LISOF x Design Indaba Simulcast: Everything You Should Know

posted on February 6th, 2018 by LISOF

With the LISOF x Design Indaba Simulcast around the corner, it’s time to prepare yourself for the sheer amount of design knowledge and creativity you’re going to experience. If you’re still unclear on what exactly we’re doing, we’ve answered some questions.

What is Design Indaba?

The Design Indaba Festival is a week long celebration of art and design which has been running in Cape Town since 1995. The festival features, along with many interactive exhibits, a three day conference with talks from renowned design legends locally and abroad. There is also a Emerging Creatives Exhibit where new talent is showcased, and a competition of Most Beautiful Object in South Africa.

It’s basically a one-stop shop for all things beautiful from architecture, to graphic and fashion design, interiors, exteriors, furniture and photography. The event is also set up to educate on the importance of design.

So then what is the Simulcast?

The event has grown exponentially since it’s inception, with more and more people interested in attending. And so, a need for events in other cities came about. The Simulcast is set up so that people in Johannesburg can get access to the conference. All talks of the conference will be broadcasted live and direct from the Design Indaba Cape Town event. At our Johannesburg campus, there are four venues set up with excellent sound technology in order to show talks in the highest quality. These talks will be happening on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of February.

This is especially important for students interested in the arts, which is why LISOF is proud to be the official Joburg simulcast host for 2018.

What will be exhibited?

Along with showcasing the work of established artists throughout the different venues, we also have the Emerging Creatives exhibit for Joburg talent, curated by Design Indaba. From interior designers to photographers, this is the best in new Johannesburg-based design. We will also showcase the work of our talented students.

Is there anything else happening?

World famous Dutch trend reporter, Li Edelkoort, will be giving a talk on the 19th of February at LISOF Johannesburg. This will start off our Design Indaba Simulcast week, and is selling out fast – so if you’re wanting to hear about the latest in trends, get yourself a ticket.

Sounds cool! How can I get a ticket?

The different tickets are as follows:

Li Edelkoort Trend Forecast 19th Feb. Tickets available here.

Simulcast Three Day Pass 21 – 23 Feb: Tickets available here.

Simulcast Three Day Pass (Student) 21 – 23 Feb: Tickets available here. Groups of 20 discount tickets here.

Simulcast One Day Pass – 21, 22 or 23 Feb: Tickets available here.

However, if you’re LISOF student wanting to attend the simulcast talks, we’re offering a discount of 40% on three day passes (so R585 per ticket!) Please send an email to to confirm your spot.

Follow our Blog, Instagram and Twitter for more details, and join the Facebook event to keep track of updates!

We can’t wait to have you!

Larger than life placemaking with RDI-awarded Morag Myerscough

posted on January 24th, 2018 by LISOF
She’s the first speaker announced for the Design Indaba Festival 2018.
London-born designer Morag Myerscough is one of the leading UK creatives to be awarded Royal Designers for Industry (RDI) status this month.

Considered the highest honour a designer in the UK can recieve, the RDI recognises creatives who have made a significant impact on society. Only 200 people hold the status at any given time and this year’s recipients will join existing award holders, including James Dyson and Thomas Heatherwick.

Myerscough has over the last 20 years made substantial contributions to communication design, and has created multiple exhibitions and installations in public spaces.

Most recently, Myerscough, the first speaker announced for the Design Indaba Festival 2018 and the founder of Studio Myerscough, redesigned the interior of the cafe inside the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in London, which was designed by architect David Adjaye.

Capturing what she called the “exuberance of the staff”, Myerscough decked the cafe out in bold, colourful geometric prints.

The project stayed true to her signature style of design. Not only does her work suit the environment but it also enhances the space using colour, pattern and large-scale graphics. Her aim is to “change people’s perceptions of space into place”.

She executed the same approach in the wards of Sheffield Children’s Hospital in northern England, but she took it one step further.

In a new wing of the hospital, designed by Avanti Architects, Myerscough designed the interior of 46 en-suite bedrooms and six multi-occupancy suites.

The rooms were specially tailored to suit the children. Some rooms are vibrant, fun and uplifting while others were designed using a paler colour scheme for the comfort of children with autism or aversion to bright colours. She also made sure that her creation suited children of all ages.

