daniel in black and white on blue background with 'chats about design' heading
Podcast

“Designers need to be strategic” Daniel Ampofo of dEX Ghana on the podcast

PODCAST SUMMARY

Daniel Ampofo and Adrian Jankowiak discuss local & global design mentors like Chris Do, Ghanaian creative talent, African influence on Beyonce albums, the future of designers in society and much more. Daniel is the founder of dEX Artmosphere and dEX Ghana, a design education platform and conference, creative director at 93Studios, VP at Hacklab Foundation and a design writer and observer.

LISTEN

WATCH


TOPIC TIMESTAMPS

00:41 Visuals of Daniel’s work

11:00 Mentors like Nana K.Duah & Sharon Mills [visuals from 11:45]

20:00 DexGhana vision

21:45 Ghanaian talent: Lime & Honey, Ora Viz & Joshua Cleopas. [visuals]

27:00 Past project Perbicubs [visuals]

30:45 Long term ambitions, designers earning a seat at the table & those he looks up to.

50:45 Ghanaians bringing design to everyone: Simon Charwey (African Design Matters), Constance (Design Technology Institute)

59:20 Waw.Life notebooks.

1:01:15 Future plans & dEX conference info

1:07:00 dEX Artmosphere speakers including Sunita Kragbe (Basecamp Initiative), Osmond Tshuma (Wakwatshuma), Tunji Ogunoye (DearDesignr), Yaa Boateng, Yaw Onyina, Fawaz Ibrahim & Wanjira Kinyua. [visuals]

1:15:18 Outro 🎶: ‘Top of the Morning’ by Clef and Bandana.


LINKS

Check out the full dEX Artmosphere 4.0 conference here.

dEX Ghana homepage

Daniel’s personal website


FULL PODCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Daniel Ampofo: [00:00:00] Africa is where the best creatives live. So we need to keep sharing our work with the world puts it’s out there, share it with the world. 

[00:00:11] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:00:11] Welcome to Africa design the show that takes African design to the world brought to you by no Ruby design week. I’m Adrian Jankowiak. On this episode with Daniel . We discussed design mentors, 

[00:00:23] Daniel Ampofo: [00:00:23] Nana K. Duah, he’s an identity designer here in Ghana.

[00:00:27] At the time, he was all of the people who really shared and lots of his work could look at it and then love the work that he had done. It’s 

[00:00:34] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:00:34] Canadian, creative talent, Beyonce music, videos, the future of designers in society, and much more. He’s the founder of Dex Ghana and Dex artmosphere. A design community and education conference.

[00:00:46] He’s the creative director of 93 studios, a VP at hack club foundation, and the design writer, his own website. I am Daniel . Well, he covers topics such as working for exposures and how to start in design at the end of the show. You’ll get to enjoy top of the morning, a song by clef and bandana, head to Nairobi design week.com for more episodes, the show and follow us for daily community update.

[00:01:15] Thank you for joining us. First of all, Daniel. It’s been, it’s been a few weeks since we last chatted, I think, and decided to have this, have this podcast episode. So it’s, it’s been nice going over your content and listening to all the episodes and so 

[00:01:33] Daniel Ampofo: [00:01:33] on. 

[00:01:34] Thank you. 

[00:01:35] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:01:35] You’re welcome. And just the change of circumstances, you know, because of the Corona virus…

[00:01:41] so how has, how has that affected you and your community? 

[00:01:46]Daniel Ampofo: [00:01:46] so I mean, Corona virus came with its positives and its negatives. I mean, even doing the negatives out with a positive, because I mean, for a lot of us, it kind of brought a stop to some of the things that we went. Doing, especially when you take a look at, even that you events, we want it to organize the negative.

[00:02:05] What was that? We were not able to have a physical event, but the positive was that we are able to have people outside of Ghana. Join the event this year. You can have moderators and speakers from outside the country. Join the, the, the, in addition, the CSU, I think that COVID has. And it’s had a lot of negatives in terms of business.

[00:02:29] I can see that for a number of creatives that I know it has been a really good season for them considering that. And lots of businesses have been trying to take the, their business online. And so the need for mobile creatives and designs and photos and videos, and all of that house have become, very instrumental in, in this, in this season.

[00:02:51] So I know for a number of creatives. Yeah. They have been, even though things haven’t been good, we have been super excited because they are getting a lot of projects and also the opportunity for a lot of them to be working from homes and from their homes. And I know lots of creatives are, masters of this working from home is a thing that lots of creative people do.

[00:03:10] So I think that they’ve been doing is it’s as hard its negatives, there have been some positive sides to this.

