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February 26, 2014
Thomas Heatherwick stole the show at the first day of the Design Indaba conference in Cape Town, South Africa, on Wednesday when he unveiled his plans to recast a century-old silo on the city’s waterfront as a showcase for modern African art (look for coverage, and images, soon at dwell.com). But a group of recent design school graduates from across the globe presented a generational counterpoint to Heatherwick and other more established speakers by presenting innovations of their own. Click through the slideshow to view their work.

Teshia Treuhaft is a Michigan-born MFA candidate in the Department of Future Design at the Rhode Island School of Design. She created the Curve Chair in 2009 using a single mold and two pieces of Luan bending plywood with a beech veneer. Photo by Matthias Heiderich, courtesy of Teshia Treuhaft.

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Teshia Treuhaft, Design Indaba

Teshia Treuhaft addresses the Design Indaba conference in Cape Town on February 26. Photo courtesy of Design Indaba.

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The Loop bike rack by the Federal.

The Loop bike rack is a concept and prototype developed by the Federal, an Ottawa-based design consultancy founded by the industrial designers Ian Murchison and Rohan Thakar. (The name is a nod to their home base in Canada’s capital city.) By replacing the standard metal with flexible but durable rubber fortified with a steel chain, the Loop adds a dash of colorful whimsy to the streetscape. Image courtesy of the Federal.

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Ian Murchison at Design Indaba

Ian Murchison, co-founder of the Federal, onstage at Design Indaba. Image courtesy of Design Indaba.

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Phonebloks

Dave Hakkens, a Dutch designer and a recent graduate of the Design Academy Eindhoven, was inspired to design the Phonebloks mobile phone prototype in 2012 when his cellphone camera broke. When he took it to get it fixed, he found that only one component—the lens motor—was damaged, and yet no one would replace it; the only advice he received was to buy a new phone. A phone composed of parts that could easily be switched out and replaced, he reasoned, would add to the longevity of the device and curb the flow of so-called e-waste to landfills. What remains to be seen is whether carriers and phone manufacturers, which count on planned obsolescence, will get behind the idea. Image courtesy of Phonebloks.

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Dave Hakkens at Design Indaba

Dave Hakkens onstge at Design Indaba. Image courtesy of Design Indaba.

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teshia chair

Teshia Treuhaft is a Michigan-born MFA candidate in the Department of Future Design at the Rhode Island School of Design. She created the Curve Chair in 2009 using a single mold and two pieces of Luan bending plywood with a beech veneer. Photo by Matthias Heiderich, courtesy of Teshia Treuhaft.

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