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Design Indaba Day 1 Roundup

The annual Design Indaba Conference in Cape Town features the best of global creativity all on one stage. As we start a new day of unimaginable possibility and inspiration, here’s a roundup of some of the highlights from Day 1. Don't forget to read more about the speakers and ideas that inspired us in our May issue, which hits shelves mid April. 1. Joe Public 'Tracker taking back tomorrow' I’ve always been partial to an ad that makes me cry - whether it’s the infamous ‘sadvertising’ of Budweiser during the Super Bowl or the nostalgic heart-heaving that comes with watching a John Lewis Christmas commercial. So when Joe Public hit the stage with synchronised dance to Michael Jackson’s ‘Black & White,’ I felt safe that DI was off to a happy start. However, the Kleenex came out when they showed us their portfolio of campaigns, all of which hit us right in the feels. What their talk demonstrated was how thinking about impossible problems can lead to very possible solutions – take their Tracker campaign, a project that presented the challenge ‘how do we convince people with car insurance to get Tracker?’ This gut punching commercial shows that sometimes the best solutions to the complicated questions come down to uniting a society using shared concerns. Watch it here:   2. The Workers 'After Dark at Tate' One big challenge for the publishing industry is turning something that so many people like to call (prematurely, I like to think) dead, into a dynamic brand. This complicated, scary and exciting landscape is one that London-based studio The Workers, founded by Ross Cairns and Tommaso Lanza, takes by the horns. As ‘serial collaborators’ they work with passionate peers to create new, innovative digital experiences that don’t take away from their historical roots. One such example is their colab with Tate Britain in which they created robots that, controlled by online users, explored the museum by night (not quite as scary as Five Nights at Freddy’s), with enlightening commentary by art experts. Watch it here:   3. Stanley Hainsworth 'Just do it' From our seats in the middle of the auditorium we caught a glimpse of a head of hair that would be daring for any stylist working at Scar long before this speaker took the stage. Stanley Hainsworth’s coif is part of his working world – he uses it to spark interest and start conversations. ‘Life is this huge street of people walking towards you and you will look for recognition… empathy… connectivity,’ he said. ‘Share something that might be a connection.’ Looking a little Mugatu (he’s so hot right now), Stanley described his epic career trajectory from actor, to Nike creative director followed by stints at Lego and Starbucks, to the company he founded called Tether, a creative, multidisciplinary studio that thrives on sharing well-told stories.    4. Michael Beirut's 'How To' Conference veteran and emcee Michael Beirut had an announcement: that his new book is now available for preorder on Amazon. It’s called How To, and we want it on our coffee table. His talk involved the way he adds ‘surprises and delights’ to the everyday through logos. As the blackened screen projected ‘how to destroy the world with graphic design’ in a simple, clean white typeface, we scrambled for our phones to get the Instagram of the day. With that he explained the unpredictably complex effect of graphic design on the world, the beauty of honouring a brand’s heritage and the fun you can have taking that brand to a new place. Also, we loved the shopping bags. Stay tuned for HL's exclusive round of day 2 coming soon! In the meantime, follow @designindaba on Twitter for their live updates.