asked to imagine that they had been selected as one of South Africa’s top designers entrusted with the task of branding their country, as well as showcasing and reflecting the spirit of its people to local and international guests through their final design. The 2009 national winner Lauren Bauer, a Grade 11 learner from Krugersdorp High School, took top honours for her ‘hat/bag’; a functional and imaginative reversible hat-cumbag made up of hand painted Hessian hexagons featuring the logos of well-known South African household brands. The judges were impressed not only by the creativity shown in her concept, but also by her skill in creating small-scale paintings on a difficult material. They could also envisage the design as one that could go into full production and live beyond the World Cup. The other provincial winners for 2009 are Dèna De Reuck from Lientjie Blok Art Centre whose ‘biker jacket and denim soccer skirt outfit on mannequin’ took top honours in the Western Cape, and Daniella Bussy of
Durban Girls’ High, whose black and white mural made from recycled Perspex and sponge, took top honours in KwaZulu-Natal.
Woolworths supports the Design Indaba To show Woolworths’ continued championing of design education, six high school design learners will this year have their designs printed onto delegate bags and T-shirts for the 2010 Design Indaba. As part of the ‘Making the Difference Through Design’ programme, some teachers were asked to nominate their top design students for this workshop and entrants were asked to design a new emblem or coat of arms symbolising South Africa whilst at the same time honouring a local design hero, brand or product. All designs needed to draw inspiration from, and incorporate, indigenous fauna and flora or a representation of indigenous knowledge into their designs.
and Meghan Lombard
The young designers produced intricate and insightful emblems representing local culture and heritage. Danica van der Merwe a Grade 10 learner from Stellenberg High School was inspired by sporting brands – the Proteas and the Springboks – as well as local wildlife. Emile Uys another Grade 10 learner from Stellenberg High School based his emblem on modern design elements which were conceptualised by South African designer Garth Walker of Orange Juice Design fame. Joel Zanon, in Grade 12 from the Frank Joubert Art Centre, reinterpreted Heath Nash’s ‘Flowerball’ as a soccer ball encapsulated in a traditional crest offset by organic lines and flourishes. Kaylin Ball, Grade 10 from Stellenberg High School, was inspired by South Africa’s national bird – the blue crane – and its elegant wingspan which, for her, symbolised independence and freedom anchored by the strength and solidity of the African elephant. Nomaswati Sopotela a Grade 10 learner from Rustenberg High School drew inspiration from the iconic skylines of Johannesburg and Cape Town, as well as the majestic African lion. Finally, Lasché van Heerden, another learner from Stellenberg High School, chose to represent the wealth South Africa has to offer in the form of gold, diamonds and wildlife.
‘Making the Difference’ via the worldwide web The ‘Making the Difference Through Design’ website is an exciting addition to the programme. The website features customised resources for design teachers, design students and parents who support the FET Design curriculum. The website also offers advice on viable career choices and the top design schools across the country. Furthermore, design teachers and students are able to view and download information and entry forms for the annual ‘Making the Difference Through Design’ competition as well as download the programme’s resource manual, which is rich in design content ranging from communication design, surface design, environmental design and product design. For more information log on to www.makingthedifference.co.za/high or search for ‘Making the Difference Through Design’ on Facebook and become a fan. <
Top: Design by Jasmin Brilal. Designs by Kaz le Bihan and Meghan Lombard.
Top: Design by Chrisanne Louw. Above: Emblem Design Workshop for Design Indaba.
INSPIRING YOUNG TALENT By Suné Stassen
Stellenberg High School recognises the essence of process work. They teach a thorough understanding of design and production processes and most of all, they instil the importance of thinking and doing in both 2D and 3D. Walking through the matric exhibition was highly motivating. Only the school uniforms were constant reminders that the viewer is in fact looking at matric work and not the final expo at a university. These young creative minds’ work speaks of well developed concepts, brilliant skills and professional work ethics. During the run of this exhibition I tracked down two of the talents who really made an impact with their concepts and the brilliance of their technical execution. Annchen Marais and Chantelle Grové, both grade 12 learners at Stellenberg High School, share their view on their work and the future.
AM > Technically, my main inspiration for the project was the work and work processes of William Kentridge. Ever since I saw his animations in grade 9, I’ve always wanted to do something similar. I finally mustered up the courage to try and do it at the end of the year. Conceptually, the other main inspiration was a personal experience – the death of my father in 2001. This was the first time that I used my art cathartically, linking it to a deeper meaning. The overall concept was ‘Revealing vs. Concealing’ – the significance of revealing of carefully concealed emotions and experiences. Each of the animations is linked to a specific memory or emotion concerning the absence of my father (hence the title of the project – ‘the things we lost’). The animations are personal, but also general enough for others to relate to. I really wanted the viewer not only to see my feelings and emotions, but I wanted them to become aware of theirs too. The animations were installed in a public bathroom – kind of bringing the private to the public. I was very happy with the end result and I think it was successful. The reaction I received was very positive and I am encouraged to take this much further.
Overall concept: ‘Revealing vs. Concealing’ Title: ‘the things we lost’ ED > Explain your main inspiration behind the pieces for your final matric expo in 2009.
ED > Tell us more about your creative input and specifically about the choice of materials you selected for this series.
> AM > Since this was the first time I did this kind of thing, I had no idea what the process would entail and how it’s really supposed to be done. Therefore, I used compressed charcoal and chalk, as this is what William Kentridge uses for his animations. I also added colour using a soft pastel. I then started the drawing process, taking pictures of the alterations as I went along. ED > How would you describe the quality, texture and movement of the pieces you have produced and how did the materials contribute to the look and feel of the end products? AM > The quality of the drawing is a combination of rough and sketchy drawings and finer detail in some objects. I wanted the drawings rough, dirty and dark to communicate the nostalgic feel and the idea of raw emotion and to create a more eerie, old movie feel. Because charcoal cannot be completely erased, during the process of drawing and erasing, a kind of ghost trail was formed. This contributes greatly towards the feel of the whole exhibition – these trails make this type of animation so unique. The viewer can literally see the process from beginning to end. These trails also add a whole new layer of meaning. The movement quality of the animation is also a little jerky, so as to convey the old, nostalgic, vintage feel.
Click to view a clip of Annchen Marais’ video.
ED > Why did you choose animation as a tool to convey your concept? AM > I chose animation and specifically this type of animation, because it creates the feeling of the artwork coming alive before one’s eyes. Unlike with some other art forms, I feel that animation, with all the lines and movement, can really convey true emotion. I wanted to draw the viewer in and make it more personal having to follow moving objects on a screen and I feel that animation can actively involve the viewer. ED > Explain the process that was involved in producing the pieces. AM > I basically did a few drawings and made thousands of alterations on them. You draw a little, take a picture, erase, draw again, take a picture, erase, and so you create the movement. I started out with a general idea of what I wanted to draw, and during the process the idea evolved further. In the beginning I had no idea what to expect and how things should follow. For example, when I started at the base of the birdcage, I had no idea what would happen when I finished the cage. The cage then started growing out of the base and by the time it reached the top (several hours later), I decided that I would like to add a bird. And so my ideas developed during the process. Henry Uys, one of my friends who currently studies at EDUCATION
196 > AFDA, then put the pictures together in a movie format and I exhibited these animations on television sets in the cubicles. ED > Define the importance of the design process you followed in producing the final pieces. AM > The works and actual animations were rooted in automatism, with very little planning involved. The design process was extremely important in the design and layout of my exhibition space. The inevitabilities of a public bathroom (mirrors, basins, and more) were all problems that I needed to solve. I spend hours redesigning the space. The exhibition space had to tie everything together and create the atmosphere, so the layout was an integral part of my exhibition in which the design process was an absolute necessity. ED > Who are your creative role models and who would you like to work with, should that be possible? AM > I have so many creative role models in different art forms – Diane Victor, Jane Alexander, Oliver Jeffers, of course William Kentridge… If I could work with any artist right now, it would be the guys from Shy the Sun. I have only recently seen what they do and I
am absolutely awestruck. I would love to meet them and see how they work.
