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Sitting at the tip of a continent famed for its unbridled creativity and growth, as South Africans we have the privilege and responsibility to harness the potency and potential of design to drive change. It is not only about designing visually appealing objects and buildings, but also about recalibrating systems, identifying problems, and creatively finding solutions. As designers, thinkers and writers, we need to mobilise around the potential of design, and celebrate growth that has been carefully designed and planned. Of course, it just makes it that much more fun and appealing if a large dose of style is thrown into the mix.

Design is also the key to making our continent’s rampant growth sustainable, and an important tool with which we can acknowledge and address the past. Looking into the future, positive and exciting change requires determined and collaborative planning – solutions designed by us, for us, which we then need to share. Increasingly porous boundaries between continents, countries, cultures, systems and ideas encourage us to learn and share with others and to build on existing ideas in order to create fresh and relevant innovations.

The World Design Capital 2014 mantra, “Live Design, Transform Life”, is a powerful and simple call to action that we should all rally behind. As Laureen Rossouw, Editor of Elle Decoration, says, ‘The future is now, and we are excited to be a part of it.’ Be a part of designing the future.

Bielle Ross