Danielle Clough on Courage

For March we had photographer-designer-vj-embroiderer, Danielle Clough take us through theme COURAGE. Special thanks to Friends of Design - Academy of Digital Arts for hosting us, Amazee Labs for providing the delicious breakfast, and to our long term partner Sir Fruit for the delicious juicy refreshments!

Conn Bertish on Broken

This month we had Conn share his thoughts on the theme “Broken”. He is a creative director who thrives on new challenges and then created Cancer Dojo, an innovative social enterprise that harnesses creativity and Psychoneuroimmunology to empower people facing disease. He shared his cancer-living journey with us and taught us that “happy people are harder to kill” and that we have the power to connect with our own healing.

You can find out more here and see more images of this event here

Kayli Levitan on Ethics - 26th Feb 2016

Kayli spoke on the importance of ethics in every day live and shared some valuable experience and insights from The Street Store, the world’s first rent-free, premises-free, free “pop-up clothing store” for the poor, found entirely on the street and curated by you. Find out more on http://thestreetstore.org

John Sanei on Language - January 2016

John Sanei chatted about all types of language, from using verbal cues to thank water to pointing at people and remembering that while we point one finger forward, three are pointed back at us.Find out more on www.johnsanei.com

This Friday, July 31st, Creative Mornings Cape Town is honored to host Trevyn McGowan to discuss the concept of Collaboration in Design.  We asked her some questions, via email, to get the juices flowing!  Join us at 8:30 a.m. this Friday to see Trevyn in person!

Julian and Trevyn McGowan, Photo Credit © Jac de Villiers

CMCT: This month’s Creative Morning’s theme is “Collaboration.” After doing some research on your projects, including Source, Southern Guild and Guild Design Fair, it is clear to me that you and Julian thrive on collaboration. Can you share how you and Julian came to be such revolutionary design collaborators in the first place?

TM:  Julian and I love working together. We gel really well and complement one another in the way that we think and react. It’s a real collaborative enterprise. We don’t do anything in our businesses without discussing it and brainstorming together. That we’re both really passionate about local design helps immensely, as well as the fact that we’re drawn to the same pieces. Julian comes from a theatre design background, and I owned an interior design firm in London before we moved back to South Africa, so our interests have always been in this creative field.

CMCT:  When you created the Southern Guild in 2008, what were some of the challenges you faced?

TM:  Design was still really young in this country, so creating an awareness and interest around it was our biggest challenge, as was nurturing and mentoring the designers to go further than they had been before, to believe in their vision and to take the quality and originality as far as they could.

CMCT:  Who are some of the South Africans who inspire your work? Why?

TM:  Gregor Jenkin was our original designer and formed the beginning of Southern Guild, our collectible design gallery. Our first international exhibition was a solo show of his work at Design Miami. We’re also incredibly inspired by Porky Hefer (who did an incredible collaborative piece with Peter Mabeo from Botswana for GUILD), Andile Dyalvane, who is making great waves around the world, with a major international exhibition scheduled for next year, and Dokter and Misses, another wonderful example of how husband and wife can collaborate well in a design environment.

CMCT:   I’m sure you have many pieces of art and furniture throughout your home. What are some of your favorites and why?

TM:  We have a Gregor Jenkin table in our dining room that moved with us to Cape Town when we relocated from Wilderness last year. Our family spends some of its most memorable moments around this incredible piece of furniture. We’re also privileged to own three pieces by Babacar Niang, the uber-talented wooden furniture designer from Senegal who passed away this year. His fellow Design Network Africa designer (a programme we run across East and West Africa), Hamed Ouattara, has a Watt Watt cabinet, made from recycled oil barrels, that graces our entrance hall. Our Serge Alain Nitegeka artwork, and Conrad Botes collection also hold special places in our home.

CMCT:  We always love to ask our CM speakers what keeps their creative juices flowing. What keeps you inspired way down here at the tip of the continent?

TM:  Collaboration! People from around the world are looking to Africa for inspiration at present, and are drawn to collaborate with our designers. This is incredibly stimulating for us. We saw it at GUILD this year - at the international design fair we hosted in Cape Town. We had designers from Lebanon creating work in conjunction with Imiso Ceramics and Bronze Age; and The Haas Brothers from LA realising their Afreaks series with Monkeybiz and Bronze Age; then the collaboration with Porky and Peter Mabeo mentioned above; as well as Frederik Molenschot from The Netherlands collaborating on a massive weaving installation with Swaziland’s Gone Rural. Helping to coordinate these collaborations is extremely rewarding for us.

Robyn Farah: An Interview with Cape Town’s Robot Whiz Kid

Robyn Farah

Creative Mornings Cape Town is wicked psyched to be hosting Robyn Farah for this month’s talk about our theme “Robot.”  We caught up with Robyn over email and asked her a few questions about her passions and what she thinks of robotics.

