Inspirations from Design Indaba 2013

Here follows a brief and paraphrased selection of pearls from this year’s Indaba:

Alexander Chen (Google): What is the sound of a scribble? (the question which eventually led to the hugely popular Les Paul ‘pluckable’ and recordable Google guitar logo)

Masashi Kawamura (Party – creative lab): If you use the same tools as everyone else, your stuff will look the same as everything else. We can create our own tools.

Alex Atala (chef, Brazil): The best way to be global is to be local. Put all your preconceptions aside. Sometimes the same smell/flavour can be delicious or disgusting, e.g. meat browning and a body being incinerated or dirty sneakers and cheese. We throw away lots of food. Don’t use 10 chicken wings, use an entire animal. This is respect. It’s time to review our relation with ingredients.

Asif Khan (architect): What is the simplest form of architecture? A roof, a cloud. Bubblebath could be architecture: combined with hydrogen gas, it can make clouds.

Christoph Niemann: Pursuing dead ends is creative life-ensurance.


What we learned at the Toffie Pop Festival 2012 in random order:

Cape Town City Hall

Team UK at the Cape Town City Hall

– Cape Town has quite a large hipster faction.

– It is possible to focus sound so that only one person can hear it on a busy platform.

– Most of Europe still have monthly air raid alarm drills as a remnant of the Cold War.

– There was a time when all water in Bolivia was privatised, even rainwater!

– There are more PR agents than journalists in SA.

– The Inuit word for the internet means ‘traveling through layers.’

– The following people impressed us greatly:

We hope the organisers employ some kind of speaker screening process in future as some of the talks were quite painful to sit through. Possibly also shorter sessions (30 or 40 mins) and making the speakers stand. The festival could be really great if there is a consistent level of preparation and standards of presentation. Full marks for the Cape Town City Hall as venue.

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