Design Indaba FOMO No More

Attending Design Indaba was one of the best things I ever invested in. A collection of some of the most innovative, creative, transcendental and revolutionary speakers brought to SA from all over the world where they showcase their projects, philosophies and ideas.

You have a mixture of architecture, social engineers, graphic designers and lighting specialists. There are fashion designers, musicians, travelers and crazy advertising geniuses all in one place ready to bestow upon you all they know.

I promised myself I’d go every year – a rather ambitious goal given the price.

So, if you were in the same boat as me this year feeling a serious case of Design Indaba FOMO and in need for an inspirational fix like pronto – Netflix, as if knowing our current crisis, has heard our pleas and come to the rescue.

Now, I don’t dare insinuate that anything beats the real deal, but if all you have are some industry friends, a Netflix subscription, a bottle (or five) of vino, notepads (of course) and some popcorn, the new series ‘Abstract’ may just be a semi-suitable substitute.



There are eight episodes in this “docu-series”, each around +/- 45mins so you can choose what you feel you’ll learn the most from or watch them all.

They range from the absolute legend Tinker Hatfield, who some say saved Nike and the Air Jordan range from almost discontinuation and went on to be one of the biggest tastemakers in the footwear (sports and lifestyle) industry throughout the world. To the insane genius that is stage designer Es Devlin, who will truly blow your mind into another universe and will have you rewinding more than once to try and catch up with her trains of thought.

“If people either don’t love or hate your work, you just haven’t done all that much.” – Tinker Hatfield 

You have the incredible interior designer / curator Ilse Crawford, who believes that given the fact that humans spend up to 87% of our lives in buildings, it’s important how the space makes us feel.

“When you prioritize human needs within a space, design can have a profound impact.” – Ilse Crawford

My personal favorites were about illustrator and artist Christoph Niemann and (in)famous architect Bjarke Ingels.

What I appreciate about the docu-series is that there is a respect for the art and not the usual indulgence into the personal lives of each individual. For once not making us feel like everyone has to have some kind of significant backstory (positive or negative) to make something of ourselves.






The full list of episodes:

  1. Christoph Niemann: Illustration
  2. Tinker Hatfield: Footwear Design
  3. Es Devlin: Stage Design
  4. Bjarke Ingels: Architecture
  5. Ralph Gilles: Automotive Design
  6. Paula Scher: Graphic Design
  7. Platon: Photography
  8. Ilse Crawford: Interior Design

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