Browsing articles in "Professional Practice"
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 29, 2011
Zelda Harrison

XCD Interviews… Knock, Knock!



Who’s there? Jen Bilik, that’s who!

Design Entrepreneur and Knock, Knock creator Jen Bilik sat with XCD to share her lessons learned on being her own client and “product”, dealing with global competition… and it’s no joke…
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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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Aug 19, 2011
Zelda Harrison

XCD Interviews… Karin Fong, Imaginary Forces

Karin shares details with XCD about influences and inspiration, and how developing a unique perspective on story-telling has informed her work.

A founding member of production and design company Imaginary Forces, Karin Fong directs and designs for film, television and environments. She has designed title sequences for numerous feature films, including: Ray, The Truman Show, Charlotte’s Web and Terminator Salvation. Fong directs TV commercials, counting Target, Chevrolet, Herman Miller and Honda among her clients. She recently created a series of cinematics for the Sony PlayStation game, God of War III.

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Aug 8, 2011
Zelda Harrison

XCD Interviews… Michael Wolff Part 1: Strategy made Visible

Earlier in the year, XCD caught up with Designer Michael Wolff, the founding partner of Wolff Olins along with advertising executive Wally Olins.

Wolff Olins is easily recognised as a preeminent authority on Branding amd Corporate Identity, which Wally Olins defined as “strategy made visible”. Wolff Olins published their design philosophy in The Corporate Personality (1978) and Corporate Identity (1989). In its decades long history, Wolff Olins has had offices in Hamburg, Paris, San Francisco, Madrid, Lisbon, as well as New York and Dubai.

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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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Feb 7, 2011
Zelda Harrison

Lightspeed and the Human Hand, No. 2

Jonathan Arena explores art, craft and design in Japan: Entry # 2

The United States experiences Japan, in large part, through its design culture — from ancient ceramic traditions and minimalist architecture, to today’s high-tech gaming, fashion, and technologically driven lifestyle. Design is a traditional and necessary function of everyday life – fully ingrained into Japanese lifestyle. This is what makes design in Japan so dynamic, and allows creativity to permeate the society in a way that is unique to the Archipelago.
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Jan 30, 2011
Zelda Harrison

Lightspeed and the Human Hand

Jonathan Arena explores art, craft and design in Japan: Entry # 1

Recently, I was given the opportunity to visit and work in Japan for a month. While I
was there, I began compiling photographs and writing to help satiate my interest in the
relationship between art, craft and design. These journal entries reflect that intent.
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