Chantelle Grové ED > Explain your main inspiration behind the sculpture pieces you produced for your matric expo. CG > My exhibition commemorated the unnoticed hero, the horse. In my opinion the horses were the unsung heroes of the wars. Power-hungry rulers exploited their power, strength and endurance. Because horses were such valuable resources in war, they became the target of the enemy. The bodies of dead horses were used as protective barricades for soldiers, showing that even after death they were of great value. In my pieces I tried to portray the beauty, majesty and elegance of the horse – to show that the horse isn’t just a tool for war, but has great magnificence. ED > Tell us more about your creative input and more specifically, the materials you selected. CG > My sculptures were made from wire and aluminium mesh. There was one made from found objects in
197 > a similar style to the work of Willie Bester. These found objects were very personal as they were from my late grandmother. The material was an important part to the sculptures because the mesh used really produced the life-like quality I was looking for. The mesh was easy to work with; I would cut a piece of mesh in the desired size and then I would start playing with it in the same way that a child would play with play dough. Once I achieved the desired shape and feel I would cut another piece of wire and cover the entire horse so that it looked like there were muscles under the skin. ED > Who are your creative role models and who would you like to work with, if you could? CG > Willie Bester’s work like Trojan Horse 11, Who let the dogs out and Dog of War really inspired me. His use of found objects really made a big impact on my exhibition. Esther Benedict also inspired my work. She works with single layer wire in the form of life size horses. Heather Jansch made life size sculptures of horses out of driftwood. Her sculptures are unbelievably realistic and capture the essence of the horse. But if I had the chance to work with any artist it would be Willie Bester. His works have so much
character and impact on the viewer. The strength of his work is incredible and it would be amazing to work with the mind behind those masterpieces. ED > How would you describe the quality, texture and movement of the pieces you have produced and how did the materials contribute to the look and feel of the end products? CG > The aluminium mesh has a smoke-like look to it, making the sculpture look almost surreal. The wire mesh has a greenish tinge but gives the sculpture great definition, showing all the muscles. The found objects were used in a way that every object seemed to be a different muscle or bone on the horse’s body. The material helped to create the life-like quality the sculptures have. ED > Why is the design process vital if you want to be successful in your final product? CG > You need to research your ideas first so that you can select the best possible solution. Thumbnail sketches are important for you to get a feel for your idea and then final sketches are used to summarise all your ideas. <
Chantelle Grové’s equine-inspired sculptures made from wire mesh and found materials.
DETAILS OF DESIGN> INVESTIGATING THE ELEMENT OF DESIGN ANALYSIS By Vikki du Preez
“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau, 19th century philosopher “Remember that the truth is in the details. No matter how you see the world or what style it imposes on your work as an artist, the truth is in the details.” – Stephen King, Duma Key (A Novel), 21st century author.
Henry Thoreau and Stephen King are two individuals from different fields, backgrounds and even centuries. Yet it is interesting to note that both these gentlemen comment on the importance of ‘seeing’ something and paying attention to the details, instead of merely looking at it. You may ask what the difference is as we use the terms look and see almost interchangeably these days. The following article helps describe why these terms are different when it comes to design and offers a few guidelines to help you ‘see’ the world and designs around you. There are also so many things that influence how we see, react and interpret images and designs. The first thing we need to consider is how we see images and designs. Again this may seem like a simple concept but have you ever really considered how you see things? Your eyes are exposed to thousands of visuals every day, including TV advertisements, magazine advertisements, posters, road signs, people’s faces and every other little item or situation that you experience while you are awake. Your eyes observe these and send the information to your brain where it is sorted and stored. This may be a very over-simplified version of the process but it does highlight the almost unimaginable number of things you are required to ‘see’ every day. In the modern world it becomes more and more difficult to pay attention and analyse what we see because there is simply so much of it. The effect is that people become more prone to simply ‘look’ at the world around them – implying that they do not actively register, analyse and interpret what they are looking at. For a design student this is an unacceptable situation and often new students need to focus and develop their analytical viewing skills that are referred to as visual literacy. Visual literacy is the ability to view, interpret and understand different types of images. These images may be influenced
199 > by a specific culture, may be used as propaganda or may call the viewer to action. A design student must be able to read images, almost like a language, and understand what influences it. To help develop their visual literacy students are often required to analyse design or art examples, such as the Notre Dame cathedral, as part of their course. One way to examine examples is to complete a formal and contextual analysis. Anne Dâ€™Allenaâ€™s book How to Write Art History (Laurence King Publishing) is a wonderful source that you can use to help you understand and complete a formal and contextual analysis. The contextual analysis places the example in space and time. What influence did culture have on the example? What was the political milieu when it was created? These type of questions help us understand why an example looks the way it does. A formal analysis is a visual investigation of an example. It focuses on exploring the elements of art and design that can be identified in the example and the visual results of these elements. In future editions a number of design elements and characteristics will be discussed but the following section introduces a few of the elements that can be identified and explored as part of a formal analysis.
Fig 1. Line: This example shows how line can be used as a drawing method. Lines can be soft, angular, organic, straight, and more. This etching of Notre Dame in Paris uses very sensitive lines to construct the image before printing it on paper.
Elements of a formal analysis There are a number of basic elements of design which can be looked at in a formal analysis. These include line, shape and form, texture, colour, rhythm, scale, space and balance, as well as composition, among others.
Line Lines (Figure 1) are the most basic building blocks of an image. It usually indicates a mark that moves from one point to another and it can be straight, curved, random, thin, thick, even, uneven and more. Lines can also be described as organic and natural or angular and rigid. The direction of line can also be a focus in your formal analysis. In examples where lines are mostly horizontal there is generally a sense of calmness to the composition whereas vertical lines produce a more dramatic character. Compositions using mainly diagonal lines are more dynamic with a greater sense of movement.
Fig 2. Shape & Form: In the image a number of shapes can be identified including circles and pointed arch rectangles. The form of the cathedral is implied through the use of shadow and highlights.
Shape and form A shape is the two-dimensional area which is created when lines are joined. The most basic shapes include circles, triangle, rectangles, amongst others, but shapes can also be irregular and organic (figure 2). Form is usually discussed as a characteristic of three-dimensional examples. You can, for example, discuss the form of a car, building or a modelled dress. Very often a form is made up of shapes and it is the effect of light (shadows) which creates a form.
