Six years ago Dave Nemeth, who heads up Trend Forward, worked on a proposal for Design Week to take place over one of the many design-/decor-related expos that were taking place at the time. Like many things, the timing was possibly slightly off and the expos that were approached did not see the value of this exercise and so it was put on ice until now.
Trend Forward has just been appointed as a strategic partner to the Rand Show, to take this iconic brand to great new heights and positioning it as one of the world's leading “design-centric” consumer shows, whilst being relevant to a host of different generations. 2017 sees the launch of the much anticipated Design Pavilion as well as Johannesburg Design Week.
Design in many respects in South Africa has been very fragmented as well as elitist, meaning it has only been accessible to a very select few. There may be a host of decor and design expos but they do little on the education side of things and tend to continually draw in the same audience.
Design Week aims to bridge this gap and put on professional and engaging workshops and talks catering for students, the general public, as well as industry professionals. The beauty about aligning this with the Rand Show is that a large percentage of professionals are on leave over that period and can attend a masterclass for an hour whilst still being in an environment that is exciting and engaging for the rest of the family.
Whilst the programme is still being designed, the following areas have already been identified:
- Public workshops - Understanding the importance of design and how to get involved.
- Maker Movement - The importance of this and how the youth can benefit.
- Design as a career - Workshops by chosen institutions aimed at school-leavers.
- Design in education.
- Trend talks - Trade and related industries.
- Masterclasses - These will be aimed at the trade and offer avenues that will improve their business.
This aims to be one of the most exciting events on the Johannesburg design calendar, and eventually a catalyst for attracting international speakers, programmes and workshops.