SOUTH AFRICA DESING BOOSTED BY EXPO, CONFERENCE

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A land of geographical extremes and of rugged terrain, of deserts, green fields and blue mountains, South Africa is a visiually arresting place. However, many of its visual treasures are man-made, and a trip there is full with discoveries of unexpected manifestations of creativity. Expressive murals shine on the walls of schools and pubs in black neighbourhoods.

Ladies in the streets redefine the latest fashion trends, blending western and native designs. Sitting in their tiny barbershops, hairdressers create intricate hairstyles. The street markets aiming to tourists are packed with bead jewellery, naïve paintings and curios - from handbags to working radios - made of plastic Sprite bottles and Coca Cola cans.

It is not a new phenomenon. Design sense is deeply rooted into the red soil of South Africa, as seen in the intricate thatched roofs of traditional huts, and the magical rock paintings of the San people.

South Africa's desing, however, is more than that. The country is a place of up-and-coming artistic community, and Design Indaba devotes itself to promoting it to the broader world. Established in 1995, an year after the end of the Apartheid, Design Indaba is an iniative based on the belief that stronger and well known South African artists, designers and craftsmen create stronger economy. In 2004, this ambitious approach led to the creation of an Expo, and of a specialised conference, and in the following years Design Indaba made its way into the list of the most influential events of its kind in the world.

Design Indaba's impact was clearly seen at its 2013 edition, in early March, in Cape Town. The conference and the expo attracted thousands of lecturers, participants and visitors from all over the world. The event efficiently mixed shows of local designers and artists, with latest international innovation, like the much hyped Google glasses.

Read 1324 times Last modified on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 14:37

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