Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

28 February 2014

South Africa: Design Indaba Cape Town - 20 Years On, the Creative Economy Thrives - and Could Even Compete With Mining

analysis

The Opening Day of Design Indaba 2014 ended with a spectacular flourish when acclaimed British designer, Thomas Heatherwick, publicly unveiled his first ambitious project to grace South African shores: The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. Funded by Puma ex-CEO and Chairman Jochen Zeitz, the Zeitz MOCAA will be housed in the century-old abandoned iconic grain silos, which form a striking landmark in the heart of the V&A Waterfront development.

Work has already begun on the R500 million project. And Heatherwick - whose Olympic Flame, made of over 200 copper petals, left the world gaping in 2012 - delighted the Design Indaba audience with his "space-age" images of the massive 33-metre high concrete silos which are already being "cut into" to expose a nine-floor central core which will lead to seven public floors, and will house Zeitz's considerable Contemporary African Art collection.

What a way to start this, the twentieth year of this venerable global institution - the vision of the indefatigable founder, magician, entrepreneurial genius, Ravi Naidoo. And Naidoo has much to be proud of: from a dream to create something substantial from the chaotic but inspiring creative strands of an isolated Apartheid State, he is...

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