Subscribe to industry newsletters

Search jobs

Top names to exhibit at the Design Indaba Expo

With the world setting its cool compass on South, there is no better time to put on a show of South Africa's best. Exhibitors, handpicked by the Design Indaba Expo advisory panel, have been chosen for their innovative and essentially South African work and include top names in the creative industries.
Design Indaba Expo is a showcase of South African fashion, décor, craft, film, architecture, publishing, advertising and new media. The first multi-sectoral Expo in the country, Design Indaba Expo will form a creative hub alongside the world famous International Design Indaba conference in Halls 1 and 2 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 26 to 29 February.

Cecile and Boyd, Egg Design (winners of The Elle Deco International Design Award), Life (nominee for The Andrew Martin award), Stoned Cherrie (winner of the Catherine Award), Hip Hop, Black Coffee, Gavin Rajah, The Bat Centre, Monkeybiz, Brett Bailey, Bell Roberts Gallery, Peet Pienaar (with all-new sure-to-be cult magazine Afro), VISI, architects Silvio Rec of North Island fame, Andrew Makin and Stefan Antoni are among a few of the exhibitors.

Far from the current offering of a grid pattern of stands, Design Indaba Expo's floor has a unique layout and a number of features to add interest to the Expo. The centrepiece of the Expo is a 6m high 10m in diameter wire tree (as an Indaba is traditionally held under a tree) with a champagne bar beneath it. Each area, be it interiors, media, craft or visual art hovers around nodes areas where visitors can relax to the sounds of South African lullabies in our numerous languages; languish in nature or to take in a fashion showing. Ace producer Jan Malan will choreograph the 16 daily showings on the half-hour. In addition to these salon-style showings, there'll be a fashion exhibition in the fashion area that will detail the designer's signature and explain how each piece is moving towards a South African design signature. A custom-built film studio will show South African film features, ads, music videos, documentaries and shorts and South Africa's top advertising agencies (The Jupiter Drawing Room, O&M, King James, etc.) will create an ad a day for SMME's and charities at the Design Indaba Creatathon.

Wins include a R70 000 room makeover from Woolworths and the use of an Audi A4 cabriolet for three months. International high-calibre guests like Nicole Farhi, who sources South African through Jenny Gifford and Neville Trickett, are flying into Cape Town for the event and will be briefing exhibitors on what it is the world's after creatively speaking at Expo exhibitor sessions in the mornings before the show opens.

Design Indaba Expo aims to leverage South Africa and South Africanism in a celebratory, savvy manner and to herald this as the world's choice brave new world.

Some of the exhibitors at this year's event:

Jenny le Roux for Habits
Habits started 18 years ago when Jenny le Roux saw a huge gap in the market between chain store and couture. She learned everything she needed to know about fashion by working in the Fashion Department at Fair Lady for 15 years. 3 Times winner of the SA Fashion Award, Best Brand Award for 2001, SABC Lifetime Achievement Award.

Bronze Age Sculpture House
The Bronze Age Sculpture House, Foundry, Sculpture Garden and Artist's residency situated in Simonstown, near Cape Town, is dedicated to the creation and display of Bronze Sculptures. They represent and cast for over 70 of South Africa's most eminent artists. The gallery displays the largest selection of bronze sculptures in Africa in an exquisite historic setting.

Helon Melon
Helon Melon is a well-established, Cape Town-based company that manufactures a range of exclusive bed linen, loungewear and soft furnishings. All products are locally produced and have quality handwork.

Carole Boyes, MonkeyBiz, Barbara Jackson, Philippa Green


She transforms the mundane into the extraordinary. Pewter, stainless steel and aluminium find new expressions in a fusion of function and fantasy where everyday objects are conduits for fluid female figures, mythical fish and funky African pastiche.


Ceramic artists Barbara Jackson and Shirley Fintz, collectors of African beadwork and art have facilitated a revival of an ancient African tradition in Southern Africa. Together with Mataphelo Ngaka, they made their dream come true. A desire to create employment and empowerment for disadvantaged women in Cape Town has led to the creation of 'MONKEYBIZ'. The beadworks are creating a sensation wherever they appear locally and abroad.