[00:03:21] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:03:21] Yeah, absolutely. It’s good that you’re saying that as well. I was on a call just this week with creatives designers all across the world. And someone from Russia said that the feedback from the community was that working from home is proving to be something, something positive for them. 

[00:03:42] Daniel Ampofo: [00:03:42] Yeah. 

[00:03:43] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:03:43] Yeah. So, so for many people, it seems that there hasn’t been much change or maybe just has been more emphasis on remote working.

[00:03:53] You just talked about your, your festival and your conference this year. So I’d love to know more. Tell us about Tex Ghana and, and what it is, why it exists. And what you do. 

[00:04:06] Daniel Ampofo: [00:04:06] Okay. So, I’ll take you back to a few years ago and kind of stair the journey of how Dex came about and what we are trying to achieve.

[00:04:16] So for me, in particular, I mean, I graduated the investee. B a C in physics. that’s, that’s a surprising part. I actually graduated as a physics student and as a physics student bred from year one. And even before entering the busy, I had been SU so excited about how things look and how, things appeared and the beauty of things.

[00:04:41] And so that was what led me into design. I think I, I share, I share a story like that on my personal blog that I set up and why I even decided to start this in time process. And with this journey as a physics student was trying to find my space with being, design. I mean, I came across a community called that’s mine that I’m in for ad spend that I was missing.

[00:05:05] It’s everywhere I go. An ad kind of open me two other designers, some really, really good guys who. I kind of contributed to how, how well I go to when it comes to design and, I mean, you share your work with it, seeing the, the, the critical, and then you go back, work on it, you share the critical, go back and work on it.

[00:05:27] And then the stuff, the shop, shaping how good I got when it, when it comes to design. And so along this journey, I mean, lots of critters. We like to work from out of coffee shops and all of that. So I, I started working out of a coffee shop when I was done with uni and meeting clients, doing, doing some design work here and there.

[00:05:48] And then sometimes at a coffee shop, I’ll have a few friends who would. Who’d pass by. And then when they do pass by, we sit down and we have a very long conversation about designing Ghana, talking about creative work, talking about each other’s work and all of that, and do our very exciting and insightful times for all of us.

[00:06:06] I mean, sometimes we could sit there for three, four, five hours just talking design and all of that. And so at a point, we realized that these are conversations that were. Fruitful. I mean, every one of us left these small gatherings, very energized and very charged to keep doing more. And, that is where we decided that, okay, no, we’re going to start something that is good.

[00:06:27] Bring us designers together for some people who are self-taught like myself and I have friends who were designers, who were studying design as their degree program. And I picked a lots of nuggets from them. So. You thought that’s okay. It would be a good idea to have, I mean, a physical gathering of all of the guys, we had an arts minded and a few of our other design friends.

[00:06:48] I mean, for all of us to kind of come together and then just extend these conversations that we were having. And so, I mean, I sat down with a few friends. I said, Hey Charlie, let’s let’s, let’s get this. Let’s get this on the, on the, on the road and then starts this small meetup and then start the discussions and all of that.

[00:07:07] So we sat down, we developed all of the creatives then because we are designers that came to us. We sat down people up their full identity for Dex Ghana, and we call it Dex Ghana, because all we wanted to do was to create experiences for designers. And so we call it Dex which stood for ‘design experience’.

[00:07:26] And, without, when we created the artworks, we set up the social media pages and we said, okay, we’re going to share this amongst a few of our friends. And I just have about 30 people in a very small coffee shop and then create these conversations and this and that. And then, I mean, just chatting. Now, when we put out the artworks, this was where we were hit with a surprise and realize that we set up events on a lot of people that are said here, I want to attend.

[00:07:49] I want to attend them. And so we decided, okay, then let us set it up on eventbrite. Right. And then have people registered to attend and would eventbrite, to put a cap on the number of people. So we set a couple of  and in 24 hours. So the 30 slots were full, so, and was excited. We talked to the team. Okay guys, what do we do about this?

[00:08:09] Because we don’t even have a very huge place for this. And so we did, you decided to extend it by an additional 10, in some few minutes, that 10 slots had been taken as well. And we decided to. Send it again by another 20 and then those slots were full as well. In the end. on the very first on the, on the day of this, of the meetup we had about over one 20 people showing up and we, and from the conversations, and then, then the networking that we had, we realized that.

[00:08:35] This was something the community needed because more people wanted to connect with others. I mean, people on that day, people met people. They have been following on Instagram and social and on other social media platforms for the first time. And they were super excited. I mean, people walked out to me telling me that, who I have been following you on social media and I love your words and you too, you too look at some of the stuff I’ve been doing.