Texture Texture refers to the surface quality of the shapes and forms in an example. These could be quite specific like tree bark or more generic like smooth, rough, velvety, and more. Textures can be tactile or visual (figure 3). If a texture is tactile is means that it is really there – if you touch a brick you can feel that the surface is uneven and rough but if the texture is visual it means that the texture is ‘fake’ (for example when an artist paints a cobbled road in a painting – the surface of the painting is smooth but it looks like there is a texture).
Fig 3. Visual Texture: In this image the visual, or implied, texture of the tree’s leaves can be seen. There is also an indication of texture on the building walls.
Colour Colour is one of the most important elements to consider when you complete your formal analysis. Colour is one of the design elements that elicits the most reaction from people and it can even influence how people feel. All over the world colours are viewed in different ways and carry specific symbolism. Blue, for example, used in a Zulu Love Letter (figure 4) represents hope and faithfulness but in many Asian cultures blue represents wealth. For this reason it is important to analyse the use of colour, as well as the context of the example to fully grasp the meaning of the colour selection. The first step in analysing colour usage is to identify the colours, or hues that are used and their relationships. This can be done by using a colour wheel (figure 5). A colour wheel is a diagram showing the different colours and it makes it easy for us to find out what colour share special relationships. One such relationship is complementary colours (figure 6), colours which are on opposite sides of the colour wheel, like blue and orange. Another relationship is
Fig 4. Zulu Love Letter, coded beaded message: Colour has a specific symbolism in every culture. This example of a Zulu Love Letter highlights the importance of this interpretation.
201 > analogous colours which are next to each another on the colour wheel like yellow and yellow-green. Once you have identified the specific colours that have been used and their relationship to one another you can also analyse the use of colour in the example as a whole. For example, if only reds, browns, oranges and yellows are used, you could say that the example has a warm colour palette. Examples could also have cold colour palettes (blues, violets, greens) or a monochromatic colour pallet - when shades and values of only one colour is used in an image (figure 7). Often the colour in an example can also be described through the name given to the palette such as earthy tones, natural palette, and more. Fig 5. Colourwheel: A colour wheel is the visual representation of the relationships and progression of colour in a circular form.
Rhythm When an example has a number of repetitive shapes, forms or even colours these elements contribute to the rhythm observed in an example. When there is a sense of repetition it creates a greater sense of harmony.
Scale Scale quite simply refers to size, but not just the size of the example your analysing. Ask yourself questions like, ‘How big it this object or example in relation to me?’ and ‘Are the elements in the example different sizes?’. In modern product design, such as cell phone design, the trend over the last few years has been to produce smaller more powerful appliances. An important aspect of scale, when referring to mobile phones, is how the size of the phone relates to the size of a human hand.
Space and balance Fig 6. Complementary: Complementary colours refer to colour that are on opposite sides of the colour wheel. It is important to know how to use complementary colour as it is an important factor in visual pleasing designs.
Space and balance are closely linked to composition (figure 8). Positive and negative spaces make up an image. These spaces are created by various shapes and forms found in the example. Positive space is the area where you can see shapes and forms and negative space is the area outside the shapes and forms (sometimes referred to as the ‘empty’ area of a composition). The relationship between the positive and negative spaces is one aspect that influences an example’s balance – the other is the use of line, shape and form.
Composition Composition refers to how the designer has combined all the elements of a design. Are there certain features which stand out or which have been hidden? Are the elements randomly placed or are they based on a grid? Very often composition is a discussion which incorporates the other design elements, for example you could have a rhythmic composition or a very dramatic composition using positive and negative space.
Elements of a contextual analysis Once you have completed your formal analysis you will have a clear understanding of the visual elements used in the example and the effect these elements have on the viewer or user of a design. A visual understanding is, however, not a complete understanding. To really understand an example you will have to complete a contextual analysis (figure 9) as well as a formal analysis. A contextual analysis places the design in a larger arena and aims to identify the influence that culture, politics, finances, beliefs had on the creation of the design. Design is created by people for people, so what influences people will also influence their designs. To complete a contextual analysis you can ask yourself a number of questions like: ‘Did cultural or social factors influence the design?’ ‘Did the design use revolutionary materials or technology, and why?’ and of course ‘What impact did the design have on society?’ The ability to analyse and interpret examples is one of the most important skills a design student can master. In the beginning it may seem like quite a tedious process having to identify all the basic design elements and then establishing the context of a design but soon it will be second nature to you and you will begin to see the world around you. If you can understand the designs and art created by a society you can start to understand society itself. Remember what Stephan King said: “The truth is in the details.” <
Fig 7. A monochromatic colour palette is used in this image. Different shades and values of a single hue are used to create the image.
Fig 8. In this black and white version of the example there are two distinct areas: the light (mainly the cathedral) and the dark area (the trees and foliage) which affect the balance of the image. Space refers to the use of positive and negative space – positive links to the shapes and forms in the example and negative space is linked to the ‘quiet’ areas in the composition not filled with shapes and forms.
Bibliography Barnet, S. 2008. A Short Guide to Writing About Art. (9th Ed). New Jesey: Pearson Prentice Hall Dâ€™Allena, A. 2006. How to write Art History. London: Laurence King Publishing Photoinf.com 2003-2007. Composition & the Elements of Visual Design. Photo Composition Articles [Online]. Available: http://photoinf.com/General/ Robert_Berdan/Composition_and_the_Elements_of_ Visual_Design.htm [23 October 2009]
Fig 9. To understand the relevance of an example you need to investigate its context not only its visual characteristics. You might think the Notre Dame is an impressive structure but when you realise this building took more than a 100 years to complete with only hand tools and a pulley system by mainly peasant farmers the context becomes even more impressive.
Ewaldi GrovĂŠ from DesignFaktorii (formerly LIV Design) shares her passion for the creative industry and her personal approach to product design.
DESIRABLE PRODUCTS THAT LEAVE A SOFT FOOTPRINT
â€œMy design methodology is to fulfil people, be conscious of the environment, create friendly user-interaction and is based on my insatiable desire to create beautiful and innovative things. Like a sponge I have an astute eye for detail and I absorb everything in my working environment. So, my idea is to create desirable products that leave behind a soft footprint, which are often executed
or inspired by traditional craft skills and finished off with an edgy detail. As a product designer I feel privileged to create consciously. It is one of the most satisfying things to create beautiful physical objects that speak of the future, of history, of life, of passion and of soul. I believe that in order for ‘green’ design to be effective we have to think of every part of the process. For me, this means keeping the environment in mind right from product conceptualisation straight through to the end of the product’s life. I also believe that sustainability may also be achieved by increasing clientawareness on the impact that products have on our environment by providing them with superior, more efficient, friendlier choices. I grew up in a creative and musical home and this has inspired me to apply arts and crafts to my life and to my design work. I feel blessed to live and operate in a country that is filled with talented individuals that know and apply traditional craft skills on a daily basis. At first, when I started collaborating with crafters I thought that I would be teaching them design skills but I often find myself humbled and,
on the contrary, being taught by them. Personally, I think that the trick to collaboration between craft and design is contrast, surprise and the unexpected. Design doesn’t need curios. We need to keep craft fresh and apply it where people least expect it. Product design and solutions should also be PLAYFUL. To me, this means products that really respond to and interact with users, perhaps a piece that stimulates social commentary or a product that provides the user with multiple options. I don’t believe that there is such thing as a ‘complete’ design. People often adapt and customise products to suit their needs and, therefore, I believe that products and environments should demand and enjoy user involvement. So, I aim for my products to be flexible enough to interact, develop, evolve, adapt and grow according to the user’s needs. Ultimately the ideal is to develop a deeper awareness and a personal co-creation relationship with clients or end users, by involving them prior, during and after the design process.
