Design Indaba 2018: What We Know So Far

design indaba

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Ahead of the Design Indaba Festival, running from 21 to 23 February 2018 at the Artscape in Cape Town, we spoke to the Festival’s founder Ravi Naidoo about what we can all expect this year. Watch the full interview below.

Planning on attending this year’s Design Indaba Festival? Here’s what we know so far.


The list of speakers so far includes the likes of renowned British designer Tom Dixon, architect and designer Thomas Heatherwick, whose studio was behind the striking Zeitz MOCAA building in Cape Town, award-winning Zimbabwean film director Sunu Gonera and London-based designer Morag Myerscough.

Apart from the four talents above, you can also expect to see:

  • Shaakira Jassat – Design Researcher, South Africa
  • Martha Cotton – Design Consultant, USA
  • Edel Rodriguez – Artist, Cuba / USA
  • Es Devlin – Set Designer, United Kingdom
  • Lebogang Mashile – Performance Artist, South Africa
  • Peter Veenstra – Landscape Architect, The Netherlands
  • Johannes Torpe – Interior Designer, Denmark
  • Anna Elshandaweely – Fashion Designer, Egypt
  • Alejandro Aravena – Architect, Chile
  • Sam and Rob Paddock of GetSmarter – Entrepreneurs, South Africa
  • Mark Kamau – Interaction Designer, Kenya
  • Alexander Groves and Azusa Murakami of Studio Swine – Designers, United Kingdon
  • Neri Oxman – Architect, USA
  • Lonny van Ryswyck of Atelier NL – Product Designer, The Netherlands
  • Zach Lieberman – Artist, USA
  • Ensamble Studio – Architects, Spain
  • Natasha Jen – Graphic Designer, Taiwan / USA
  • Astrid Stavro – Creative Director, Spain / USA / United Kingdom

There will also be a selection of some of the world’s top design school graduates speaking at the conference, including:

  • Ini Archibong – Designer, Switzerland
  • Iwo Borkowicz – Architect, Poland
  • Renata Souza – Product Designer, Mexico / USA
  • Tomo Kahara – Interventionist and Design Researcher, Japan
  • Nicolás Kisic Aguirre – Sound Designer, Peru
  • Aleksandra Gosiewski – Fashion Designer, USA
  • Leroy Mwasaru – Entrepreneur, Kenya
  • Simon Dogger – Product Designer, The Netherlands

Tickets for the conference are on sale now.

Read up about six of the speakers in the latest issue of VISI (VISI 94).


Design Indaba is about more than a three-day conference. Entitled Nightscape, the Festival also incorporates food, art, music and film.

Image credit: Jonx Pillemer

This year, chef Bertus Basson (of Spice Route and Spek & Bone fame) will host a pop-up restaurant. Tickets cost R850 and are available at Webtickets. There will also be a gourmet street food experience curated by Hannerie Visser.

Three exhibitions will also be taking place, namely the much-anticipated Emerging Creatives exhibition, which showcases 40 of the country’s stand-out, up-and-coming talents, as well as the nominees for 2018’s Most Beautiful Object in South Africa.

The Piazza, which in 2017 was transformed by Senegalese fashion designer Selly Raby Kane, will in 2018 see an installation by speaker Morag Myerscough.

Image credit: Jonx Pillemer

Design Indaba runs from 21 to 23 February 2018 at the Artscape in Cape Town. For more information, visit