Every year, Design Indaba invites South Africans to think of how they define beauty and cast their votes to determine what represents that idea in our country. This year, there were ten nominations chosen by influential cultural commentators in South African culture. They were given wide parameters to determine their nomination and encouraged to think laterally about the concept of beauty. Past nominations have included street art, buildings, furniture, technology, film and even packaging.
Sindiso Khumalo, a fashion designer whose label focuses on sustainable contemporary textiles, nominated the Kassena Town Cabinets by Dokter & Misses (featured image above). The three cabinets are shaped to resemble mud buildings that together form a ‘village’ of cabinets. Doktor & Misses created the set to look like a small West African town and are hand painted with Kassena inspired patterning.
Katlego Maboe, singer, songwriter and television presenter, has nominated the See-Saw-Do social enterprise (above). The project uses creative injections to transform and enliven classrooms for underprivileged children. This affords them a stimulating environment, which is more conducive to learning.
Tracy Lee Lynch, design, décor and styling guru, nominated the 2016 winning entry, the shawl by Laduma Ngxokolo (left). The Xhosa beadwork-inspired patterns that Laduma translates onto his knitwear have become iconic pieces of fashion from South Africa. His shawl has already been paraded on international catwalks.
Director of the Museum of African Design in Johannesburg, Aaron Kohnhas nominated Haroon Gunn-Salie’s first solo exhibition, History After Apartheid (below). The exhibition focuses on contemporary South Africa and the struggle for socioeconomic justice. Using colour and light, the exhibition sparks debate and dialogue on resistance movements and riot control.
Dillion Phiri, founder and creative director at Creative Nestlings, has nominated a skateboard created by Kent Lingeveldt (right). Every board that leaves the Alpha Longboards workshop is hand cut, shaped, sanded and finished by the founder himself. Each board is unique and many are custom artworks.
Gareth Cliff, well-known radio and television personality and founder of CliffCentral, has nominated the Bottle 2 Build school initiative (below). The project’s primary aim is to tackle South Africa’s shortage of classrooms by up cycling plastic water bottles to form the ‘bricks’ needed to build the infrastructure for new schools.
The team at Design Indaba, the publication and festival that celebrates the power of creativity to create a better world, has chosen for their nomination the Twenty Journey book (left). The book was created by three South African photographers who set out to visually document the country 20 years into democracy. Sipho Mpongo, Wikus De Wet and Sean Metelerkamp have told the story of a new South Africa through their compelling photography series.
Chief Director of Cultural Industries at the South African National Department of Arts and Culture, Lindi Ndebele Koka, has nominated the Umthi Hanging Lamp by Meyer Von Wielligh (below). The inspiration behind the lamp was to take processed wood back to its natural form and appreciate the material in light of its origin. The Umthi Hanging Lamp was then designed to resemble the organic lines of tree branches.
Emilie Gambade, the editor-inchief of ELLE South Africa, has nominated the Basotho Blanket Classic Starburst Coat by Thabo Makhetha (right). The Starburst Coat is a classic piece from Thabo Makhetha’s range of garments inspired by the Basotho people. The Coat is a modern interpretation of this traditional South African culture.
Veejay Archary and Marisa Holley of Black Africa Group nominated a vegetarian dish created by Candice Philip, a renowned chef at the Five Hundred Restaurant at the Saxon Hotel (below). Philip prides herself on her ability to use strange flavours to create unexpected journeys. She has recently created an innovative vegetarian dish that began with a simple pea. Using peas, wasabi, lemon crème and parsnip fudge, she turned peculiar combinations into a well rounded taste experience.