collective idea is stimulating and has taught me to be flexible and not to be too precious over my ideas. Group work has also given me a sense of responsibility and selfrealisation on the importance of my skills, my role and my contribution in the “ecology” of the design environment. We live in interesting times, being confronted with a global ecological and financial crisis. It is a time of transformation and in order for things to change positively; we are going to want to change. And to achieve that we will have to share our knowledge, learn to listen to each other and appreciate each other’s skills, while utilising them to their full potential. The easiest way to achieve this is doing it together. Focusing on a mutual vision of wellbeing and actively working towards that vision within our community will help to reinforce purpose and meaning to life. This sense of belonging will encourage us to reflect upon life and nature and persuade us to live more consciously. I guess what I’m trying to say is that design can be a powerful catalyst for change and I want to be part of the revolution. VIVA!” <
I really enjoy the dynamic environment of working in groups. The challenge of integrating and creating a
THROUGH THE EYES OF A GOLDSMITH Heidi Liebenberg, a multi-talented designer at the Gold of Africa Museum in Cape Town has been involved in various design disciplines for the past 26 years. She explains: “My design journey first started in the fashion industry, locally and internationally, where I worked as a make-up artist for print and television for 12 years. During this time I studied and qualified as an interior designer. After moving to Cape Town I found myself as a graphic and book designer in educational publishing. I really like being hands-on and I am always on the lookout for a new challenge, which eventually led me to train as a goldsmith. I qualified as a jeweller at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and I am currently the goldsmith at the Gold of Africa Museum in Cape Town.” The Gold Museum is located in the historic Martin Melck House, Strand Street in Cape Town. The building was originally the rectory for the Lutheran Church next door. It is a beautiful example of an old Cape Town townhouse. The museum now houses a permanent collection of gold jewellery from West Africa dating
from the 19th and 20th centuries. The artistry of the African goldsmiths is remarkable and continues to inspire jewellery designers to this day. You will find the workshop of the museum in the leafy courtyard next to the restaurant. Liebenberg continues: “Our fully functional workshop offers courses for aspiring goldsmiths and hobbyists and is currently also looking at a training programme for previously disadvantaged groups. We really welcome students and visitors to visit our workshop where you can witness goldsmiths hard at work and see first hand how they make jewellery. “Of course, creating good jewellery pieces always starts with having a good design. The starting point for a design can be a brief from a client or a concept of your own. Once the brief/concept has been established, inspiration is sought by exploring different avenues. The methods used will depend on the individual designer. All design work is the sum total of our experiences; likes and dislikes, as well as a desire to
convey meaning or beauty. Some designers choose to immerse themselves in visual stimulation and some like to experiment with the materials. Often inspiration comes to us while relaxing. A good designer will always stay curious and enjoys finding solutions. “Once our inspiration has generated great ideas we need to refine and mould them to best suit the desired outcome. There are basic elements of design that must always be taken into account. Shape and form, line, colour and texture are some of these elements. Other things to consider might be the message you intend to convey through your design. For instance, the piece could be narrative or figurative and the shape organic or geometric. It can even be symbolic of something real or foreign. “Inspiration can also be found while exploring the techniques of jewellery making. Making samples or testing combinations of techniques can lead to new and exciting possibilities. “One of the techniques used both by the ancient African goldsmith and the modern day jewellery designer/ manufacturer is the ‘lost wax’ technique. “‘Lost wax’ is a casting technique where a metal object is the result of casting molten metal into a cavity,
formerly occupied by a wax model. The ancient jewellers would have formed their wax master using beeswax. They would then encase the entire wax model in clay. The clay would be fired to become as hard as stone and the wax burnt out of the mould. Molten metal would then be introduced into the mould and, once cool, the mould shattered to expose the metal piece which is a duplicate of the initial wax master. Only one item can be made when using this method. A new wax model would be required for a subsequent piece. “Today, large manufacturers that make use of modern technology can quickly design and manufacture multiple pieces using lost wax casting. Computer aided design (CAD) and rapid prototyping mean that multiples of any one item can be produced. The multiples may be complete items such as rings that are ready for the setting of stones. This can also include components such as clasps and findings. Jewellery items are cast in batches and are often completed with the minimal amount of handwork. “Individual goldsmiths working without the benefit of CAD and rapid prototyping, still hand carve jewellers wax to make their models. These models are then cast in a very similar way to the ancient techniques. The wax models are assembled on a wax tree, set EDUCATION
into a flask into which investment is poured (investment is similar to a specialist plaster of Paris). The flask filled with investment, with its tree of wax in the centre, is then placed in a kiln. The kiln fires the investment to become ceramic and burns away the wax. Once the flask is at the correct temperature, it is removed from the kiln and molten metal is introduced into the cavity from which the wax was burned. The flask is then dipped into cool water; the thermal shock splinters the ceramic and exposes the metal models, the exact duplicate of the wax tree. “At the Gold Museum shop you will find 18ct gold jewellery made by lost wax technique inspired by the work that are included in the permanent collection. “In our workshop we use casting techniques and all the traditional tools and skills of the ancient goldsmith. Cuttlefish casting is another form of metal casting that is taught at the Gold Museum workshop. Here the required form of the final article is carved directly into the bone of the cuttlefish. The cuttlefish bone or serpius officionalis is the soft backbone of the squid. Impressions are easily made with a variety of tools and the natural striations of the bone are used to good effect. This creates a heavily textured surface that can be retained or removed in part.
