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Ideas are the new economy, but only when you act on them: Make think become DID

It’s that magical time, when creatives from across South Africa and beyond gather in the mother city to celebrate great design in all its shapes and forms. This year, with Cape Town named World Design Capital, the Design Indaba expo and conference events are all the more special.

Building on last year’s successful ‘DRC’ or ‘Democratic Republic of Design’ campaign (a virtual country where design is currency), Absa, one of Design Indaba’s headline sponsors, has taken the concept up a notch – creating a platform to stimulate creative inspiration and give South African designers an opportunity to bring their innovative and ground-breaking designs to life.

The aim of the campaign is to demonstrate that design can be the backbone of a country and help it to prosper, because when good design ideas become tangible – when people act on them – everybody in a society benefits.

So as the campaign name ‘Make think become DID’ suggests, Absa are encouraging conference participants to make their ideas a reality by acting on them – and the first step towards activation is sharing. The DRD app from 2013 will again come into play this year as delegates are encouraged to share their design ideas via Twitter and in doing so earn Design Dollars, to be redeemed at the DID store. Participants who visit the DID store can also vote on which ideas they like best, giving idea generators valuable insights from their creative counterparts.

To get delegates started with idea generation, Absa has put together a list of design challenges (that can be found in the app), from how to solve the problem of shack fires to the disappearing USB.
In addition to this, and to keep things intriguing, each day, one participant stands a chance to win a professionally rendered schematic drawing of their idea. The overall prize, for the most promising idea, includes a schematic drawing, real-life prototype and trademark of the design.

As another great feature of this campaign, a hub of illustrators, guided by Ideso Industrial Design Solutions will turn each idea shared into a concept illustration, which can then be ordered through the app, to be printed onto a range of items for sale at the DID store.

Sound good? If you’re heading to Design Indaba conference this week, why not take up Absa’s challenge to help create a better, more prosperous world – through design.

Blog Boot Camp

Here’s a nice opportunity to improve your blogging skills and leap-frog a few learning curves, by collecting tips and tools from two successful Cape Town bloggers! Read more about it and book your spot here.

Event: Cape Town Design Network – 23 July

Join the Cape Town Design Network at the Assembly this evening at 6:30pm for an interactive discussion around the second call for public submissions, World Design Capital Cape Town 2014.

Six short-listed projects from the first call will be presented followed by an open networking and discussion session to boost the quality of the second call for submissions.

The MC will be Lianne Burton and the discussion will be facilitated by members of the WDC curatorial panel.

Light snacks will be on sale and a cash bar availalbe.

RSVP to Cape Town Design Network here.

Theatre: Sadako at Baxter Flipside 30 July – 10 August

SADAKO, awarded ‘Best Production in 2011′ by Handspring Puppet Company will play for only two weeks at The Baxter Flipside before it leaves for France where it has been invited to perform at the prestigious Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes, World Puppetry Festival. Set in Japan, Sadako is a gently poetic story that is a breath of fresh air in complicated times. It proves that adults can still be transfixed by a solid, powerful yarn that appeals to our inner child. It’s an exquisite Bunraku puppet theatre play for adults and children older than 10 years. The play runs from 30 July until 10 August at the Baxter’s Flipside Theatre. Tickets cost R110 per person. Book at Computicket.

World-class University Choirs to perform at Baxter Theatre Centre

World-class university choirs from Yale and UCT will join in concert in a once-off performance at the Baxter Concert Hall on Wednesday 17 July 2013. The UCT Choir and renowned Whiffenpoofs of Yale University will perform excerpts from their respective repertoires, in a concert supported by the Gordon Institute of Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) and the South African College of Music (SACM).

Every year, 14 senior Yale men are selected to be in the Whiffenpoofs, the world’s oldest collegiate a cappella group.
Founded in 1909, the “Whiffs” began as a senior quartet that met for weekly concerts at Mory’s Temple Bar, the famous Yale tavern. The group has become one of Yale University’s most celebrated traditions, gathering a notable audience including Ronald Reagan, George Bush I and II, Bill Clinton, Mother Teresa, and the Dalai Lama. The group has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center, and for events such as The World Series, Saturday Night Live, The West Wing, and NBC’s The Sing Off. Under the baton of conductor Andy Berry the Whiffenpoofs perform throughout the year within the United States, and travel internationally during selected periods.

The UCT Choir is the most diverse musical group at the University of Cape Town. It is a fully student-run ensemble, welcoming students from every faculty and discipline, as well as alumni and external members. The fifty-person choir, currently under the direction of Kurt Haupt, was founded in 1985 and plays an active role in the musical life of Cape Town, also touring nationally.

The concert will take place on Wednesday 17 July 2013, at 20:15 at the Baxter Concert Hall in Cape Town. Tickets cost R60 (adults) and R30 (pensioners, students and learners) and are available through Computicket.

Interview with Matthew Sanna, 3D artist for ZANEWS

What motivated you to become a 3D artist?

Well I first started by doing realistic drawings and paintings and I always wanted the end product to look as realistic and 3D as possible. I wanted my work to have a soft and organic feel instead of hard drawn lines. I found myself exploring 3D images so instead of only using pencils and paint brushes, I would mold the object into a 3D image and capture the same essence using my hands.

Tell us about a few of the highlights of working for ZANEWS?

I’ve been working at ZANEWS just over 2 years now, and one of the main things is to come up with new characters that will make the show funny and enjoyable. So when I’m asked to make a new puppet, I get to work with clay where I can make 3D sculptures. This however is not based on realistic sculpture, but caricature faces of well known celebrities and politicians. I do a lot more than just sculpting. After my sculpt has been approved I make molds of the sculptures out of fiberglass and resin – mold making is also one of my passions, but my favourite part is after the whole process of making a puppet has been completed, when I can airbrush and finish the face to make it come alive.

What is your favourite piece of work to date?

I’ve recently completed a 1m x 80cm painting of my Fiance using oil paints. The reason why I love it is because when you look at the completed painting  even though its been painted on a flat surface and has a high contrast, I can still achieve that 3D effect.

Any tips for aspiring 3D artists wanting to get into the industry?

If you are an artist you have been given the ability to create. Even if you are just starting out or if you’ve been doing it for years, you should always keep practicing to improve on your skill. I believe every art form should create a feeling  – whether you are a realistic, abstract or expressive artist. Always work towards that feeling. And keep doing what you love to do.

What other creative work are you involved in?

Currently I’m not involved in any other creative work. I generally like to work on my own things for myself, but I would love to share my artwork with others whether it sells or not. I would also like to teach others how to do what I know.