This is the first in our series of NDW2018 Highlights, where we share some of the stories from Nairobi Design Week 2018.
This year was the first time we hosted our Delegates Tour, bringing together design visionaries to discover handpicked highlights from the Nairobi Design Week community. The aim was to give them a behind the scenes look at a variety of creative sectors, connecting ideas and people to inspire further discussions and action.
Guests included Juan de Lascurain, inspirational artist from Mexico, Märta Terne, Head of Marketing at Better Shelter, Esther Kute, Product Development Manager at Bata Kenya, and Professor Mugendi M’Rithaa, the former President of the World Design Organisation.
The delegates had an early pick up from Nairobi’s Ibis Styles hotel, known for its dual murals by WiseTwo, rising above the Westlands skyline. They got through the Nairobi traffic on the way to their first stop, Bega Kwa Bega in Baba Dogo, Korogocho.
Bega Kwa Bega is a community centre and creative hub in the heart of Koch. It’s an initiative started in 1992, partnered with Hoperaisers and others in the community that hosts skating events, dance classes and art exhibitions, such as ‘Through the Eyes of a Woman’, which we attended last year. It also hosts a number of artists, who use the community to inspire them and create resourceful pieces.
The delegates also visited a local primary school, located at Dandora landfill, where the toxic fumes were so bad, it was hard to believe children can study there every day. The reaction from our designers was instant and it immediately spurred discussions of raising awareness, local impact and partnerships.
Our next stop on the tour was across the city in Kilimani, where Tosh Juma, the founder of Nairobi Design Institute (NDI) showed the delegates around the space, explaining his thinking behind starting the Institute, the way they work and his plans for the future.
The vision to educate Afrikan designers to a world class level, so they can solve Afrikan problems, resonated with the guests, as it has with so many in the industry. NDI will soon be recruiting their second cohort, bringing with them the experience of a successfully graduated debut year.
In the afternoon the delegates made their way to Ark Africa’s office at The Pavillion, Westlands. They’ve been a key part of the industry in Kenya over the last decade, having worked on projects such as the Java House rebrand and Britam Tower visual identity. Fady gave them an insight into Ark’s process, the way they find the right problems to solve and empathize with the people they serve.
Fady also spoke at the NDW2018 Launch Pechakucha this year, where he had under 7 minutes to introduce a catalogue of work spanning over 15 years. The conversations continued over lunch, with discussions about the professionalization of design, inspiring and impacting those around you, community projects and more.
The delegates headed to the NDW2018 Happy Hour at Brew Bistro, Westlands, where they exchanged ideas with other engineers, artists, designers and creatives.