Her pots, inspired by nature and feminism combined together, are presented in calabash forms. They reflect the diversity of South African culture and can be recognised worldwide for their distinctive vibrancy, passionate shapes and dynamic colour use.


Is a jeweller who works with less traditional materials, that being plastic, glass beads, cotton, wood and semi precious stones. She combines them all together in a simple manner which shows off each material's uniqueness. She draws on her immediate surroundings for inspiration - the street, the people, the music, South Africa's colourful flavour - and is currently working on a new range using diamonds and resin.

Haldane Martin
Award-winning designer of contemporary South African hospitality furniture.

Ingrid's Glass
Her designs showcase characteristics unique to glass, such as reflecting and refracting light and colours. The combination of dichroic, iridized, opaque and translucent glass create fascinating light patterns. The distinctive and complex images formed in my kiln are best described as fused glass paintings or "vitreous mosaics". Glass fusing is a procedure in which individual pieces of glass are melted together to form larger designer pieces. The art of fused glass has only recently been revived as an artistic form after more than a millenia of disuse.

Sandra Steyn - Suzani
Exclusively designed soft furnishing incorporating hand-embroidered, handmade, hand-beaded, antique collectable textile pieces from the Amangwe Zulu tribe, Sisen Bushmen upliftment project, as well as imported Afghan, Uzbek, Rajestani, etc. pieces, such as cushions, throws and bedspreads.

Sound Space Design - Architecture & Urban Design
Sound space design is an internationally acclaimed conceptual design consultancy specialising in progressive urban design and architecture. Based in Cape Town, the award-winning firm was founded in 1995 by UCLA masters graduate Don Albert, and has the Millennium Tower, and the higher performance centre at the University of Pretoria.

The Potter's Shop
The Potter's Shop was started in 1986. There are seven African artists, working individually in the studio, painting under glaze on slip cast functional ceramics. Majolandile Dylvane, one of the first, was selected in 2001 with nine other South Africans to go to Denmark and then offered a scholarship to Port Elizabeth Technikon. He has just completed the degree and is now making individual pieces based on African meat platters and milk jugs.

Katherine Glenday Porcelain
Katherine Glenday is an established artist who has worked with porcelain for twenty years. Her vessels are one of a kind and fulfil a contemplative function in an environment. She concentrates on the qualities of translucency and fragility, which are central to her medium, making vessels which capture light. Her source of reference is most often the natural world.

MMA Architects
Architectural services and project consultancy of urban design.

Quivertree Publications
A young publishing company producing quality indigenous books showcasing South African talent and culture.

Africa Fair
Africa Fair presents the best of today's Afro-inspired fashion accessories. Africa Fair's first contemporary accessory collection was launched in New York in November 2002. The company is now based in Cape Town, New York and Paris.

Queenbead is an informal group of 19 beaders including men based in the surrounds of Cape Town. They produce beaded "art pieces" and "loveletter pins" in a range of contemporary designs inspired by Sotho, Tsonga, Zulu and Xhosa cultures of South Africa. The members of Queenbead have been empowered by this project as most are sole breadwinners. Their dedication and skilled craftsmanship inspires hope.

Design Team Designs
DT Designs offer customised design and product range development services. Their range of accessories combines innovative design with quality manufacturing, creating unique hand-printed products for the trendsetting individual.

Afro Magazine
Afro is a pan-African magazine about Africa by Africans for Africans which showcases design, music and the vibrant new writing on the continent.

Nucleus Design
Nucleus Design is a product design company, focussing on the design of displays, points-of-sale and exhibition stands and systems. The company's focus stretches further into the design and self-production of indoor and outdoor furniture and lighting products.

Elle Decoration - Johnnic Publishing
The Elle Decoration International Design Awards seeks to recognise those established designers that have made invaluable contributions to the local design industry. Selected by the ELLE Decoration team, local winners are automatically shortlisted for the international award in their category with the winner announced at the Milan Furniture Fair in April.

Kirkosh represents the coming together of opposites. Conceptualised and founded in 2002, it focuses on a range of accessories designed by Andrea Beukes. The main medium is Perspex, with a few combinations in wood.

VISI - already South Africa's most beautiful décor and lifestyle magazine in Afrikaans - is now equally beautiful in English. The launch of an English version of VISI in April 2004 introduces this award-winning magazine to an even wider audience. VISI readers are passionate about design, architecture and décor.