[00:08:59] And it was a great platform. It, for lots of us gave us so many memories. And from the event people said and you need to be organizing this more often. I mean, every three months you should organize this every three months should organize this. And we said ok let’s give it a shot. So in two or three months later, we decided to organize another one.

[00:09:18] And the number grew we had over 300 people showing up. It was quite big, but I mean, because it was self funded, We after that event, we thought about this, this thing could grow, we could grow beyond, it could grow beyond us. And so we need to kind of sit down and then, look at all of the other things that we can do about it and, think about it very well.

[00:09:40] And so we decided to make it an annual conference or annual design festival rather than, they’re very small meetups and also, so that we are able to kind of. Prepare adequately for it and also have, some really, really good system to make it work. And, and then with the next event we had over 600 people show up that has been the events we did last year.

[00:10:01] I mean, this year, the idea was even good, bigger and half. Well for over a thousand people was our targets, but then because of COVID now it has to be online. So we knew it’s liquid speak more than that soup. That is the, that’s the story behind Dex. And it has been, it has been a really good experience so far.

[00:10:19] We have been able to build different verticals from DexGhana and even looking at extending beyond those verticals. 

[00:10:26] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:10:26] Really. It really seems like you’ve got a very vibrant and young community and everyone seems to be enjoying it, you know, the images and the videos. And it’s got a very kind of energetic vibe to it, especially as well, the brand identity, which, I’ll ask you about in a bit.

[00:10:47] Yes. but so, so considering you’ve got quite a young community and you’ve mentioned mentors already had, had quite an influence it’s on you and then also on your podcast, , you mentioned mentors quite often. so who are the mentors who have influenced you and helped you develop? 

[00:11:05] Daniel Ampofo: [00:11:05] For me in particular… , one of the main reasons why we decided to set this up was because of this very same question. So in Ghana, one of the, I mean, for designers in general, lots of designers, like to kind of hide in their own small shells and, silos for me. I can see that they’re very, the greatest of mentors. That’s how.

[00:11:27] That really influenced my journey, where the circle of friends in the arts minded, WhatsApp group that I had, those became like the immediate mental cause that I have for this entire journey. And then, and then, and then there was Nana K.Duah. Nana is an identity designer here in Ghana at the time.

[00:11:44] He was one of the people. Really shared a lot of his work, online. I mean, he, he, he  was on a, who really puts a lot. So if it’s work out there and then you could look at it and then love the work that he had done, and then is far too to keep getting as a firm for him. I, and kind of observing from afar and then look at a lot of the works that he was doing within my immediate circle.

[00:12:07] There were people like Josh Ed, Rodney Wiggles, Joel. All of these guys were, the guys were part of the arts minded group who kind of really inspired the journey. so the idea of the Dex podcast was to kind of pull in these mentors, people who have done design in Ghana for a very long time who have been exposed to a lot of things, but not so many people knew about them.

[00:12:32] So we were on a, on a efficient mission to kind of find all of these people and then bring them to our events so that people can interact with them. So. In our discovery, we met quite a number of people there. We met with Sharon Mills who have been in the space for quite some time and was doing really exceptional work when it comes to design.

[00:12:53]and, and some of these people kind of, we brought them to our events. We found people like Ato K.G. deGraft-Johnson, who is, who was a design and illustration lecturer. We found people like Benjamin Anyan, people who have gone to the Cannes , Dela Avemega, Sunita Emmanuel Bobi  (BobPixel) . A photographer well known photographer in Ghana, and these are the, some of the people that we brought onto the DexLingo podcast so that people could hear their stories and get inspired because anytime we went online to try and find top designers in Ghana, you were not finding some of these people, but they had done really good work.

[00:13:26] And so we wanted to kind of put them out there so that people will know that when you go to these people, Yeah, the people who can share lots of arts, the journey of design in Ghana, and also be able to kind o help you on your end. So these people became and have become like mentors to fall 

[00:13:44] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:13:44] of us.  

[00:13:46] Daniel Ampofo: [00:13:46] us.

[00:13:46]

[00:13:46]

[00:13:46] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:13:46] Yeah, that’s really good.

[00:13:48] And it’s important, very important to have those mentors. And we’ve really appreciated having mentors from the industry to work with with Nairobi design week as well. That, that brand identity, you know, it’s, it’s, again, coming back to it and it’s clear that you’ve taken some of the guidance from, from your brand identity mentors.

[00:14:13] The letters of the DexGhana logo being used as visual elements and kind of in line with , the   flexible visual identities of today, so that they can be used as elements on a page. And  an homage to African patterns as well. So I’d love to know more.

[00:14:33] What was the process of developing the brand and what does the brand stand for? 

