‘Businesspeople don't just need to understand designers better — they need to become designers,’ says Roger Martin, dean of the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management. The converse can be said, of course, of designers navigating the business world. Entrepreneurs who are creating furniture, making art and crafting beautiful things aren’t always so savvy when it comes to the trade and transactions side.
Enter Laurence Brick and Cathy O’Clery (of Platform Creative Agency) and Trevyn and Julian McGowan (of Source and Southern Guild), the superforces behind the promotion of local design internationally. Passionate about empowering South African entrepreneurs of all kinds, this quartet has rounded up some of South Africa’s shining leaders to talk about how design and business can better your brand at this year's Business of Design seminar in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
The two-day seminar will take place this year in Johannesburg from 16 to 17 August at The Forum in Bryanston and in Cape Town from 23 to 24 August 2016 and will feature loads of speakers from diverse fields, such as retail, brand activation, advertising, art and architecture. Here are a few of the speakers we're excited see...
'Getting cancer is like being pinned down underwater by a massive wave. It completely disempowers you with fear and confusion,' says big-wave surfer and cancer survivor Conn Bertish. To get to terms with his brain tumor, Conn employed his creative design skills and accidentally tapped into something that's been called 'psychoneuroimmunology' – 'I was boosting my immune system by having fun with it,' he explains. He's now turned that into an app that enables people living with cancer to boost their immune systems. Check it out in the video below. Conn will be speaking on 'Design Thinking That Affects Change'.
It all started in 2007 when Skinny laMinx's Heather made screenprints in her studio and sold them online. Soon enough this self-taught illustrator's prints covered bags and purses, walls and couches, and, with 26 000 Instagram followers, she's grown from small home business into social and textile queen. Who better to speak on a 'Social Media Case Study'?
If you've tried one of The Creamery's delectable ice creams, you'll know that there's more to this brand than pure marketing genius (although there's a lot of that too). First, there's quality of product - the ice cream is natural and made from sustainable ingredients; then there are the inventive flavours (Cardamom & Rosewater Marshmallow or Sweet Potato & Toasted Marshmallow, anyone?); and then there's the clear brand identity that flows through the company's every platform, conveying a sense of happiness and fun - basically what ice cream is all about. There's a reason why HL nominated Kate one of our 2013 Rising Stars. Hear about Kate's 'Neighbourhood Success Story' at Business of Design.
Arguably this year's biggest international breakout with a solo show at New York's Friedman Benda, Andile is taking the world by storm with his ceramic art. His latest collection, Camagu, is a showcase of Andile's heritage and his gratitude (Camagu means 'I am thankful') with pieces that straddle the line between modernity and tradition. His journey characterises the discussion he will have in partnership with Trevyn McGowan at Business of Design called 'Becoming an Icon'.
A huge drawcard for conference-goers this year will be star chef Luke. His sublime food is nothing short of a design masterpiece, combining flavour, texture and presentation to the very highest level. And from The Test Kitchen, he's spawned four more kitchens serving a diverse array of dishes, run by himself and trusted chefs in his midst, never compromising on quality. It's no surprise then that his talk will be all about 'Staying at the Forefront'.
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