As technology advances and our understanding of sustainability and social responsibility evolves, design will need to adapt and innovate to meet new challenges. By exploring the Future of Design at Decorex Cape Town (22-25 June, Cape Town International Convention Centre) and Joburg (3-6 August, Sandton Convention Centre), visitors can gain a better understanding of the role of design in the exciting possibilities and opportunities that lie ahead.

Superbalist

‘We believe that design is one of the most powerful tools we have to shape the future,’ says Sandra Barrow, Decorex Africa’s Portfolio Director.

Decorex Cape Town is set to showcase the Future of Design, with seating partner Wunders, through a captivating blend of physical and digital displays, collaborative workshops, and live demonstrations. Cape Town is the forerunner to a much bigger theatre and curated exhibition that will be one of the main features of the combined Design Joburg/100% Design Africa Hall at Decorex Joburg. Once the Future of Design has debuted in Cape Town, a fresh lineup of speakers and exhibitors will be curated for the Joburg show.

Over the course of four days, Cape Town attendees who purchase general admission tickets to the show can access a range of free talks by industry experts as well as interactive installations on display alongside the talks theatre.

At the Future of Design Studio, located on the show floor, an impressive lineup of South Africa’s top design authorities will engage in talks about some of the most pressing issues currently facing the design industry and reveal the approach they are taking to futureproof their output. Expect to hear from Georgia Black from Littlegig, Hannerie Visser from Studio H, Greg Truen of SAOTA, Anja Joubert from Superbalist, Kevin Frankental from Lemon (Main image), Bathandwa Ngwendu from Maak ’n Plan, Tracy Lee Lynch from Studio Leelynch, architect Robert Silke, Hardy McQueen from Nice Beverage Co, commercial director Steve Tanchel and Kay Kay Ribane from USURPA, and other notable speakers who will share their insights and expertise.

The Future of Design Exhibition sits alongside the Studio and features 10 riveting exhibitors who will cover anything from next-gen talent to rediscovered food sources. ‘The objective of the Future of Design Exhibition is to create networking opportunities and a toolkit for action, as well as explore the wider social, ecological and cultural context in which we operate,’ says Bielle Bellingham, Decorex Africa’s Executive Creative Director. ‘Our curated lineup will cover various topics, including sustainability and circularity, the omniverse and metaverse, bio fabrication, Web 3.0, design activism, transdisciplinary co-creation, and the nuances of African design. By sorting the signal from the noise, we aim to accelerate positive change.’

Emerging African designers

Emerging African designers are spearheading the production of refined and sought-after products with a global appeal. They are harnessing the cultural authenticity of design by revitalising customary methodologies in order to design sustainable solutions and products that resonate with a broad audience. The Future of Design Exhibition presents an array of physical and digital objects, demonstrating how Africa is redefining the future of design by innovating and creating anew.

Don’t Feed the Birds

A versatile grain with 10 different types is making a strong comeback in 2023, the International Year of Millets. This underutilised food is gaining popularity for its potential to help combat health-related diseases, and food-security and climate-change issues – not to mention it adds a delightful flavour to various dishes, from cakes to beer.

To highlight the importance of millets, Studio H is launching a comprehensive millet report through a unique and interactive installation called ‘Don’t Feed the Birds’. The title draws attention to the unfortunate fact that it’s almost impossible to find millets fit for human consumption in South Africa – most of the millets available are processed as animal feed, and the easiest way to purchase them is as bird food in supermarkets.

With its interactive installation, Studio H aims to create awareness about the benefits of millets and encourage their consumption. This will help not only in improving public health but also in promoting food security and tackling climate-change issues. So, let’s join hands to celebrate marvellous millets by incorporating them into our diets and supporting their cultivation.

Additive printing demonstrations

Drip Additive is set to impress by live-demonstrating its latest 3D-printed homeware. Get ready to witness the transformation of digital designs into tangible objects that you can hold in your hands. From vases to other exquisite objets d’art, prepare to be amazed as these unique and creative homeware items come to life right before your eyes.

Back to the future

In 1948, Frystark’s fine furniture made its debut in South Africa, and its Danish-style pieces quickly gained popularity in the 1950s and ’60s. Today, many mid-century enthusiasts can proudly say they own an original Frystark.

Exciting news for vintage furniture lovers is that this classic collectible brand is relaunching at the show. The MoCo-loco crew will surely be sitting up in their retro armchairs in anticipation of this immersion in the nostalgic ambiance of Frystark’s elegant designs that have stood the test of time.

Art in the house

FEDE, a new-wave arthouse and ‘nomadic gallery’, is set to impress with a showcase curated by renowned artist Lebo Kekana. The exhibit will feature an array of stunning works centred around vernacular architecture. Aimed at highlighting the use of indigenous materials, this offering seeks to honour traditional methods of making and their evolution into the contemporary art and design world, reflecting the environmental, cultural and historical context in which we now exist. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply looking for an engaging and enlightening experience, FEDE’s showcase is not to be missed.

Go slow

Twyg is a not-for-profit company that creates content, events and campaigns to promote a way of being that is sustainable, circular, regenerative, caring and ethical. The Twyg team will present a Slow Fashion exhibition with the aim of advocating for environmental and social justice in the fashion industry.

Decorex Cape Town takes place from 22 to 25 June 2023 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. It is preceded by Cape Town Decor & Design Week, taking place across the Mother City from 19 to 25 June 2023. The Cape Town events are precursors to a series of collocated shows taking place in Johannesburg, including Decorex Joburg, 100% Design Africa, Design Joburg and Joburg Decor & Design Week.

This year, the full Decorex Africa portfolio is sponsored by some of the country’s most recognised and best-loved brands – Lexus, Plascon and Samsung will all bring their A game in activating their presence at these dynamic, interconnected events. In addition, Sanlam Private Wealth has aligned with 100% Design Africa and Design Joburg.

For more information, ticket sales and downloads, visit Decorex, 100% Design Africa and Design Joburg. In an industry first, you can reduce your carbon emissions with a R5 contribution to carbon projects via CURBON when you purchase your tickets.

For regular updates follow @decorexafrica on Instagram and Facebook, @100percentdesignafrica on Instagram and Facebook, and @designjoburg on Instagram and Facebook.

Main image: Lemon

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