Yesterday we had an impromptu visit at our Design Indaba Expo stand from Aaron Kohn, contributor to Coolhunting.com and OkayAfrica.com. We asked him his thoughts on this year’s talented bunch of Emerging Creatives. Here’s what he had to say…

There are few events in the design world that are as inspiring and mind-numbing as expos. Whenever the greatest contributors to an industry get together in one place, as South Africans did this week at the Design Indaba Expo, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the creativity and the figures behind the work.

My suggestion: take a camera and create a scrapbook that the slew of business cards you collect doesn’t come close to duplicating. My photos from the Indaba show that I got stuck in the “Emerging Creatives” part of the expo. It’s hard (for me) not to focus on Emerging Creatives when I’m in South Africa. Few places in the world are changing as quickly, and the arts are at the very forefront. Young minds at Design Indaba know the landed artocracy, but the work they presented evidenced their original ideas and their vast enthusiasm.

Take Sebastian Borkenhagen.  As I passed his booth, he approached me and said, “I will blow your mind.” I walked away with a few of his “Philosophy Comics.” Friends warned me that both Songezo Baleni‘s woven jewellery and Lipato Shogole’s menswear (Iskapie Clothing) would be hard to miss. Those friends were right; Baleni’s woven pieces are terribly intricate, and Shogole has a sense for geometry and color that stands out.

I was excited to see this group of new endeavors, and these individuals seem at least as excited to keep pushing the creative envelope. Many of the “established” exhibitors told me to check out their favorite young designer at the show. Kudos to Design Indaba for supporting and exhibiting the Emerging Creatives.

Aaron Kohn contributes to CoolHunting.com, OkayAfrica.com, and will soon be launching an African design store in the USA (@africanlookbook).