CMCT: This month’s theme is “Robot.”  What the heck does that mean for you? We want to know why you care about robots.

RF: For me, the theme “Robot” covers everything from Homer’s concept of man aiding machines to today’s hobbyist, who automates his house and recreates DaftPunk’s outfits.

CMCT: A lot of people think of old 1950s movies when they think of robots.  I suspect yesterday’s tomorrows only nicked the tip of the iceberg on what robots are doing nowadays.  What are some of the most unique/wacky/bizarre robots you’ve seen in your work?

RF: It is difficult to say because there is so much awesome stuff being released all the time. It is actually hard to say what is the most mind blowing, but these cool projects pop to mind immediately:

Never Wet
General Wearable tech which you can build at home

CMCT: You have your hand in a lot of different projects that have a lot of missions, including marketing for existing tech companies and helping start up new tech ventures. Tell us more about your work with the Maker Movement.

RF: So I, personally, am involved with 3 main projects (KAT-O, Curiosity Campus and Modern Alchemist) which all focus on tech and innovation in some way or another. While KAT-O works alongside businesses and individuals to promote and/or design and create technologies which revolutionize the way we live, my work with the Maker Movement is community and hobbyist based. I started Arduino Cape Town in 2012, an electronics community which has over 1,000 members. At the end of 2014, I expanded into the Modern Alchemists. The Modern Alchemists are the Cape Town collaborative skills collective, the community hub that is a community in and of itself. We consist of hobbyists, coders, engineers, designers, artists, musicians and general makers. We are the amalgamation of backgrounds and skills found in all walks of life.

CMCT:  As we are “Creative” mornings, what do you do to recharge your creative batteries?  What keeps you motivated?

RF: Listening to music, going on adventures, listening to podcasts, spending time with friends and family, and baking.

CMCT: Where is your favorite and only-in-South-Africa robot (i.e. traffic light)? Why?

RF: I shall quote my lead engineer “All robots are equal”. I cannot discriminate; it would not be fair.

Be sure to join us on Friday, May 29th at 8:30 a.m. for breakfast and fun conversation with Robyn, in person, at Friends of Design at 186 Bree Street, CBD!  Tickets will be available on Monday, May 25th.

Every month we have a global theme - January was Ugly

What better way to ring in the New Year with the ‘most famous white woman in South Africa’, Pieter-Dirk Uys aka Evita Bezuidenhout. 

He was born in Cape Town in 1945 and has been in the theatre since the mid 1960s. Closely associated with both the Space Theatre in Cape Town and Johannesburg’s Market Theatre during the 1970s and 1980s, he has written and performed 20 plays and over 30 revues and one-man shows throughout South Africa and abroad. Impressive!

Managing his own cabaret venue, formerly an old railway station, called EVITA SE PERRON, Pieter-Dirk still found the time to share his thoughts on this months theme: UGLY

Uys now lives in Darling, where he hosts cabaret shows at his creative hub (Evita Se Perron), famously known for its satirical garden, Boerassic Park, and the domain of Evita Bezuidenhout. The unique museum/nauseum of apartheid artefacts there, reflecting the madness of the past, is arguably the only satirical exhibition of South Africa’s recent past.

An Interview with Life-long Learner & Dec Speaker, Daine Mawer

No doubt, we are all preparing to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another. CMCT takes some time, this December 12, to reflect on what we have learned and what we yearn to learn as 2014 winds to a close. Our theme is “Education,” and we will be honored to hear from teacher and life-long learner, Daine Mawer. Below is a sneak peak of what we will hear from Daine.


CMCT: This month’s theme is education. As a life-long, self-taught learner, what advice to you have for creative adults who feel stuck in trying to educate themselves further?

DM: What a great question! The most valuable piece of advice I can provide is: Be as consistent as possible. Even if you’re doing 20 minutes of self-study each day, it will build up over a long period of time. Commitment is the hardest thing to learn, no matter what the subject of study.

CMCT: What has been one of your favorite moments as an educator? Why? DM: There’s nothing more rewarding than moulding future talent. To see young people grow in confidence, and go from zero to hero due to the knowledge that you’re imparting, is always a special thing to see.

CMCT: How do you keep your creative juices flowing?

DM: Gosh, I’m quite a work-a-holic, so I don’t tend to take too many holidays or breaks. I find a good getaway to the sea for some surfing works miracles. If I can’t do that, then running a good few kilometers clears my brain of all the stress and clutter and lets me focus on the task at hand.

CMCT: What are a few of your favorite things to do around Cape Town, just for fun?

