Get excited about this year’s Design Indaba as Cape Town’s premier event will be in Joburg next week. With the main conference sold out in CT the organisers have come up with simulcast events in both cities. I am planning to attend DI2011: A Better World Through Creativity, at the Arts Centre Theatre of the University of Johannesburg, Kingsway Campus, for the three-day programme starting Wednesday next week.
I have been to the Design Indaba Expo a few times and last attended Design Indaba on its 10th anniversary in 2007. Then I was watching a presentation on Germany’s World Cup Fan Fests and trying to imagine what World Cup 2010 would be like. Done that!
I am a huge fan of this event that brings together an incredible array of creative minds to share their experiences and inspiring works. It’s the South African equivalent of TED, just a whole lot more stylish. In 2007 my favourite presenters included Professor Neil Gershenfeld, Director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms (just the name of that centre would have been enough) who spoke about small-scale project centres that enabled people from severely un-advantaged communities to take part in creating technology and not just consuming it. It was brought together under the idea of “personalising fabrication” – that if you give ordinary people access to modern means of invention – a lab – you get extraordinary things. Continue reading →
Go to Sandton Square for the Public Art around the World exhibition. On Tuesday night on a corner of Sandton – called Burghers Walk – I was last at during the height of World Cup fever I witnessed an extraordinary performance by Marcus Neustetter. Titled “Erosion” it involved thousands of brilliantly-lit neon glowsticks being thrown down a stairway in the darkness by a troupe of performers dressed in workman’s overalls who then proceeded to sweep up every last brilliant piece of light, bundling them back into trashcans to be carried off. A comment on the fragility and impermanence of the world of imagination and dreams, Continue reading →
#210 Bask in the glow of a successful World Cup only to avoid the pull of humdrum routine now that the party is over. And while some are still pondering the significance of those fantastic white elephants that sucked dry the pond at the closing ceremony I have been celebrating the fact that I finally got to wear the colours of a winning team (evidence below), packing up my array of supporters flags and scarves (Bafana Bafana, Ghana, Argentina, Portugal, Netherlands) and catching up on the good press South Africa has been getting while playing Knaan’s waving flag over and over again and sobbing quietly. Just read Boris Johnson’s Telegraph column and couldn’t say it better so here goes. Continue reading →
#209 Follow the game – which we did to Bloemfontein on Friday to watch Honduras vs Switzerland. At this point we’re watching everyone – loving the mood, the spirit and fan fashion sense of World Cup 2010. And we are learning to love the team we are with. Wednesday was Germany vs Ghana at Soccer City (Go Ghana – of course one of my favourites; loved the men with pots on their head and the German guy wearing lederhosen also deserved a mention). Continue reading →
#208 Join in the fray about vuvuzelas that has become more deafening than the trumpet itself this week. Score one to South Africa for getting the word into international headlines, another for causing Twitter to shudder with #vuvuzela overload, a third for making Ronaldo weigh in on this weighty matter (instead of on fast cars and faster women) and give that guy at the rugby match in Wales that was brave enough to blow one a round of applause. It’s something I have written about before, the fact that I like the vuvuzela and its angry-wasp-like sound (cue the insults from the vuvuzela-haters). Continue reading →
#207 Enjoy this moment – In true Jozi style flags fly proudly off electric fences, the sound of vuvuzelas (singly, that of a wounded bull elephant, in large groups – more like angry hornets) rings out wherever you are – from Melrose Arch to Braamfontein, Sandton to the Soweto no matter what time of day. Fashion trends hold no sway as most people are intent on showing their team colours. I have succumbed. This city is yellow and green, in love with this time, this place, and this nation. Continue reading →
#182. Think of covering the walls with some highly covetable posters. To mark the (dare I say it – FIFA, don’t shoot) World Cup in South Africa in 2010 (there it’s out and so far the use of those words together in one sentence has brought me neither a lightning bolt nor an ominous knock at the door. In fact those German Shepherds barking are mine) a number of local and international artists were commissioned to produce some truly gorgeous works of art. An official Art Posters Edition series that “celebrates and pays homage to the beautiful game“.