Design Indaba Reflections

This year the Design Indaba Conference was a completely different experience, as it should be, to any other year. I walked away with three doodled and pondered thoughts.


“Have joy in what you do”

Jen Bilik laughed about not being able to have it all, all of the time. She even offered the suggestion that perhaps happiness and success are not meant to come at the same time but rather as consecutive achievements in life. Laugh and have joy in right now.

On reflection of the difference between the classic statement that you must “love what you do in order to achieve success” the notion of “having joy” in what you do is a lot lighter, a lot less ‘commitive’ and as I reflect further on moments of joy that I have experienced through Wren, I smile.


Alessi spoke about the amount of time each design took and it was not days, weeks or months but rather years.

Maarten Baas spoke about experiencing seasons and enjoying ‘winter’ in thyself. A period of non-creation.

Jody Aufrichtig and Nick Ferguson from Daddy’s World stressed the importance of patience. All great things, and all non-great things take time – have patience.


Of the 40-odd speakers, 15 of them mentioned or spoke directly of their family/ies. I thought that I might be more aware of it becuase I am getting married in three weeks time but after more than eight photographs of smiling families, several mentions including a request for the audience to sing happy birthday to a mom back home in Europe I had to conclude that it was not just me.

It feels as though the home is coming into the work place, that the home and the family unit are becoming more public and one to be proud of and not viewed as a hindrance, obstacle or goal to be achieved. I seem to remember Li Edelkoort speaking about this years back but this year it rang true. This is something to be joyful of, and if not, then sign-up for Jen Bilik’s philosophy that you do not have to have it all at once.

2 thoughts on “Design Indaba Reflections

  1. Avatar
    Steffi says:

    “Have joy in what you do” this are really true words…Your thoughts are very good.

    I wish you a wonderful life when you getting married soon.Many greetings to your mom!

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