“It was just about making a bedroom that you felt good to be in,” she told Dezeen at the time.

Feeling and mood are integral to her work – whether it’s the colour she assigns to her own feelings (green if she’s feeling in between) or the colour she assigns to the way she wants people to feel in the space.

Essentially, Myerscough turns a space into a place with character, sensitivity and whimsy. The only feeling she guards against is indifference.

“What you want to do is do work that people love. Like your own home. If you base it on ‘do you love your home?’, you can make public spaces that people love as well,” she said.

Myerscough is currently completing a 200-metre installation in a hospital in Sweden based on her mood tweets – she only spoke on twitter in colour for over two years.

She also set up SupergroupLondon with Luke Morgan in 2010 and they collaborate on many of the structural art projects she’s known for.

Every year the Design Indaba Festival curates a pioneering programme of speakers, music artists, film and design exhibitions, showcasing the best of the global and African creative industries. Book Now.



Design Indaba 2018 speakers Studio Swine on making sustainable design desirable

posted on January 17th, 2018 by LISOF

London-based duo is behind accessories made of human hair, furniture made from ocean waste, among other designs.

Alexander Groves and Azusa Murakami, the husband-and-wife founders of Studio Swine, believe it’s time we question how we could achieve harmony between nature and industry.

Speaking in an interview at the inaugural Design Commons, Design Indaba’s deconstructed conference on the future of cities, the duo pointed to their project, Fortlandia as an example.

It began with a voyage deep into the Amazonian forest. The couple spent days studying indigenous rubber tappers. They would later turn this material into ebonite (a plastic-like substitute for ebony wood), which they would use for their Fordlandia collection of chairs.

“By buying forest sustainable products you’re actually paying people to protect the Amazon because the Amazon is worth more standing than cutting it down for timber in the short term,” explains Groves. “We’ve just started on it with our first wild rubber collection but that’s just going to grow and grow, we’re finding more products all the time that can be harvested in a more sustainable way.”

Grove and Murakami founded their firm in 2010 after graduating from London’s Royal College of Art. Their work explores identity and sustainability. Specifically, they look to make sustainable practices desirable. “Recycling is kind of like a bad word in some ways. It’s not very glamorous; it’s not very desirable. I think that desire is really, really important. If you want to change the world, you have to make change desirable,” adds Groves.

With each project, the pair create a short film. Murakami explains: “We often make films that have no language or words so we can very easily communicate without any language barriers. It’s really a process of creation which goes in tandem with the creation of our objects. So they influence each other and sort of help each other develop.”

Another of their recent projects, New Spring explores the fragility of the seasons. The interactive tree-like sculpture revealed at Milan Design Week emits bubbles that devolve into white mist as they burst.

Like their previous work, the experiential installation was created using unusual materials. Inspired by Japan’s Cherry Blossom tree, New Spring was built using recycled aluminium.

Translucent bubbles emerge from the 6-metre high tubes of the tree-like sculpture. They burst when they come into contact with the skin, but not when they come into contact with textures fabrics, meaning visitors can handle the delicate bubbles with gloves.

“As designers we always feel like there’s too much stuff in this world,” says Murakami of their work. “I think the challenge always is, how can we create something that’s meaningful; that’s not adding to the kind of waste resources in this world or having the least impact to precious materials in this world.”

The designers are also behind accessories made of human hair, furniture made from ocean waste, and cabinets made from aluminium foam.

Groves explains that it’s the role of the designer to make connections between the emotive and innovative if we’re to make sustainable design practices par for the course in our cities. “We live in a global world where we should take the best ideas for humanity and apply them wherever they’re relevant. That coexistence makes really exciting cities.

We feel like – and this is true of cities and it’s also true of indigenous communities – it’s all about appreciating what is good and holding on to what is good and appreciating ideas that can support that and not threaten.”

Design Commons puts global heavyweights in design at the same table as the audience with the aim of answering one question: How do we design better cities? If you missed it you can catch their Design Talk at the Design Indaba Festival 2018 taking place in Cape Town in February.


