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March 1, 2011

Cape Town's Design Indaba always kicks off with a conference of eclectic speakers from all over the world and wraps up with an expo focusing on Southern African designers. "Forget about the beauty," says New York-based designer Dror Benshetrit, as if every city with two oceans wrapped itself around a mountain. "The people are so welcoming, so open minded, so thirsty to be connected to the grid. I see a lot of potential in South Africa, a lot of creative, eager, ambitious people. I have a really good feeling that I'll be here again soon." Job creation and environmental stewardship have been oft-discussed themes at previous Indabas, but seem to have reached a critical mass this year, which may help its bid for World Design Capital 2014. In the following slideshow, have a look at some of the outstanding works created by the South African designers who exhibited at the 2011 Design Indaba Expo.

Bucket Stool <br /><br />Designed by: <a href="http://www.pedersenlennard.co.za/">Pedersen + Lennard</a><br /><br />In South Africa, objects tend to be overly designy without enough craft, or too crafty without enough design, says Luke Pedersen. His team
Bucket Stool Designed by: Pedersen + LennardIn South Africa, objects tend to be overly designy without enough craft, or too crafty without enough design, says Luke Pedersen. His team has developed several pieces that strive for a balance between industrial and handmade components. In their version of the iconic South African bucket, the metal is powder-coated and fitted with digitally cut plywood legs. The seat works culturally in a similar way that District 9 did: it's immediately accessible to an international audience, but with a special wink-wink-nudge-nudge for South Africans with nostalgia for bucolic days. A favorite with Expo visitors, this piece won the Western Cape Furniture Initiative's award for Emerging Designers.More info: pedersenlennard.co.za
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Community Bench<br /><br />Designed by: <a href="http://www.aramlello.com/">Lello Design</a><br /><br />Initially inspired by a competition for seating with a "shack chic flavour," Aram Lello conceived of a bench system that would work in urban communitie
Community BenchDesigned by: Lello DesignInitially inspired by a competition for seating with a "shack chic flavour," Aram Lello conceived of a bench system that would work in urban communities as well as in a suburban garden or a gallery. "I give a guide, and then you decide how to use it and how to change it," he says.More info: aramlello.com
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Kudu head<br /><br />Designed by: Joanna Orr<br /><br />What do you get for the trophy hunter who already has an elephant foot coffee table, trophy heads aplenty, and skins everywhere? Joanna Orr, a vegetarian, decided to make her friend a kudu head const
Kudu headDesigned by: Joanna OrrWhat do you get for the trophy hunter who already has an elephant foot coffee table, trophy heads aplenty, and skins everywhere? Joanna Orr, a vegetarian, decided to make her friend a kudu head constructed with interlocking pieces of Xanita, a recycled corrugated cardboard. Several species are now available, though some of them are in leather, leaving you to decide which material is most ironic.More info: headondesign.co.za
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Ukhamba Pot<br /><br />Designed by: Mrs. Shongwe<br /><br />Sticking with the customary practices in rural KwaZulu-Natal, Mrs. Shongwe collects her own river clay and uses a pit fire. The traditional shape is rendered contemporary with small knobs for tex
Ukhamba PotDesigned by: Mrs. ShongweSticking with the customary practices in rural KwaZulu-Natal, Mrs. Shongwe collects her own river clay and uses a pit fire. The traditional shape is rendered contemporary with small knobs for texture.More info: khumbulani.co.za
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Bird Range<br /><br />Designed by: <a href="http://imisoceramics.co.za/">Imiso Ceramics</a> and <a href="http://www.ngwenyaglass.co.sz/">Ngwenya Glass</a><br /><br />Sculptor Andile Dyalvane traveled to Swaziland last year to study with master glass worke
Bird RangeDesigned by: Imiso Ceramics and Ngwenya GlassSculptor Andile Dyalvane traveled to Swaziland last year to study with master glass worker Sibusiso Mhlanga. A series of collaborations has ensued--some complementary, such as bird-nest lamps in either clay or glass, and some integrated, such as a glass chandelier with ceramic thorns and pots with a glass base and ceramic top.More info: imisoceramics.co.za and ngwenyaglass.co.sz
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Wallflower Vertical Garden<br /><br />Designed by: <a href="http://www.haldanemartin.co.za/">Haldane Martin</a><br /><br />Soaring food prices and dense urban living make Cape Town the perfect place to start a vertical edible garden. Haldane Martin brings
Wallflower Vertical GardenDesigned by: Haldane MartinSoaring food prices and dense urban living make Cape Town the perfect place to start a vertical edible garden. Haldane Martin brings his organic sensibility outside with this drip irrigation system.More info: haldanemartin.co.za
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Protea Pendant Lamp<br /><br />Designed by: Nikki Drzewicki<br /><br />Nikki Drzewicki trained as an architect back in the day when one sketched by hand rather than computer--she says she still works on paper first--and these wire lamps look much like her
Protea Pendant LampDesigned by: Nikki DrzewickiNikki Drzewicki trained as an architect back in the day when one sketched by hand rather than computer--she says she still works on paper first--and these wire lamps look much like her drawings.More info: indaloproject.co.za

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Bucket Stool <br /><br />Designed by: <a href="http://www.pedersenlennard.co.za/">Pedersen + Lennard</a><br /><br />In South Africa, objects tend to be overly designy without enough craft, or too crafty without enough design, says Luke Pedersen. His team
Bucket Stool Designed by: Pedersen + LennardIn South Africa, objects tend to be overly designy without enough craft, or too crafty without enough design, says Luke Pedersen. His team has developed several pieces that strive for a balance between industrial and handmade components. In their version of the iconic South African bucket, the metal is powder-coated and fitted with digitally cut plywood legs. The seat works culturally in a similar way that District 9 did: it's immediately accessible to an international audience, but with a special wink-wink-nudge-nudge for South Africans with nostalgia for bucolic days. A favorite with Expo visitors, this piece won the Western Cape Furniture Initiative's award for Emerging Designers.More info: pedersenlennard.co.za

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