Design Indaba: Trending the Future

The Design Indaba was all the graphic and design world lived and breathed this last week. Our twitter page was alight with constant updates from this world renowned conference and we couldn’t just sit by and not blog about! But how do you blog an entire conference? How do you decide what stays and what goes? This was tricky for us, as there were so many beautiful things to admire and talks to be inspired by. In the end, we settled on focusing on legendary Li Edelkoort’s trend forecasting seminar. These always draw large crowds to the Indaba and are worth mentioning. After all, trends are an important focus on Ruby, so how can we omit the work of the world’s most prominent trend forecaster?

Li Edelkoort, besides being a super trend forecaster, is also a curator and publisher based in Paris. She has been honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Aid to Artisans for her support of the creative industries and in 2008, both the French Ministry and House of Orange (the Dutch Royal Family) honored her with a knighthood. She must be on to something right?
Kim and I have both been privileged to have heard her speak in 2009, when we attended the Design Indaba for our university course. Unfortunately, we were not lucky enough to attend the conference this year, and so we have relied on the ever trustworthy folks at FAIRLADY to keep us up to date and informed with what Edelkoort had to say. Here is our summary, but you can find the complete article here.
Overall, Edelkoort emphasises that the world is in a period of great change, in the political, economic and financial spheres – and with change, comes huge amounts of creative energy. The year ahead is going to be all about finding BLISS. Bliss in food, bliss in fashion, bliss in your lifestyle.
Edelkoort identified a lot of various trends within fashion, here are our highlights:
~ White will be the colour going forward into the future – think white washed fabrics, light 
textiles and cotton airiness

~ The shirt will overcome the t-shirt as the wardrobe staple. Think shirtdresses over tights, with a focus on separates, particularly skirts and shirts (say bye bye to dresses).
~ In keeping with the white theme, clothes will be inspired by home linens – think fresh colours, bold checks and embroidery.

~ There will be a huge return to homemade items – made by the machine, but finished by hand. Knitting will also make a comeback.

~ Japanese influences will abound in all spheres of life, but in particular, fashion. Think Kimono- inspired fabrics and bold colours.
~ African craft will begin to take hold internationally as basket weaving, staining and printing become more popular.

~ People will begin to seek their inner bliss through meditation and clearing of the mind. Household chores will become vessels through which we find our ‘inner bliss’ (I’m sceptical!)
~ Gardening will become popular as the movement towards ‘homemade’ expands. Think  rooftop gardens in high rise buildings and small herb pots in your kitchen.

~ Much like the Romantic Era, people want to move away from the grind of Urban living and get out into the countryside. A new trend that will emerge is called “glamping” – which is essentially “glamorous camping”
If you like what you have read and are interested in what else Edelkoort has to say, you will be happy to know that she started an online trend forecasting platform called Trend Tablet. This website is accessible to all and covers a range of disciplines, from fashion, to pets to interiors and art. It has everything!  Look to this site for many inspiring pictures and thoughts.
And finally, we couldn’t let you get away without first seeing what was voted as this year’s Design Indaba’s Most Beautiful Object in South Africa Award (MBOISA) . These awards are
now in their 7th year and winners are voted for by the public. Last year’s winner was Woza Moya’s Dreams of Africa Chair. The finalists for this year were:

~ Hapo Museum by Office of Collaborative Architects – GAPP Architects + Urban Designers, Mashabane Rose Associates and MMA Architects
~  Bird Neckpiece by Eric Loubser
Consol Solar Jar by Ockert van Heerden and John Bexley
Frail Flower Paper Sculpture by Rebecca Jones
~  Fish-Scale Dress by Suzaan Heyns
~  Curious Couch  by Margaret Woermann (Heartworks) and Peta Becker (Projekt)
~ Ridge Forrester Hanging Planters by Joe Paine
~  "A Travel Journal, Volume 1 and 2" by Mornè Visagie
~ Lily Pad Ring by Kirsten Goss
~ PASTE mural by Linsey Levendall
After votes were cast by the public, the MBOISA of 2012 went to the Lily Pad Ring by Kirsten Goss. The Lily Pad Ring exemplifies Kirsten Goss’s contemporary design and we think these rings are gorgeous. Goss is a qualified jewellery designer and Stellenbosch University alumni, with a passion for experimenting with stone and metal cutting techniques. All her pieces are handmade. See more of her work here.

For more information about what went down at the 2012 Design Indaba conference, visit their website here. Alternatively, check out their facebook or twitter pages!