Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

3 March 2014

South Africa: Cape Town Design Indaba - Conference Highlights and the Cult of Design

analysis

While the sheer beauty of contemporary design, objects, and materials at the GUILD exhibition left one breathless, the Design Indaba yet again took us beyond the fabulous and purely aesthetic into so many areas of discourse - substantial, sustainable and significant.

The magic of the Design Indaba - and the Conference in particular - is that it never fails to stimulate debate - deep and provocative, aesthetic and auditory and even flighty and frivolous. So let's focus here on the deep and provocative, with a stopover at the other elements.

It took the Danish contingent, towards the end of the 2014 Design Indaba Conference, to ram home the message of purely functional design. And this in the year of Cape Town as the Design Capital of the World 2014 and the morning after the opening of the Cape Town Art Fair and Guild exhibition which were devoted to aesthetic delight.

While so many Conference speakers are chosen because of their commitment to sustainability, function and reference to their contexts... in terms of developmental design, it was the Danes, the original home of Haute Design, who, in one visual conceit, remind us that real design lives, resonates and...

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