“In our goldsmith classes, participants are encouraged to bring along ideas and designs of jewellery they would like to manufacture. Designs are discussed and developed keeping in mind the level of skill of the participant. Quick sketches allow the class members to work out the specifics of their design. Decisions about dimensions, metal thickness, weight, form, balance, surface textures, clasps and settings are clarified. Since each participant has different ideas we have the opportunity to cover a number of techniques that benefit everyone, either by participating directly or by seeing each other’s work in progress. We always start with learning how to smelt and pour metal into ingots to produce wire or plate. The techniques of piercing (sawing metal), filing and soldering are also covered during the workshop. Stone setting, various surface decoration techniques and forming techniques are all explored. “Initially learning to manufacture jewellery requires a lot of patience and dedication. Manufacturing can be repetitive, if you are making lots of tiny components, tenacity, focus and concentration will be an asset. Personally, I’m always very excited to see if the piece I envisioned is developing as expected, I still tend to rush and shed tears afterwards!” <
A FIRST FOR AFRICA > DESIGN GRADE 10 Design as a secondary school subject has faced many transformations, developments and challenges during the past few years. Not dwelling on the challenges, one of the most encouraging recent developments is the publication of the text-book, Design Grade 10 and the accompanying Design Grade 10 Teacher’s Guide published by Future Managers in 2009. The publisher describes the book as: “The first ever full-colour design textbook designed for designers by designers in South Africa.” The authors, Suné Stassen, Leon Buchner, Ronell Lareman, Lara Kruger and San-Marie de la Rey, brought together their vast experience in design practice and education in a whopping 300-page textbook. The book coincidentally matches the FET (Further Education & Training) National Design Curriculum for Grade 10 100%, and it is divided into four modules, which match the four school terms. The modules take an unique and intelligent pedagogical slant on the subject and include: What is design?; Communication; Can design benefit society?; and Design in a business context. The content is structured to effectively empower teachers to take learners on a progressive and insightful journey through the plethora of design disciplines, covering history, theory, critical thinking, contemporary case studies, practical activities, assessment guidelines and much more. The content structure and the design of the book is dense and engaging. It moves beyond the traditional way of teaching design at secondary school level, which tends to focus on the aesthetic and execution aspects. Design Grade 10 rather focuses on the inherent function and value of contemporary design practice
and contextualises it in the worlds of business, society and popular culture – a rather refreshing approach. Another unique aspect of the textbook is its focus on the South African context. Design Grade 10 is filled with examples of work, case studies and interviews with South African designers. The content goes beyond mere ‘show and tell’ and positions design as a vialable career option. The selection of case studies and featured designers spans a variety of design disciplines and generations and thereby, creates local role models – an aspect that Africa urgently needs. Since Design is not regarded as a priority school subject such as Mathematics and Science, the Department of Education does not invest many resources in its development – teacher training and teaching tools. However, the authors of this textbook drew upon their deep passion for the subject to develop a tool that elevates its status, empowers its teachers and inspires its learners. The publisher took a commendable risk by investing in a niche subject, publishing an obviously costly fullcolour textbook – an unusual step in the textbook market – and they supported the belief of the authors that one cannot teach Design effectively with a black and white handbook. Understandably, it is not a high-end quality production but that was never the intention – it needed to be an unpretentious and content driven ‘workhorse’, which it is.
Design Grade 10 can be ordered directly from the publisher at http://www.futuremanagers.co.za/index. php?act=viewCat&catId=41 < EDUCATION
WHEN IS A BOX A WINDOW? By Charl Blignaut
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Vega School is a top-end ad agency when you first arrive at reception. A small flock of Loerie Awards preens on a wall. Acid green winks at you through glass from a high-tech studio where fashionable young things are casually busy on the very cutest Macs. It’s only when you reach the corridors that it feels more like school. Students emerge from writing their year-end exams, comparing answers and jabbering. But it’s not just any school. Take a look at the Mac lab. Apple has called this arguably the most technologically well-equipped educational institute in the world. If new business strategies through brand building are the grist of Vega’s mill, then the school fits the bill. After all, if you’re going to start a branding school, best you get your branding right. Vega’s founder and navigator, Gordon Cook, says the following on the school’s website: “Traditionally the purpose of business is to generate profit. However, enlightened companies see the purpose of business being the creation of value as uniquely defined to meet the needs of key value shareholders such as staff, customers and the broader community. A brand is the ultimate vessel to deliver this value.”
What Cook is proposing is a new way of looking at learning about business, one that isn’t just built on greed and profit, but that also “brings people and society into a critical context”. Successful brand building deals in values as well as profits and so he ensures that Vega students engage with the real world and solve brand problems within the broadest social context. “’We take on an NGO or two each year to contribute to their brand building and fundraising,” he tells me over the phone from Durban. “This year we did a xenophobia campaign and we worked for a community chicken farm, building a brand identity for an amazing women’s co-op.”
Working on a real project It’s not surprising then that the Nelson Mandela Foundation approached Vega to strategise and design a corporate identity for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, about to be built in Johannesburg. They wanted to work with young people on the project. Deeshana Chetty was a member of the team that produced the winning branding for the hospital (along with Nicola Davis, Nkgabiseng Mutau, Kagiso Magoba and Vanja Lavadinovic) and she’s ridiculously eloquent. She
sounds more like a seasoned professional than a student. When you think about it, creating a corporate identity for a project like this could be a pinnacle in a designer’s career – and she’s still at school. “We drew inspiration from a line Nelson Mandela gave us about the project. He said he wants every child to come to the hospital as a patient and leave as a friend. The hospital forms a kind of family network. We started thinking about the African proverb that it takes a village to raise a child.” A Family Dedicated to Care was born from this idea, but the team was crucially aware that the brand design needed to draw from Africa but hold its own internationally. “We did research and discovered that the idea of fractals is a very African science,” says Chetty. “Indigenous African tribes used fractals in village planning, in weaving, in geometry. So that’s how we settled on the fractal forms in the design.” The baby blue colour in the identity was chosen so that it could be child friendly and also non-threatening for patients’ parents since it instils trust. The design needed to be careful not to be too childish nor too serious, neither too Afri-
the night every night for weeks. And the project hasn’t ended. We’ve been tweaking it, improving on it.” I ask her why they went to all this extra effort. “Because it’s a real project, a real client,” she says. “It had to be perfect. We did a booklet, the logo, the industrial design, stationery, everything.” The students had to pitch their designs to a panel and go through the rigours of a professional appraisal. “Here you get the opportunity to understand how the industry works. You win, you fail, you adapt. You get to understand how clients think.”
A new way of looking at business education In the thoroughly modern canteen that serves fresh and moreish food I find Lara Oberholzer and Kerry Elliott. The students were members of two groups from Vega chosen as finalists in the Branson School of Entrepreneurship’s Business Plan Competition. They had to beat off 142 entries to get there.
can nor too global. It’s this balance that won them the task and a 2009 Pendoring Award and a finalist spot in the 2009 Loerie Awards. Graça Machel also honoured the designers and the school by handing over R150 000 for the Vega Bursary Fund and the students got to have their photos taken with the grand old man, Madiba. “You know,” says Cook, “I’ve been working with students for 20 years and I’ve never seen kids work so hard – it was in recognition of Mandela.” Chetty laughs when I tell her what Cook had to say. “It’s true. We worked through
Oberholzer’s team wanted to make the Virgin brand relevant to the youth. They designed a comprehensive business plan for a Virgin student card and magazine. Elliott’s team tapped into Virgin’s travel wing with a plan for Virgin Medical Tourism. Reading through their proposals, which they also had to pitch to a professional panel, I am impressed by how big their thinking is – and even more so when I find out they are both first-year students. Both are studying Cook’s latest brainchild – a BA Degree in Brand Building and Management. “It’s a hybrid BA
built on the assumption that we need to find new ways of looking at business after the global financial meltdown. We had to revisit the commercial principals but question them and bring in humanities, philosophies and ethics.” I ask Oberholzer and Elliott if the experience of creating a new business on paper has opened up some new possibilities for their future. They both say they’re focused on a career in brand management, but now their options have been broadened. “It’s opened up some new windows in my mind,” says Oberholzer. “It’s moulded
my perspective of the business industry and how hard you have to work to succeed.” “We want a new breed of thinkers who can provide creative and innovative approaches to developing and sustaining brands. In our view brands cause business,” says Cook. “A lot of young people have an entrepreneurial spirit. If you want to live outside the box, you might have to create your own box. We don’t even know what the new businesses will be, but we know you will have to be brave.” <
OUR SIDE > STUDENT REFLECTIONS ON INDUSTRIAL DESIGN By Veronica Barnes and Vikki du Preez Lamp designed by Raoul de Villiers. The Lurky Larry lamp designed by Richard Steele.
