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High five

Mar 6, 2020 | Design

Standout speakers from Design Indaba’s 25th year

Pic credit:  Studio Drift Nature

The 25th Design Indaba festival brought with it a host of innovative and exiting speakers. As always, they hailed from different disciplines and parts of the world, but all came with a common message of making the world a better place through creative activism.

We’ve rounded up a few of our favourites from the three-day itinerary.

Neri & Hu

This Shanghai based firm’s strong theoretical bent lends its work a depth, which belies its often minimal aesthetic. Fuelled by a passion for the holistic experience of a space/structure, founders Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu’s projects illustrate an appreciation for culture and context. Also committed to creating exciting spaces outside of the central urban hubs and rejuvenating forgotten rural landscapes – Neri & Hu’s work displays a subtle acknowledgment of tradition, while being firmly rooted in the present.

Jeanne Gang

Gang’s relationship to the natural world has informed much of her work. As an architect, her designs, while sculptural and contemporary, work with rather than against nature – and often aim to connect people with their environment. Her view that architects have a role in society shapes the end result of every project.

Sunny Dolat

Becoming increasingly aware of and frustrated by the world’s perception – often misconception – of African fashion and culture, Kenyan multidisciplinary creative Dolat formed The Nest Collective. A curator, producer, and creative director, his mission is to create discourse around African fashion, culture and creativity in order to widen the world’s understanding of what being African means.

Selassie Atadika

Determined to widen the world’s knowledge and understanding of African cuisine, Atadika’s Midunu (meaning ‘let us eat’) celebrates the cultural diversity and heritage behind African food – in all its forms spanning east to west, north to south. She aims to create culinary experiences centred on the idea of community.

Studio Drift

Fascinated by the intersection between technology, nature and humanity, Studio Drift’s design interventions explore organic formations and the celebration of the natural world via technology – often systems that the studio develops itself. These installations are part fancy, part functional, but serve to mesmerize and inspire.


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