Louise Marsland’s (@Louise_Marsland) pick of new product, packaging and design launches.

It’s all about Design Indaba this week and what we learnt about beautiful things, product design and innovation.

The Most Beautiful Object in SA

The Most Beautiful Object in South Africa 2013, showcased every year at Design Indaba is a subjective competition, with objects nominated by a select group of design editors and pop culture commentators and voted for by the public. This year the entrants included a surfboard, two dresses, an umbrella, the City Press newspaper, a bicycle, a pedestrian visibility vest and necklaces.

The winning design was Gavin Rajah’s Pebble Dress, with a unique Ostrich leather foiling technique which has reportedly caught the attention of international fashion houses, including Chanel.

Most Beautiful Object in South Africa 2013

What also caught our eye, were the desk and the breadboard for their innovative designs. The Mechanical Bureau by Joe Paine was inspired by farm machinery. The Slice Cutting Board is by Jonathan Fundudis of Snapp Design has also been nominated by the German Design Council for an award.

The Slice cutting board

Mechanical Bureau

Misbehave. Often

Paula Scher Maps 2

Pentagraph partner and graphic designer, Paula Scher gave one of the most engaging and visually appealing presentations at Design Indaba this year. Scher has developed identity and branding systems, promotional materials, environmental graphics, packaging and publications for a wide range of clients.Her work has been exhibited all over the world. She is famous for her maps. This is the advice she had for designers: “What creativity really is, is this small, defiant act of misbehaving. It comes from generally being in situations where you are uncomfortable with something, looking for something, trapped, confined, or just carrying on.” She urges designers to misbehave in design and do things out of love and for fun and because you want to do something good.

Form follows meaning


Product designer, Oscar Diaz was a delight with his innovative designs, including an ink-based calendar which makes use of the timed pace of the ink spreading on paper to indicate time. His work is not defined by a style, but rather from questioning objects, while considering their context and embedded cultural associations. He understands that kids usually prefer the packaging to their toys, when they are young, so he created a range of eco kids toys, his Tube Toys, assembled from the packaging, such as trains, tractors and fire trucks. Genius.

Ink Calender 2

Most innovative at Design Indaba

Stratflex furniture

Wintec Innovation won the 2013 Design Indaba Expo Innovation Award and R50 000 prize for their Stratflex furniture. The flat pack range is made from plywood and combined with Salinga timber frames with natural finish. Said expo manager, Kelly Berman: “It’s truly innovative, affordable, uses mostly local raw material and creates employment.”

For more on Design Indaba 2013 at

Our special Design Indaba 2013 section

On Design Indaba 2013 from

Louise Marsland– Shelf Life by Louise Marsland is a weekly column on MarkLives. Tweet new product, packaging and design launches to @louise_marsland or email her at louise.marsland at

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Louise Marsland has written about the FMCG, media, marketing and advertising industry for 18 years of her 25 year media career as a former Editor of magazines AdVantageMarketing Mix and Progressive Retailing; as well as websites and FMCGFilesShe currently edits the weekly Wednesday Media & Marketing Page for The New Age newspaper; and is the co-founder and Publishing Editor of SA’s newly launched industry trendwatching portal, TREND. at, in partnership with

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