You often read about design courses and all the wonderful things that form part of design education. Most of the information, however, is written by the colleges, universities or institutions offering the programmes. You may find yourself wondering what it is really like, what the students experience and how they see the courses they are enrolled in. A number of industrial design students studying at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) offer their thoughts on what it is really like to pursue this course. Industrial design is a practical, studiobased design discipline which equips students with the knowledge and skills to apply the design process to problems relating to mass-produced products. This means anything from an electric toothbrush to a chainsaw and even a car. Students learn how to produce conceptual sketches, technical specifications, rendered images and real or computer-generated models to show what the final product will look like. Students work exceptionally hard, but there is always time for a braai or a get-together which helps bond
217 > students and staff and creates an energetic and sup-
course that I have come across. Nothing is more exhila-
rating than extracting ideas from your imagination and building them. I have learnt so much this year;
The first year is often a scary time for students because
my drawing abilities, my skills and my confidence in
you may not know anyone and often you are far from
design have grown. The most critical part of this course
home. Here are some of their views:
was time management, in that should one not effectively manage one’s time, the workload would become
Jonathan Fish > “Having a heavy work load doesn’t
too stressful. This course requires your full attention,
mean you need to work exceptionally hard, it rather
focus and dedication.”
means that you should manage your time and learn to work under pressure. Communication with the lectur-
Madelé Koegelenberg and Angela Landos
ers is vital, as they offer help when needed, creating
with a Lego man and ending the year with a 1:1 scale
a supportive and friendly environment. Something to
Baby Protector for the beach…this year was definitely
think about when designing: ‘Less is more’. It’s up to
stressful, yet truly magnificent. Industrial design is
you and no one else, whether you are there to learn or
definitely the right course to choose if you enjoy the chal-
not, but at the end of the day when the ink runs out,
lenge of working with unfamiliar materials for the first
there is no one to blame for the results, but yourself.”
time and the adrenaline rush of meeting deadlines
and juggling assignments. Great friendships are made Raees Amien > “I have thoroughly enjoyed this course
amongst fellow students, as well as with the lecturers.
even though at times it can be tough. I have learnt
Reflecting on the year, even the few sleepless nights
many things over this past year and believe that it
were worth it, compared to the rewarding feeling of a
will help me in becoming the car designer I dream of
successful conclusion and knowledge gained.”
becoming one day. The people I have met have had a big impact on my life – learning about their cultures
By second year, students generally settle down and
and ways of thinking. The course is very open in the
recognise their own individual design style and process-
sense that there are no restrictions to learning. For
es. They start to better understand how they can adapt
those who are thinking of applying for this discipline,
the design process to the way in which they work and
I personally think there is no better course to study,
design. Students use all the skills they were taught
but dedication and an open mind is a must. I have
during first year and develop these skills when they
had lots of fun this year and can only wait and see
complete more complex projects. Second year is an
how my future unfolds with the help of this course.”
exciting year, where you’re not a new first year and you also don’t have the pressure of a graduation
Brad Inch > “When I started this course I was intimidated
looming over you.
by the designs done by the third-year students and thought I would never be able to accomplish that type
Richard Steele > “I can think of many memorable mo-
of end product, but slowly the course unfolded and
ments experienced during my studies at CPUT, but
revealed the tools, creative ability and confidence
probably the best experience so far has been the
within me to be able to produce the same. Industrial
knowledge of design I have gathered. As a first-year
design is probably the most exciting and enjoyable
student I tried very hard to impress my lecturers, and EDUCATION
this led to a warped sense of what design is. After a lot of trial and error, I can finally say that I have reached a higher understanding of design in second year. Design is not something that should be forced, it is not something pretentious. For me design is something natural and free; and the more time I spend designing, the better I become at it. This deeper understanding of design was like a discovery to me – one day I just understood what it meant to appreciate a shape, and I have seen my fellow classmates go through the same transformation. I can’t wait to see what discoveries I will make in third year.” Third year is the final stretch of the National Diploma Three-Dimensional Design, and students who successfully graduate either start their professional careers or they continue their studies by enrolling for a degree in Industrial Design. During the third year students draw on all the skills and knowledge they have gained during their first two years and they expand on this through their own research. We asked two third- year students to share their experiences of the course and what they would take away with them. Raoul de Villiers > “Nearing the end of my third year at this university, I relate somewhat differently to my surroundings. Having come to this course later in my life, aged 28, I already had some life experience behind me. This made things easier to deal with, such as deadlines, focusing for long hours and more. However, the fundamental education process was a job done well. There is a much clearer understanding of how people inter-relate and put themselves forward. Being armed with knowledge of materials, processes, colours, shapes and proportions leaves me better prepared for being a professional designer. Yet, there
CN project by R de Villiers, K Schiebert, O Bolus and D Viljoen. The brief was to design a range of furniture for the reception area of a construction company. It was a competition for CN Manufacturing Company. The students made a scale model of the furniture.
is a major component missing from that list which I have taken with me – decision-making. The course has enabled me to speed up decision-making with clarity in a holistic and confident manner. Third year has paved the way to deal with your inner workings, and just getting on with the job at hand. No one else is going to do the work for you.” Katrin Scheibert
“As a third-year student I feel I
have gathered a lot of knowledge and life skills Jonathan Fish: floating pool light. The brief was to design a floating pool light, for a hotel. It would be powered using solar energy, so a small solar panel is included.
through my course. Although the creative side of design is emphasised, the ethical and more technical aspects of the profession are also a focal point. This places a great responsibility, both ethically and environmentally, on a product designer. The emphasis here is the importance of sustainability in all products, and the manufacturing process. Not only have I learnt to work independently and to set my own goals and deadlines, but most importantly, I have developed my critical thinking and been able to apply this to design and other aspects of my life. This has made me much more aware of things that happen around me everyday, which I might not consciously take note of. I have learnt how people perceive and approach
Domestic Ladder designed by Katrin Scheibert. The brief was design a domestic ladder, which would be used indoors. The students made scale models of the ladder.
