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Design Indaba is unearthing the next wave of design talent from across Africa in its second installment of Africa Is Now.

Africa is rejecting the descriptions that have historically defined it and is instead becoming the new benchmark for growth and innovation. Contextual solutions that have sprouted from the fertile creative soils of Africa are in demand worldwide, redefining the traditional exchange between the so-called first and third worlds.

Showcasing these African solutions to the world is a key focus of Design Indaba. This was concretised with the first Africa Is Now exhibition at Design Indaba Expo 2014, which brought the work of 66 designers and innovators from 25 African countries to Cape Town. The exhibition provided a snapshot of creative work being produced across the continent. Emerging, established and unexpected talent was displayed including fashion from designers such as Sindiso Khumalo and Selly Rabe Kane, a model of the Makoko Floating School by architect Kunlé Adeyemi and furniture from iconic Malian designerCheik Diallo.

The exhibition had phenomenal traction with exhibitors, visitors, buyers and both local and international media, receiving close to R5 million in media exposure.

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The selections will be based on the following:

  • They are looking for designs, products, objects, inventions and ideas that break with tradition and represent a fresh direction and new mode of expression.
  • They are interested in design by Africans for Africans and about developments taking place on the continent. So they will give preference to work by African-born or residing designers (any country in Africa). However, if your work focuses on delivering solutions to African environments, they are interested in seeing it regardless of who you are or where you live.
  • This exhibition is open to established and emerging designers. You may not even consider yourself a “designer” – they are less concerned about labels, and more interested in creative solutions the world hasn’t seen before.
  • The work does not have to be finished – e.g. a building can still be in progress. As long as you have detailed sketches or solid research you can show them.
  • Actual examples of your work must be available for display at Design Indaba Expo 2015 (Thursday 26 February – Sunday 1 March 2015). In the case of architecture, urban planning and some industrial developments, photographs and scale models will suffice

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  • Architecture
  • Urban planning
  • Fashion
  • Textile design
  • Furniture and décor
  • Handmade crafts
  • Visual arts and photography
  • Graphic design
  • Video, film and animation
  • Sustainable design (high- and low-tech)
  • Industrial design and innovation in any industry – e.g. automotive, engineering, pharmaceutical, agriculture, telecommunications, information technology
  • Technological innovations of any kind


Fill out the online application form here.

Make sure you upload low-res images of the work you are proposing for the exhibition.

If you don’t have Internet access, you can post your submissions to:

Kim Seeliger
Design Indaba Expo
3rd Floor, 16 Mill Street
South Africa

Closing date for entries: 31 October 2014

Take a tour through our highlights from this year’s Design Indaba Expo 2014 and get excited for next year.

Images and text via Design Indaba.