Design Indaba 2018 speaker, Peter Veenstra, on building outspoken landscapes

posted on January 16th, 2018 by LISOF

“In the end we are happiest when the structural improvement and design [thinking] come together,” says the Dutch landscape architect.

Peter Veenstra is a landscape architect and co-founder of LOLA Architects, a design firm based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. They specialise in questioning the relationship between nature, man and urban spaces, producing designs that weave sprawling gardens and open squares for pedestrians seamlessly among city districts.

According to the Design Indaba 2018 speaker who will launch a special project as part of his talk next year, there is a curious divergence that occurs in the industry of landscape architecture that must be manouvered with care.

On one hand, designers are eager to flex their creative muscles with impressive and complex “out of the box” compositions with too little regard for the real-world impact. At the other end of the spectrum exist the designers who take the issues of the natural surroundings incredibly seriously, yielding to obstacles to such a degree that it bogs down their creativity from the start.

“We’re trying to combine the two,” says Veenstra, “We like to do experiments in the office, but of course in the end we are happiest when the structural improvement and design [thinking] come together.”

Despite the challenge, Veenstra maintains that this is an exciting time to be a part of the landscape architecture industry, as the global zeitgeist is moving more towards offsetting the dreary side of urban life with elements of nature and the great outdoors. There is a collective desire to introduce the countryside into our citified lives, a mindfulness of Earth that enriches our wellbeing. This desire is one that creative groups such as LOLA Architects are acting on.

The Adidas Campus in Germany is one project that illustrates this considerate approach. Though still under construction, it will feature landscape gardens that reflect the active and sporty ethos that the brand of Adidas is known for. The architects intend for this to be a dynamic space where the employees of the company will feel inspired by their working environment, inside and out.




Design Indaba Conference 2018

posted on January 8th, 2018 by LISOF

Experience the world’s leading creative currency that’s driving design for a better world with Design Indaba’s iconic annual conference.

The Design Indaba conference, taking place from 21-23 February 2018, is going beyond design to create a multi-sensory event where you can hear, see, learn and experience the future of creative thinking and design activism. Awarded as the Best Conference in the World, 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.

The first three confirmed speakers of the substantial 2018 panel include celebrated and prolific spatial designer Morag Myerscough who most recently reimagined the interior of the Bernie Grant Arts Centre cafe in London. Dutch landscape architect Peter Veenstra, co-founder of LOLA Architects, created the Adidas Campus headquarters in Germany and is bringing his structural genius to the Design Indaba stage. The third confirmed speaker is Cannes Lions award-winning filmmaker Sunu Gonera who hails from Zimbabwe and whose work tells authentic African stories, as seen in the music video he created for Khuli Chana.

With three full days of engaging speakers, exhibitions and a film- and music festival, the 2018 conference is set to amaze, uplift and motivate delegates to find new ways in which to design a better world.

Taking place in conjunction with the world-renowned Design Indaba Conference, the annual Design Indaba Festival 2018 will run from 21 – 24 February 2018 at the Artscape Theatre Centre in Cape Town. An experiential wonderland of live music, films, Chefs Table dinners, performances and exhibitions, the Design Indaba Festival encompasses the Design Indaba’s longstanding annual Film Festival, Nightscapes Music Festival, and exhibitions such as the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa (MBOISA) and the Emerging Creatives Programme. New to the festival in 2018 are pop-up restaurants featuring renowned Chefs and stand-alone performances by headline acts.

The Design Indaba Conference and Festival 2018 will take place at the Artscape Theatre Complex in Cape Town. Simulcast versions of the conference will take place in Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Potchefstroom and Namibia. Tickets are available from Webtickets ( and can be booked as 1-day, 2-day or 3-day packages.


  • Design Indaba Conference and Simulcast: 21-23 February 2018
  • Most Beautiful Object in South Africa exhibition: 21 – 24 February 2018
  • Emerging Creatives exhibition: 21 – 24 February 2018
  • Film Festival: 22 – 24 February 2018
  • Nightscapes Music Festival: 22 – 24 February 2018

For more information visit

Social media handles:

@designindaba (
@DI_Festival (

@designindaba (




LISOF is the official and proud Johannesburg Simulcast venue for the Design Indaba.