The Bat Shop - Zenzulu
The innovative Zenzulu range of telephone wire home accessories and decorative accents fuses traditional techniques with contemporary design, creating quality products with a global appeal. All products are hand crafted in KwaZulu Natal, eco-friendly and are fairly traded ensuring sustainable community development. 2002 winner of the Elle Decoration International Design Awards in the tabletop category.

iNini Glass
iNini Glass specialises in kiln-fired glassware and manufactures a variety of plates and bowls in all shapes, sizes and designs. Chunky glass beads and strips are handmade and strung into jewellery pieces, lampshades and chandeliers stainless. Stainless steel has been incorporated to make wall-attached lights. Salad servers, T-spoons, tiles, coasters and wall hangings are all made from glass. Designs range from fresh modern designs and contemporary bright colours to classic crushed glass pieces and soft-looking lustres. Winner of House & Leisure's 'Bright Young Thing' award 2001.

Pepper Plum Designs
Design and manufacturing of poly propyle products for décor, interior, fashion, stationery and corporate gifts.

Source Interior Brand Architects
The Source design initiative, a collaboration between local designers, artists and craft workshops, is a showcase to promote a unique and truly African design aesthetic. Source offers buyers and retailers the conduit to a vast and diverse pool of local design talent with a view to creating bespoke ranges for individual clients or retailers. Individual products are not for sale.

Jenny Gifford Studio
Handmade fabric house.

OKHA Interiors
Interior and retail showroom specialising in custom designed, high contemporary furniture and accessories.

Kaya Loft Design
The Kaya range for Loft Design is mainly soft furnishings and bed linen. It is an upliftment project employing previously disadvantaged women in the Johannesburg CBD and in the Cullinan/ Refilwe district. The range is designed by Lientjie Wessels. Her designs have won the coveted Elle Decoration International Designs Award.

Twig sculptured urns and lighting are handcrafted and woven with poplar branches, designed by Lientjie Wessels. Twig was a recipient of the International Elle Decoration Design Awards in 2002. During 2003, Twig products were used in the new constitutional High Court, President Thabo Mbeki's bush retreat and in SAA's class lounges.

Mila Company
Apart from making fake sculptures, fake food and practically anything fake, for the film industry in Cape Town, Mila Company has started designing and making geometric rugs from patched pieces of brightly dyed cowhide during quiet spells.

Stefan Antoni Olmesdhal Truen Architects
Stefan Antoni Olmesdhal Truen Architects is an award-winning practice whose distinctive work is instantly recognisable.

Gavin Rajah
Gavin Rajah remains one of South Africa's foremost international fashion designers. His clothes are featured in some of the world's most fashionable outlets. Interested in colours, workmanship, the progressive integration of traditional cultural skills and innovative direction, his work has a passionate following locally and abroad. Fine fabrics and craftsmanship makes this South Africa's exemplary fashion ambassador. This year the house will launch their new men's range together with a Cruise Collection in collaboration with Rajah's muse Gretha Scholtz.

Started seven years ago by Pauline Mutlow, LIM is a retail store specialising in custom designed furniture and homeware, offering an interior design and decorating service. Style is clean, simple and functional. Emphasis placed on South African raw materials and manufacture. LIM is an axiom for Less is More.

Pierre du Plessis
A conceptual brand that provides the wearer with more than fabric covering skin. Produced in limited quantities and one-off designs for private clients. Pierre du Plessis always mixes fashion and poetry.

Felt 4U/CSIR
'Fashionable Felted Feelings from the Free State'. Products and stand conceptualised and prototyped by the CSIR's Cultural Crafts Industries Design Unit (CCIDU) for Tshwarisanang Mafumahadi Project, Phuthaditjhaba, Qwa Qwa, a community project sponsord by the Department of Arts and Culture.

Craig Native
Native started in 2002. It is a streetwear brand inspired by the ugly, unnoticed but real South African citizen. Very much a Robin Hood-like drive, Native aims to expose and review the underdog, in a very harsh class difference society. With inspiration coming from garbage collectors, to housekeepers and the effervescent beggar on the side of the road, Native praises the true survivors.

For more information:

t +27 21 418 66 66
f +27 21 418 63 33

Let's do Biz