Design Indaba starts tomorrow with another sensational line-up of creative artists and designers who will talk about innovative ways we can design ourselves out of our self-made problems and into a brighter and kinder future. TWYG combed through the list of speakers looking for those talking directly to sustainability. These are the four speakers we will follow closely. Notice anything peculiar?

Aleksandra Gosiewski

Aleksandra, pictured above, is a graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and the founder of AlgiKnit, a research group looking to create materials for the fashion industry, ones that respect the environment as well as the user. She told Ethical Ode that “Our main goal is to eliminate toxins, gas emissions and chemical byproducts which are damaging for the environment”.

Lonny von Ryswyk

Lonny Lonny who works with Nadine Sterk at Atlier NL speaks to the “graceful subtleties of the natural world by reshaping raw earth elements into tangible, everyday objects”. Since 2010, they have been collecting sand from dunes, beaches, rivers, mountains and quarries to melt into glass. This project, 'To See a World in a Grain of Sand', engages the public in dialogue around sand as a dwindling resource. According to British geologist Michael Welland, author of Sand: A Journey Through Science and the Imagination, "Lonny and Nadine’s works are powerful evocations of our often forgotten but intimate relationships with the primary materials of our planet and our lives. The deceptively simple act of transforming sand into glass reveals stories of the grains themselves and their dazzling diversity, stories of deep time and endless change."

Lonny, who works with Nadine Sterk at Atlier NL, speaks to the “graceful subtleties of the natural world by reshaping raw earth elements into tangible, everyday objects”. Since 2010, they have been collecting sand from dunes, beaches, rivers, mountains and quarries to melt into glass. This project, ‘To See a World in a Grain of Sand’, engages the public in dialogue around sand as a dwindling resource. According to British geologist Michael Welland, author of Sand: A Journey Through Science and the Imagination, “Lonny and Nadine’s works are powerful evocations of our often forgotten but intimate relationships with the primary materials of our planet and our lives. The deceptively simple act of transforming sand into glass reveals stories of the grains themselves and their dazzling diversity, stories of deep time and endless change.”

Neri Oxman

You can’t be anything but blown away by Neri, and slightly flummoxed by what she does, when you watch her TED talk. In essence, she uses design principles inspired by nature to invent new technologies. She has made materials that will capture carbon and biodegrade. You may have heard about her collaboration with Dutch designer Iris van Herpen to produce 3D-printed outfits for a fashion collection. “If you put them in the sea, they will nourish marine life; place them in the soil, and they will help grow a tree,” she says of her inventions.

Shaakira Jassat

Shaakira Jassat Shaakira, who is a design student in Eindhoven, is a South African-born with a degree from the University of Pretoria. Her presentation, very appropriate for current times, is about her project thirTEA for ONE about water, a scarce resource in Cape Town. It is an installation showing the amount of water needed for a cup of tea. According to the Design Indaba’s website, “for every 150ml of tea, 30l of water is required in the entire chain process”.

Shaakira, who is a design student in Eindhoven, is South African-born with a degree from the University of Pretoria. Her presentation, very appropriate for current times, is about her project thirTEA for ONE about water, a scarce resource in Cape Town. It is an installation showing the amount of water needed for a cup of tea. According to the Design Indaba’s website, “for every 150ml of tea, 30l of water is required in the entire chain process”.

(The fabulous peculiarity: they are all women!)

Design Indaba is on from 21 – 23 February. For more information, visit www.designindaba.com

Photo credits: Supplied