Dedicate Time to Design Indaba

The Design Indaba opens its doors to the public today at the Cape Town International Convention Center.

I had the fortune of landing a media pass allowing me to visit the exhibition one day early.  Let’s discuss my favorite highlights.  
 
The ABSA stand asked me to look at five different prototypes and then vote for my top choice.  The winner would receive funding.  I like sharing my opinion and feeling important, so I was game.  
 
First, there was an exercise bike with its back wheel connected to an energy-capturing device.  The concept was quite simple – you peddle and energy is created.  I like exercise. I like alternative energy. And I liked the model. 
 
The next several, including a light you could piece together in different shapes and a basket that preserved heat, failed to impress.  There is no set order to view the inventions, but, coincidentally, I managed to save the best for last – a soccer ball by day, lamp by night.  The soccer ball captured energy from kicks and movement and then used it to generate light from the small light bulbs inside.  
 
We have a winner!
 
OK, let’s move on.  There were a diverse selection of boutique art shops that catered to many different types of art lovers – sculptures, paintings, masks, fabric; you name it, they probably had it.  
 
Eventually, I made my way to a large black curtain that surrounded a brandy bar waiting to be unveiled. Free brandy and food samples were served, and for obvious reasons, the promotion attracted large crowds.  I hadn’t eaten lunch, so guess where I was during the unveiling. 
 
Similar to the voting booth I visited earlier, there were other prototypes eager to make an impression on buyers and investors.  For example, I chatted with the inventor of an electric scooter who hoped to decrease car usage by introducing other more eco-friendly modes of transportation – hence the electric scooter.  
 
The product was not groundbreaking (scooter resembled every other electric scooter I have seen) but I did like his sales pitch and reasons for the creation.  For those wondering, the company was e-LABS.
 
Finally, I would like to direct my praise towards the umbrellas on the building’s terrace.  The red polka-dotted sunshades harness and use the sun’s solar energy to charge the phones of people sitting below.
 
Even if you aren’t interested in the specific exhibits, the Design Indaba’s energetic atmosphere makes for a fun place to browse and enjoy a coffee or sandwich.  Of course there’s also Brandy, if that’s more your style.
 
I suspect a lot of the country’s future is on display at the Design Indaba, which is taking place all weekend.  So, if you want a glimpse at upcoming trends, ideas, and designs, I recommend paying the exhibition a visit.
 
Also part of the event is the Design Indaba film festival.  This Sunday I will be attending the festival’s final showing – a screening of Wes Anderson’s newest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel.  As a fan of Anderson’s quirky films, I am looking forward to the closing event.  
 
Check back next week for my thoughts and experiences!
 
Where:  Cape Town International Convention Center, Heerengracht, Cape Town 8001
When:  28 Feb - 2 March
 
Keeping you up2date on Cape Town’s latest, I am Douglas Calvin Hinkel giving you one more reason why #welovecapetown

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