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Five Speakers To Look Out For At Design Indaba 2020

With an incredible number of leaders in the industry sharing their knowledge about design and creation, here are five must-see speakers at Design Indaba.

Supplied, Design Indaba

An expansive multisensory experience, Design Indaba promotes design as an integral part of society and its development, and invites visitors to interact with design in its myriad forms.

The three-day event, which takes place at Artscape Theatre Centre in Cape Town, includes a stellar line-up of thought-provoking design talks, live music, theatre, exhibitions, workshops and masterclasses.

We’ve listed our top five speakers who will offer insight on their innovative creations and are bound to inspire your own.


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Five must-see speakers at Design Indaba 2020


1. Architecture Social Club 

Satyajit Das, founder of the award-winning design collective Architecture Social Club, is one of the luminaries speaking at Design Indaba 2020. 

Das studied at the Royal College of Art and the University of Cambridge, and worked at Sir Norman Foster’s architectural practice before venturing into his own interpretation of design.

Known for thinking outside of the box, Architecture Social Club is the product of Das and his design team’s desire to merge disciplines such as art, architecture and digital design, and find ways to connect them.

The collective, which was founded in 2015, creates one-of-a-kind immersive experiences where viewers can interact with the installations.


Architecture social club


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2.Vukheta Mukhari

Seeking to develop more eco-friendly building, Vukheta Mukhari is part of a cutting-edge project that combines urine with sand and bacteria in a process that creates solid ‘bio-bricks’ at room temperature.

A world first, the zero-waste bio-bricks have the potential to revolutionise building and design, as they are created from a renewable and sustainable material source.

Mukhari is a Masters-degree candidate in civil engineering at the University of Cape Town (UCT), and is committed to greening the economy with fellow team members, student Suzanne Lambert and researcher Dr Dyllon Randall.


Vukheta Mukhari


3. Elissa Brunato

Using biotechnology, material explorer Elissa Brunato collaborated with material scientists from the RISE research institute of Sweden to generate bio-iridescent sequins from natural cellulose.

This organic compound is found in abundance in trees, and has a natural shimmer owing to its crystalline form. Traditionally, sequins are made from petroleum-based plastic and other non-recyclable materials, which are not biodegradable and contribute to waste and environmental pollution.

Brunato, who is passionate about sustainability, made it her mission to create the glittering disc-shaped beads from non-synthetic materials. As an innovator, Brunato is changing the narrative of the fashion milieu, offering creatives and designers the opportunity to create beautiful garments sustainably.


Elissa Brunato


4. Mazbahul Islam

A business graduate of Bangladesh’s University of Professionals, Mazbahul Islam has conceived an innovative solution that allows residents in isolated communities to access emergency medical care.

A former self-trained UI/UX designer, Islam has worked with several start-ups and a variety of social businesses globally, and has an in-depth knowledge of how low-cost business ventures work.

He has taken his expertise to rural areas by co-founding Safewheel – a project that produced Bangladesh’s first tricycle ambulance, which delivers a medical transportation service and medical care to those in need.



5. Kathryn Larsen

American Kathryn Larsen is an architectural technologist and bio-based designer whose focus is on an innovative natural building material – seaweed.

With a passion for design and a desire to understand how various cultures use materials to build their homes, Larsen tapped into the potential of seaweed for use in thatching.

Together with KEA Material Design Lab, Larsen launched a project titled Seaweed Thatch Reimagined, which built prefabricated seaweed thatch panels designed for use on roofs or facades.



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