The Highly anticipated Design Indaba 2016 festival kicked off from the 17th-19th of February, showcasing design across various forms from some of the worlds leading creative minds. I had the pleasure of experiencing this phenomenal showcase for the very first time and what an experience it was.
The Festival featured thought provoking stories of hope and courage and also stressed the issue of shifting from the perception of designing to simply setting trends, to rather designing for a bigger purpose and through that making a real contribution towards social change in humanity.
One of the main highlights for me as a young working creative student was to see what the fellow young global student designers had to showcase in their inventive presentations, and I must say I was completely blown away and touched by the amazing work of Pia Nakairoa. Pia is an Industrial design student from Calton University who presented her graduate work, in which she created a rehabilitation remote for breast cancer patience, this remarkable remote tool aims at facilitating improved direct communication between patients and physiotherapists, tracking patient progress and promoting patient observance. The remote has an application that saves patient progress, feedback from physiotherapists and exercise information and through this continuous monitoring, helps not only relief the overwhelming outbreaks of the disease due to heavy treatment, but in the process also saves the lives of thousands of breast cancer sufferers daily.
Pia is an exceptional example of revealing that design only serves a greater purpose when it is created to do good, to make a real difference and contribute to the social well being of ordinary lives. A profound element to take out from my Design Indaba experience was that many of the speakers spoke notably on re-creating design to construct a significant alteration over time in human behavior patterns, in socio/economic status, and in cultural values and norms.
“The experience taught me that the greatest tool that any creative individual should have is empathy, and that everyone has the power to make a difference no matter how big or small.”
Most importantly the Design Indaba experience made me realise is creatives solve problems, and the method by which those problems are solved is not as important as the solution itself.