consumer products, and I would like to apply this to create products, which benefit the user not only in its function but also in its emotional value.” Studying industrial design can be one of the most rewarding things you ever do, however, it requires dedication, self-motivation and hard work. When you graduate you are equipped to solve complex design problems and become an entrepreneur. More than that, studying industrial design helps you look at the world around you with fresh eyes and, in the process, identify and develop your strengths as a designer. <
COME GET SOME @ the Cape Peninsula University of Technologyâ€™s Faculty of Informatics and Design. We offer a wide range of under and postgraduate creative courses to choose from: Architectural Technology | Fashion | Film & Video Technology | Graphic Design Industrial Design Information Technology | Interior Design | Jewellery Design & Manufacture Journalism | Multimedia Technology | Photopgraphy | Public Relations Management Surface Design | Three-Dimensional Design | Town & Regional Planning EDUCATION
Enquiries: 086 123 CPUT or www.cput.ac.za
PENNY FOR THEIR THOUGHTS > THE WINNING STAND AT DESIGN INDABA 2009 By Robyn Mitchell Attending the Design Indaba Expo one is always assured to leave with awesome inspiration, quality designer pieces, and a fresh bout of enthusiasm â€“ no matter your field of expertise. This is an exciting exhilarating space for networking of professional and emerging, students and public. In 2009 the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) was privileged to not only have a stand at the Expo but to also be awarded the best stand award for their concept, HeadSpace. Being the selected student to represent the Graphic Design Department was a surreal experience and a great honour and privilege for me. It was amazing to see delegates and speakers having a look at the stand and knowing that they were
looking at our work. It made me feel very proud of CPUT. Roxanne Spears, former Graphic Design lecturer and conceptual brain behind the HeadSpace stand had the following to say: RM > What are your passions, what makes you tick as a designer and what creative application do you prefer? RS > Passionate people, art, music and design that brings beauty to the world and inspires wonderment. My amazing creative friends continuously inspire me. I see fantastic work everyday while researching. One of my biggest inspirations in the last few years has been Gourmet Magazine , which unfortunately closed down in 2008. As a graphic designer, I offer
222 > a client the best media solution for their brand. However, my main areas of focus are in packaging, branding and publishing. RM > What was your original concept with HeadSpace? RS > HeadSpace was the name of the poster campaign for the CPUT final exhibition. I saw the opportunity to follow the illustrated style that was created and the use of existing icons, but the concept was more the design process of ‘inspiring’ students. I saw the Design Indaba exhibition not only as a fantastic marketing opportunity but a great way to inspire excellence and motivate future students. Inspiring excellence and passion for design was close to my heart as a design lecturer, so it was wonderful to design a stand that showcased some of the very best work and make the whole stand about the students, which is why we teach in the first place. RM > Tell more about the logistics and working with the other design departments. After all, the entire stand had to showcase a unity between departments. RS > All the different design departments gave me images to work with to create the stop-frame animation movies. The industrial design department had already made a showcase movie, which
we edited and foundation design stepped in and made their own. My biggest help came from a few amazing individuals – Daryn and Craig from the industrial department who built the stand; the very talented illustrators Justin and Simon who worked with me through to the end; the divine Lauren Fowler who worked into the night on the movies; the talented team at Craftwork who put Robby’s video together and to all the students whose work was showcased. The production was the most challenging – especially having to get the institution to pay for each step – the printing, the materials, the works, driver, hiring of equipment and the list goes on. The design part was fun. RM > What was it like to create and to share the Expo floor with the top designers in the industry? RS > It was a blast. I’d designed stands before but not in an environment where the design of the stand was as important as the content on the stand and where the best of the best in South Africa showcased their wares. It was important that the stand not only showcased the talented designers that come from CPUT, but that the stand itself was cutting-edge of contemporary design.
I also caught up with Daryn Molenaar, industrial design lecturer, one of the helping hands for this project. For him, concept is king so any designer who pushes the boundary of what’s available has his attention. That’s also why he loves working with students and their ideas. According to him, they are not afraid to be adventurous in their designs. He also freelances and enjoys designing anything from medical equipment to cell phone packaging. Daryn says: “If I could choose only one field...I would get bored – so a bit of this and a bit of that, that’s more my field.” RM > Tell us a little more about your experience and involvement in the project. DM > As a lecturer it’s difficult not to teach. When I was busy in the workshop, the students naturally started helping out. We chatted about joining methods, glues and materials needed for this project. Teach by doing. Roxy gave a very clear idea of what she had in mind and we tried to make it happen. The communication between the two departments was fantastic. They did their part – the 2D, and we did ours – the 3D and at the end we all worked pretty well together. RM > What about the design and production process involved?
223 > DM > Roxy came up with the basic concept, three asymmetrical shapes with AV screens included. All I did was bring the concept to life. I worked closely with Craig Finnan and Roxy on the concept until we were all happy. Then I did some technical drawings and went into the workshop for a few days.
prestigious and widely attended event. It was also great for us as we were too late in applying for an emerging creatives stand to know our work was going to get seen anyway was great. And it was great to be involved in what turned out to be a successful project to work on. We learned a lot from it. RM
What was it like knowing that the stand was sharing the Expo floor with top South African designers? >
DM > It was a great honour and nerve racking! It did not help walking around either, but it did feel good. I don’t think we had the competition on our minds when we created the stand. All we wanted to do was create a stand that would represent CPUT and our students’ work. It was a shock when they announced the winning stand. RM > What was your initial reaction when you found out that of all the students of your department, you had been chosen to be showcased on the CPUT stand? OHT
We were obviously very happy to have our work up. But also being part of the build-up team – this was our first big job as One Horse Town and we were very excited about the massive exposure we were going to get at this >
And to know that you are sharing floor space with top designers? >
OHT > I think it really motivated us to do our best. We really wanted to deliver something that was different but effective and striking – something that would stand out and be recognised. RM > As a young design company, being featured on the stand and your greater involvement, how did this impact on where you are today? OHT > Obviously we learned a hell of a lot. We were very involved in the design from its conception, throughout production until the finishing touches. It was a tough job but it was great to work on. The exposure also helped a great deal and I think people who had heard of us before took us a little more seriously. We got a few great contacts because of the stand as well as lots of positive feedback. <
224 > Image by Femke Reijerman.