DM: I’m a bit of a coffee-snob so I really enjoy finding new places around Cape Town that feel creative, with good coffee and a great place to sit with my notepad . Other than that, a good craft-beer at Yours Truly is always fun, and a run up Lions Head, of course.

CMCT: Can you give us a sneak peek of what you’ll be talking about at Creative Mornings Cape Town on December 12?

DM: Friday’s talk will stretch a bit broader than just education in the creative industry - I’ll speak about some of my experiences and how I’ve found just the idea and attitude of “learning” to be one of the most powerful skill sets any creative or individual could have.

Come join us this Friday, December 12, at 8 a.m. at Friends of Design - Academy of Digital Arts, for coffee, breakfast and inspiring conversations.

Introducing our November speaker - Danilo Acquisto.

Creative Mornings Cape Town sat down with Danilo to find out a little more about what inspires him. To learn even more about Danilo and the work he is doing, join us at the Friends of Design - Academy of Digital Arts for Creative Mornings Cape Town: Chance , November 21, 2014 at 8.30 a.m.


Creative Mornings Cape Town: This month’s theme is “Chance.” What does chance mean to you?

Danilo: Gosh! Chance means far too many things to me in far too many circumstances… When I approach a girl and she says “Fat Chance!”, when my mother says “leave it up to chance”, or when a friend says “…Any chance you can pick me up?” But,ultimately, chance led me to where I am today. I call it God, you might call it chance, but a completely random set of circumstances and minute decisions led me to where I am and there is no chance I could have planned this route…. Or was there?!

CMCT: If you had to choose between tv and radio, and could only do one for the rest of your life, which would it be and why?

Danilo: That’s like a parent having to choose a favourite child!! I think if it were a life and death circumstance, I would have to choose TV, because in the digital age, we are finding it increasingly more difficult to capture people’s attention and get them to truly understand our meaning. With television I am able to use my body, my voice, pauses and tones to keep you engaged with what I am saying. It leaves far more room for personal impact than radio. I do, however, make this decision assuming I still have a face for TV in 70 years!!

CMCT: What do you do purely for fun?

Danilo: To be honest, being on TV and radio is “pure fun” - I get paid to entertain! Other than the things that I do for fun that pay me, I love spending time outdoors or adventuring. Exploring new restaurants, new activities, (when I can afford to) traveling overseas…. All-in-all, broadening my horizons and opening my mind to what is out there. [I love to] experience someone else’s dream, someone else’s reality. As much as I hate beer, having a sit down with mates over a beer is indescribably good.

CMCT: How do you keep your creative juices flowing?

Danilo: To be honest, I don’t know how I do it (or even IF I do it at all). I’m too ADD to apply my mind to one task over a long period. I have to change things up as soon as possible to avoid boredom. I also allow myself to be inspired by other people, as opposed to letting their success intimidate me. The creativity comes in the challenges and not in doing what you know how to do. So, I guess I keep my creative juices flowing by challenging myself and learning as much as I can.

CMCT: What is your favorite thing about Cape Town?

Danilo: Well besides the simple fact that I can breathe the air (unlike JHB where I grew up), Cape Town has this fantastic energy for exploration and innovation. People here are not afraid to be aggressively themselves and to blaze trails that never existed before. I always describe it as this “hum” - it’s this machine that moves ever so slowly, but, boy, does it move! I also love, as a creative, the fact that I can get in my car and on my way home from work witness the most spectacular selfie moments (and views!). For creatives, being able to step outside and view nature is something awesome. I am never bored of driving along towards Camps Bay during sunset over the ocean - it’s life giving!

#creativemornings #chance

Freedom of Art

The month of May brought us the theme “Freedom”. We invited an art dealer & gallery owner by the name Charl Bezuidenhout to share his take on the freedom of the arts.

With spaces in the bustling hub of Cape Town, South Africa & Munich, Germany WORLDART, after 14 years in the visual art business, he has managed to showcase some, daringly outspoken artists.

Charl spent five years traveling and working in Europe and the USA. Back in South Africa he became active in the music industry and the visual arts where he pursued his interests in the arts and marketing. He has since established himself as a respected and dedicated participant in the arts environment.

He has brought unknown artists like Khaya Witbooi from anonymity to well sought after within 18 months. Khaya who’s paintings often have evoked feelings of danger & over coming it. Ayanda Mabulu, who’s painting has been forcibly removed from namely The Johannesburg Art Fair 2013, Dion Cupido, who’s painting was bought off the wall by Beyonce, are but a few of his star listing on his walls.

Charl Bezuidenhout speaks about Freedom, as a facilitator of the arts. His own journey & where it’s taken him, as he houses some prolific & contemporary art in a country very new in it’s own freedom.

Check out the event photos here.