5 Speakers to Look Forward to at Design Indaba 2019
A multitude of exciting creative works are currently being produced in Africa, with more and more creatives from around the world looking to the continent for inspiration. It’s no wonder Design Indaba, held in South Africa, is one of the biggest conferences in the world focusing on creativity and promoting design activism.
The 2019 edition, scheduled to hold from February 27 to March 1, is going beyond design with a multisensory event where visitors can experience the future of creative thinking and design activism. Design Indaba aims to make a positive impact on society by building a movement that attracts producers of meaningful culture and business, regardless of sector or industry.
This edition boasts a fine selection of dynamic speakers, leading practitioners, and thought leaders. Here are five of them to look forward to.
Mariam Kamara holds a B.Sc. in Computer Information Systems from Purdue University (2001) and an M.Sc. in Computer Science from New York University (2004). She is founder and principal of Atelier Masomi, an architecture firm based in Niamey, Niger. Her interests lie in designing culturally, historically, and environmentally relevant solutions to spatial problems inherent to the developing world. Kamara is also a founding member of Seattle-based collaborative united4design, through which she worked on two major projects in West Africa. She also works as an adjunct associate professor of urban studies at Brown University.
In her current work with Atelier Masomi, she seeks to develop innovative ways to use local, renewable, and low-cost materials, while exploring new adaptations of local architectural techniques.
Faith47 is an internationally acclaimed visual artist from South Africa. She has been applauded for her ability to create works that resonate with people from around the world. Her work attempts to disarm the strategies of global realpolitik in order to advance the expression of personal truth.
She employs a diverse range of media and materials, including found and rescued objects. Her work includes shrine construction, painting, projection mapping, video installation, printmaking, and drawing.
Having worked for over two decades in urban environments globally as one of the most renowned and prolific muralists, she continually examines the place of people in the world.
Born in Pretoria, Kagiso Lediga is a South African stand-up comedian, actor, producer, writer, and television presenter. He is best known for creating, writing, producing, and starring in the SABC1 sketch comedy series The Pure Monate Show from 2003 to 2004.
Lediga studied English and drama at the University of Cape Town. He began his foray into stand-up comedy during orientation week at the university in 1995.
He has performed at all the major comedy events in South Africa, including Cape Town International Comedy Festival, Laugh Out Loud, Comedy Blackout, Kingsize Heavyweight Comedy Jams, Blacks Only, Freshest Comedy Festival, Pure Monate Comedy Jam, and the Let Durban Laugh Festival.
His successful venture into TV led to significant film roles, notably Bunny Chow (2006), which he produced and also starred in. It won awards at the Toronto Film Festival, American Film Institute Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, and also featured in the Rotterdam Film Festival.
Lediga has performed at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival, the biggest comedy festival in the world. He has also performed in New York, Toronto, London, and Mauritius.
An acclaimed artist and filmmaker, Wanuri Kahiu shatters conventional thinking about representation in African culture. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, she currently lives between Nairobi and Mombasa. After graduating from the University of Warwick in 2001 with a B.Sc. in Management Science, she went on to obtain an MFA in Production/Directing at the University of California, Los Angeles’s School of Theatre, Film, and Television.
Kahiu is the co-founder of Afrobubblegum, a media company that creates fierce and outside-the-box African art. Her second feature film, Rafiki, was selected for the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, where it was screened to acclaim. In 2010, her science-fiction short film Pumzi premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and earned her the Citta di Venezia 2010 award in Venice, Italy. It also earned her awards at the Cannes Film Festival and the Carthage Film Festival.
Her first feature film, From a Whisper, based on events surrounding the 1998 twin bombings of U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, won best narrative feature in 2010 at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, as well as five awards at the African Movie Academy Awards, including best director and best screenplay.
Adebayo Oke-Lawal is the creative director of androgynous fashion label Orange Culture. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in business and international management from Newcastle Business School, England. Oke-Lawal built his portfolio while he was a member of the creative collective of stylists called BUBAAI, but left the group in 2011 to establish Orange Culture.
In 2015, Orange Culture was selected by Vogue Italia and GQ magazines to present at the fashion buzz in Florence. It was also selected by the Ethical Fashion Initiative and Pitti Uomo to be one of the first menswear brands to be shown on the runway in Florence during fashion week.
Also in 2015, Oke-Lawal displayed his work at the International Fashion Showcase organised by the British Council and the British Fashion Council during London Fashion Week. He also showcased his work at Men’s Designer Showrooms at London Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week.
In addition, Orange Culture has achieved international recognition and has been featured in prestigious publications such as Vogue, The Business of Fashion (BoF), New York Times, Vanity Fair, ELLE, and The Guardian. It has also been featured on CNN.
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