AN INNOVATIVE DESIGN SCHOOL > THE DESIGN ACADEMY EINDHOVEN By Marieke Adams
225 > Over the past decade, the Design Academy Eindhoven has made quite an international name for itself and has managed to produce many famous alumni. It has been chaired by one of the world’s most famous trend-forecasters, Li Edelkoort and has, on a number of occasions, been named one of the world’s top design schools. So what makes the Design Academy such an innovative design school? Established in the Netherlands as the Academy for Industrial Design Eindhoven in 1947, the school subsequently changed its name in 1997 when it moved into the old Philips lightbulb factory in the city centre of Eindhoven. It continues to create the impression of a creative factory, rather than a school. The bottom three floors contain workshops for metal, wood, plaster, plastics, textiles, screen-printing, digital work and photography, as well as student administration. The fourth and fifth floors comprise large open spaces where students cluster around tables in their various departments for lessons, while the sixth floor tops it all with a cafeteria. The school still remains primarily an industrial design school, with approximately 600 students, both undergraduate and postgraduate. But over the past decade it has progressed into the realm of design in its entirety. Because of this, the school has veered away from traditional teaching. Where most schools teach in a discipline- specific manner, training and developing graphic designers, industrial designers, fashion designers and architects, respectively, the Design Academy chooses to train designers in the most holistic sense of the word, with the emphasis being on design as a whole and the broad spectrum that it involves. The curriculum is shaped by this holistic teaching approach, instilling the idea that design is not a career but a way of life. The design industry is becoming less structured by specific, individual fields, but is moving towards a state of merging and overlapping. In the same way, the school does not wish to produce
designers who are only qualified in a limited field, but prefers to place an emphasis on creating and fostering a designer in the fullest possible sense of the word. The school draws on a lot of the teaching principles of the Bauhaus, the first design school to truly embrace a unity between artistic and practical tuition. Like the Bauhaus, where every student followed a general course which then led to the choice of a more specific path, the Design Academy system comprises two parallel streams, namely the design departments and the Compass departments, which both start out in a very general and broad manner, and become more specific as the course progresses. The design departments are the component that allows for more focused design-related projects and teaching, while the Compass departments teach subjects to all students, irrespective of their design directions. The four directions are Atelier, Market, Forum and Lab, which attempt to cover all aspects in which a designer is involved in a rotational manner during first and second year, and one chosen direction of focus in the third. Through these departments, the first year’s aim is to expose students to as much as possible, both in the sense of materials and techniques, as well as ways of thinking and cultivating one’s personal identity. There is also great emphasis on creating an awareness of oneself as a designer and oneself in relation to design and creative expression. Having previously studied product design in Paris, Mickael, a second-year student commented that the course he had followed in Paris, comprising almost solely of drawing and 3D rendering. At the Design Academy there is a totally different approach to how one is encouraged to work. Through both the Compass departments and the design departments, there is a far greater emphasis on thinking and experimenting in 3D throughout the entire design process. Woodwork, sketching, painting and materials form the basis of Atelier 1, with the emphasis on both in EDUCATION
226 > teaching basic techniques, but also in extracting one’s personal qualities and hand writing, and learning to use these as strengths in the work process. The higher years hone in on teaching the principle of thinking with your hands as a source of inspiration and innovation. This department sets out to maximise intuition, technique, knowledge and individuality, particularly through the traditional arts and crafts. Market is the Compass department for the entrepreneurial designer, where the aim is in cultivating a designer who sees the added value of design in a competitive, globalised world. It also brings awareness to the designer’s relationship within this market, and how to effectively develop oneself and one’s products in this market, preparing students for the creative economy. In the first year this is done with a theatre performance class, where one is forced to express oneself through words, movement and body language, while another component is Form & Function, a subject looking at form, shape, colour and material through a graphic and typographic medium. Higher years are directed more at the market relationship of the product and of the consumer – taking the initial first year relationship of oneself within the market, and expanding that scope outward. Social and cultural context also have relevance within design education, and this is covered in Forum. It discusses the meaning and the position of the designer, focusing on the cultural perspective of design, the influence of design on the world, and the world on design, and the changing relationships between context, content and public, investigating these in both a practical and theoretical way. Initially, methods of research and design writing are explored, while later, philosophy and cultural studies are observed. The more practical components of the department involve applied research and study about ways
of looking through the use and application of different line directions, viewpoints and composition in drawing, conveying meaning through the sculpture of form, ‘reading’, and designing and conducting contextually conscious architectural studies, while the second year looks at colour and context, and designing public spaces. Lab is the more technically orientated of the Compass departments, where one can work and experiment with new knowledge and materials in many different ways. One can test techniques and is able to work with many different ideas and materials, with the aim of extending oneself and looking further than the familiar. Students are acquainted with available skills and knowledge in the practical issues behind a design, as well as the means to create effectively. In the first year this is explored through technical drawing, metal studies, pertaining to the research of metals as well as the application of metalwork techniques and methods, studies in 2D and 3D form, and prototype creation with foam, plaster, clay and ceramic moulds. In the second year plastics are covered, as well as a subject focusing on the formal development of 2D to 3D. The Design departments, on the other hand, although not specifically defined as such, are more disciplinespecific. The eight departments are Man & Activity, Man & Communication, Man & Identity, Man & Leisure, Man & Living, Man & Mobility, Man & Public Space and Man & Well-Being, and already in the names, convey the openness and freeness of subject matter. Each name is essentially self-explanatory, referring more to what the department potentially could include, as opposed to what it is limited to. And it is this sort of attitude that seems to guide the path of teaching that the design departments follow. Although each
1) Home of the Design Academy. 2) Jephte Francissen discussing his work with a lecturer. 3) Image by Femke Reijerman. 4) Morning Glory by Wendy Legro. 5) Pattern Cabinet by Charlotte van den Brand. 6) Delta, the way of water by Janina Loeve. 7) Pronkkast/Display wardrobe by Mathilde Alders. 8) Mark the last veil by Roos Kuipers.
229 > department does tend towards a more specific design discipline, it is in no way restricted to it. In fact, one could almost make anything in any of the departments, as long as it in some way pertains to the department’s philosophy, approach and way of working. And because of this sort of approach, the syllabus allows for a style of teaching that isn’t direct teaching as such, but more a means of equipping students with skills, and then leaving the rest up to individual. Mickael, a French student in the second year, elaborates, “At the Design Academy they teach in the sense of giving you a starting point and a time frame, at which they expect an end point, but leave the inbetween part up to us, so that you can meander and find your own way to that end point.” These design departments are followed as introductory lessons in the first year, while the second and third years cover four semester-long modules. The teachers of these departments are, in fact, not teachers, but professional designers, working in industry. So ultimately, one is not taught as such, but students are treated more like real designers, while at the same time, the teachers take on more of a mentoring role in the way that they try to impart their knowledge and current experience in the field. The final year of study starts out with a semester-long internship, and ultimately culminates in the completion of a graduation project. Throughout the four years at the Design Academy the teaching style has a conceptual emphasis. As Peter, a second-year student from Taiwan commented: “In comparison to previous studies, where the emphasis often lay in evaluating by the standards of ‘will anyone buy it’, here at the Design Academy, the emphasis often does not in fact lie there, but more in the realm of cultivating conceptually strong or relevant designs, irrespective of its direct market value. And
this sort of approach can exist because of the questioning, free and self-exploratory nature that the academy embeds in its students.” One way that students are pushed into this direction is by lecturers keeping things intentionally vague. Students are forced to keep swimming, and find the edge themselves. This really draws more out of students than mere spoon-feeding. Sometimes this approach can be frustrating, as Chizu, a third-year student from Japan expresses. She was used to a system of rules and instructions, and having to follow these in order to succeed. However, at the Design Academy, she finds that things are taught more as a guideline than as a strict definition. Although a sometimes frustrating approach, it is this sort of approach that also forces one to become more decisive about one’s own ideas and direction, and allows one to stumble upon solutions that would otherwise not be found. This approach ultimately develops a designer who can think for him or herself. Diddue, a second-year student, originally from Spain, had previously studied interior architecture in Belgium. “I found that the syllabus there was interesting, but there was still something lacking.” He elaborated that in his previous studies the focus was predominantly on the technical side, involving model building, technical drawing and learning software. These are no doubt all important skills in the design industry, but for him, and many other students, the Design Academy is a school that fulfils that something that is lacking. By embracing a more creative and holistic approach to design, as opposed to only an industry-orientated slant that so many schools adopt, designers are trained to meet current needs. Creating an open and free space allows for the flourishing of new and innovative designs, in an environment of potential, instead of constraints. <
1,2,3) Images by Femke Reijerman. 4) Minimal Dress by Digna Kosse . EDUCATION
Published on Feb 9, 2010
DESIGN>EDUCATION (or just call us ED>) aims to achieve a better informed and better equipped future generation of designers who have a clear...