Browsing articles in "Culture"
Sep 14, 2011
Zelda Harrison

What makes a World Design Capital? Part 2

What does it look when Design is part of your City’s Urban Fabric?
Capitalising on craft and design in Cape Town, South Africa.

Editor’s note: since this article was written, the City of Cape Town has won designation as World Capital Design® (WDC) 2014 by The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid). This was announced on the closing day of the International Design Alliance Congress in Taipei.

Cape Town is the fourth city to hold this biennial appointment after Helsinki, Finland, WDC 2013. XCD also covered the activities of a previous WDC nominee, Turino. We will be following Cape Town’s progress in making Design Matter to Cape Townians and the CT Creative Community.

In this sequel to our series, XCD covers the Cape Town’s Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI). CCDI partnerned with a number of South African organisations for the 2014 WDC designation and is immensely proud that Cape Town was shortlisted along with Dublin and Bilbao.

CCDI talks to XCD about their efforts galvanising Cape Town creatives and the support they received in creating The Fringe, a hub zoned specifically for the creative community.

XCD asks: is promoting a creative class a viable tool for local economic development?

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Aug 25, 2011
Zelda Harrison

XCD, un entretien… Francis Kéré: The Power of Vernacular Architecture

Architect Diébédo Francis Kéré shares the secret of his success with stakeholders unfamiliar with architectural jargon and other notions of  maintaining a professional practice in Africa.

“Education”, “development” and “upliftment” best describe the principles that drive Francis Kéré’s work. Born in Burkina Faso and educated in Germany, Kéré considers it his duty to use his skills to benefit his home continent. His work promotes sustainable architecture in Africa through adapting technology from the industrialised world, considering climatic conditions and using local materials. Kéré’s portfolio includes the Women’s Community Centre in Gando, Burkina Faso; the Museum and Centre for Communication in Mopti, Mali; school projects in Burkina Faso; the National Park in Bamako, Mali; and an Opera Village in Laongo, Burkina Faso.
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Aug 22, 2011
Zelda Harrison

Sangam: Mixing & Jamming in Gujarat

Sangam, which means confluence in Sanskrit, was launched by the the Australia-India Design Platform at the NID (National Institute of Design) campus in Ahmedabad. The Platform is a catalyst for a creative partnership between the two countries. New Delhi-based design firm Ishan Khosla Design was charged with the identity and branding of this initiative.

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Jul 17, 2011
Zelda Harrison

Communicating Visually

Founded in a coffee shop in Covent Garden in 1754, the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), seeks to develop and promote new ways of thinking about human fulfillment and social progress. Small wonder they would enlist Visual Thinkers to communicate their thoughts and aspirations in an increasingly complex world.

Visit this link for a sample presentation and join the conversation

Or check out more discussions in the RSA Animate Series

May 9, 2011
Zelda Harrison

Sebastian Guerrini: The Brands of Life

Our esteemed Argentinian Branding Guru shares some thoughts from his studio in Barcelona. Enjoy his lovely illustrations of ink and watercolour.

A psychological and philosophical approach of the relationship between stories, identities, images and brands, looking for the understanding its mechanism, since this affects the work of identity designers.

If we try to answer what or who we are, we would possibly tell a story about us. This would be a story that has a title, our name and may be our image. This story will probably tell everyone about our origin and develop, but leaving an open ending because we are still alive. At the beginning, the story will place our origin, our birth, in a scenario and context: the social group and place that gave us life. This origin also involves to the people who bred us.

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May 9, 2011
Zelda Harrison

FridaLarios: out of History and onto our Clothes

Fashion and Design Entrepreneur Frida Larios shares how her Mayan-inspired designs are taking new shapes and forms

New Maya Language


The Maya was a civilisation of indigenous natives that populated Central America from around 1500 BC. They are credited with inventing the concept of the number zero and their calendar measurements are the most accurate in the history of the civilised world. They created and used one of the most beautiful and intelligent logographic languages, still quite unknown to western hemispheres. The Maya scribes had a very privileged position in the socio-political system and were multi-talented – they were artists, sculptors, and calligraphers, and were also believed to be astronomers, mathematicians, historians and royal book keepers.

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Apr 25, 2011
Zelda Harrison

Lightspeed and the Human Hand, No. 5

Jonathan Arena explores art, craft and design in Japan: Entry # 5


Plato once observed that “although craftsmen are all poets … they are not called poets, they have other names.” This centuries old statement is very telling about the design industry today – a semantic notion that allows people to classify and assume, which skips process.
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Apr 21, 2011
Zelda Harrison

XCD interviews… Christopher Scott

Christopher talks about being Irish, celebrating cross-culture and poster design

XCD: Please introduce yourself, ie., Where were you born and what neighbourhood did you grow up in? Could you tell us more about your family and how you became a designer? Who are your favourite clients/collaborators?

My name is Christopher Scott a graphic designer from Northern Ireland. I have had my posters exhibited all over the world including the Louvre France, Italy, Peru, Spain, USA, Bolivia, Korea and many more. I was brought up in a village called Donaghmore of which I do not remember much about. The three things which are clear in my mind: the house number was 18, all the kids played football after dinner until we could not see the ball because of the darkness and finally I drew pictures of my favourite characters ‘Super Mario’ and ‘Teenage mutant hero turtles’. I would then sign them, go around the houses in my neighbourhood and sell them for 50p so I could buy sweets in the local shop.

As long as I can remember I was always drawing and painting. Which continued until the year 2003; I was 17 years old. I became very bored with the drawing and painting process because I felt that I was not creating anything unique. I started to search for other methods to use my creativity and I randomly turned on the computer one day in school and opened up the program Microsoft Paint. I just started experimenting and within 3 hours everyone had surrounded me and saying the work is amazing.

I have collaborated with many graphic designers all over the world including Yossi Lemel, Reza Abedini, Woody Pirtle, Hervé Matine, Utpal Pande and many more. I also really enjoy working with Ryan O’Neill and Mark Douglas who are local photographers in Northern Ireland.

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Apr 21, 2011
Zelda Harrison

Lightspeed and the Human Hand, No. 4

Jonathan Arena explores art, craft and design in Japan: Entry # 4


How are the terms art and craft perceived today, when the lines between traditional silos are becoming more and more indistinguishable ? These perpetual questions can perhaps be understood if we discover the essence of autonomy in the human psyche – the drive from within that compels us to work creatively, by ourselves. Continue reading »

Mar 21, 2011
Zelda Harrison

Cape Town’s Creative Class

There’s nothing more inspiring–and encouraging!– than municipal support for creatives. Cape Town’s world class creative scene is a testimonial to the efforts of municipal leaders united with the arts/crafts communities. Read on for the latest event in the Western Cape of South Africa.

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