Sunday, March 6, 2011

D e s i g n I n d a b a.... not so much,,,,,,uuummmmm,, Design????

The 2011 Design Indaba held at The CTICC is a showcase for exhibitors and designers alike across all disciplines of design and creativity. As all exhibitors are pre-approved by a panel of experts I had high expectations on visiting the show on Friday 25 February 2011.
As a Fashion and Design student I was somewhat disappointed in the show this year as I feel too much emphasis was placed on craftworks e.g. jewellery and fridge magnets, with very little actual design  being on show.
I eagerly anticipated the fashion show but felt that the ramp was very disjointed and too high making viewing difficult. Too many models were on the ramp at the same time not allowing the audience to focus on any particular design-rather an overload of colour and music! It appears as if not too much thought was put into this fashion show and I moved on to the next exhibition feeling very disappointed.
I feel the Design Indaba would be more beneficial for current and potential home owners to visit as much emphasis this year was placed on furniture and home design e.g. carpets and couches, albeit that the prices at the show are geared at high income earners.
One stand I did enjoy visiting was that of ‘Van Der Merwe, Miszewski Architects” which showcased miniature models of upscale high-end apartments and homes as well as models of well-known landmarks. The models were exquisitively made and a joy to view.
The fashion (my particular field of interest) viewed at the show-that of up and coming new South African designers was, again, disappointing. The clothing had a stale feel and look to it-nothing new and exciting was presented on the day. The garments were often poorly made and visually unappealing and I would not wear any of the items viewed.
It was interesting to listen to certain of the designers and creators talking about their work. This was made possible via a presentation method known as ‘Pecha Kucha’ (Japanese for chit-chat).Each presenter was allowed 6 minutes and 40 seconds in which to present 20 slide images and to talk about their particular craft. Because the presentations were short and to-the-point general interest was maintained. This part of the show was well attended and appreciated by the visitors.
As always-food and drink were available in abundance at the show, and – in line with creativity and design-the food and drink offered were appealing not only to the eye but were ethically produced as well. Even the humble coffee was available in designer cups, with the compliments of Woolworths.
A separate part of the show - more particularly catering for children- were the ‘Kids Workshops’. Tickets for the various workshops on offer were available from the presenters on the day. These workshops were said to encourage interaction between children and their parents, exposing children to different and varied crafts –allowing them to learn and have fun at the same time. A “Photography for Kids” workshop and a “Mobile and Mosaic” workshop were being presented on the day of my visit.
I am always impressed by the talent of the artists who make crafts from wire and beads and offer them for sale at street corners. The ‘Streetwires’ stand provided a visual feast for the eye as many items were on display and for sale at the show. ‘Streetwires’provides training to these artists which in turn provides them with much needed employment opportunities. This in turn uplifts both the artists and the communities in which they live as the artists are able to take responsibility for their lives and futures engendering them with a feeling of self-worth which is often passed on to friends and family members.
On talking to and discussing the Indaba with several participants – many of whom were exhibiting for the first time- it came to light that the exhibitors found the costs of the stands to be prohibitive. This again follows on from my previous comments that this particular show is aimed at the higher echelons of society. A true indaba allows participation for all! There is much talent in South Africa that unfortunately will never be brought to the attention of the people of South Africa (and the world) because they do not have the design platform available to them.
As a summary I found the ‘Design Indaba’ this year very disappointing. The show was full to capacity, making viewing of the various stands very difficult at times. I felt that too many school children (who mostly did not want to be there)were in attendance. As a final year fashion and design student (finding myself in the same category as the above)I will probably not attend future Design Indaba shows as my particular fields of interest are not met by this particular show. I would rather attend shows more aligned to the fashion industry-my particular field of interest.
here are a few pics from the day... :)

chat soon :)

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