[00:14:37] Daniel Ampofo: [00:14:37] Yes, that’s, that’s, that’s a really 

[00:14:40] exciting question for me. And so I remember on the very day we decided to go with dex. I sat down and the night thoughts about what we wanted to achieve in the end. We believed that.

[00:14:53] And the next generation of creatives in Africa, we’re going to kind of change everything for the African continent and it’s, and it has become very obvious even from the risk sense of documentary that we saw a recent album by, by Beyonce that we saw. we believe that the African. Creative is going to be an instrumental part of the future of the world, right?

[00:15:19] Africa is the future. So, in developing this identity, we wanted something that’s going to be flexible to be, to be fun and exciting because yeah, for creative people, we are not so boring. And, in developing this identity, I started out and then I looked at the letters that we have to deal with, and we wanted to go very straight to the point with Dex, because those were the, those were the things that people identified, but we also wanted to play with shapes.

[00:15:47] That’s good. We could easily resonate with now in Africa, for lots of times, with African identity systems are kind of very, Africans are very fun people, right? And when we, we love our music, we love our dance. We love, we are happy people. We are naturally, bubbly. So, I mean, That also from the fundamental parts of this identity that we designed to make sure that whatever we were putting out there was something that anybody could see and kind of connect with as an African, the excitements of, of African people.

[00:16:18] The fact that we are always happy, the fact that we always having fun, the fact that we are always enjoying moments. through music, through dance, through entertainments and all of that. And those were some of the things that really influenced the identity. So, I mean, the, the, well itself, I shared it with a friend.

[00:16:37] Was who became a part of the team called Ed. And so we went and saw the identity is said, well, I love this. Let me work on the extensive brand elements. And I mean, he picked it up and then he blew it up in terms of playing with the shapes, patterns, the, the colors and all of that. And it really resonated with the two of us because we believe Africa is a happy place and we’re, and Africans are fun.

[00:17:02] And that is where I identity for the entire Dex brand identity came from . Yes. 

[00:17:08] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:17:08] Thank you for that. That’s really, really interesting. Clearly Ghana has quite strong brand identity design, and quite a strong brand identity industry. So what, which design industries from Ghana in particular should the world be paying attention to? And what would you like to see more of from Ghanaian design?

[00:17:31] Daniel Ampofo: [00:17:31] Yeah, so, I have, I mean, for, for a period of time, I have been working in this space just like you’re seeing, I think that’s the identity design industry in Ghana is a really, really strong one, but one of the industries that’s. I am seeing grow, for, for some time is the animation and illustration industry getting Ghana.

[00:17:54]for some time now we have seen some pretty, really good, guys in these spaces, I’ll say it. ed is one of those people that, is really doing well in terms of, in terms of an emission, there are guys like, like draws and where people who are into the tickets out space. All of those people are, doing very well in contributing to their illustration and then the animation space that we have in Ghana.

[00:18:19] And that space has become one with the species that’s honestly really looking up to growing, because I believe that. This is one of those pieces that be telling some really good African stories. People like LouiCage, I have, have really been doing a good work when it comes to using an emissions to tell very simple African stories.

[00:18:37] I mean, there was Indigene Bros didn’t an animation on. Azuma Nelson. And so, and, and, and premiered. Those are some of the people, those are some of the people I’m really, really rooting for when it comes to design in Africa, I can see how aniation is really going to grow.

[00:18:57]in Ghana and it’s a, it’s one of those pieces. That’s a lot of these guys are really, really doing their best to provide for the second thing. For me, love that a lot of Ghanaians keep sharing their work. I think that for me, it has always been one of the challenges that I’ve had with a lot of Ghanaian creatives.

[00:19:14] For most of them who have been really, really good with you, don’t find them sharing their work. And so that’s why it became a part of the picture just to kind of open all of these people up and so that they share their works and put them out there. I mean, I’m wondering, going back to animation, I just remembered one name that Natasha Nayo is doing really, really good when it comes to.

[00:19:35] Illustrations and animations, us as well. And, Natasha Nayo presented at, one of our events. She shared her works and, and we really, really loved it. And so for me, it’s, it’s more of having the guys, the creative guys in Ghana. They are work. It’s very, very important to me. That’s they share whatever we are creating to inspire the world and, to put, Ghana and Africa in general out there.

[00:20:01] That’s yeah, this is where some of the best creatives in, in the world live . With Dex. For instance, our vision, when we started, used to be Ghana where the best creatives in the world live, and we changed it to Africa where the best creatives in the world live. So that is our vision. We want it. We want people to look at Africa and say, yes, this is.

[00:20:21] That’s where best creatives in the world live. 

[00:20:23] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:20:23] That’s really good to know about Ghanaian animation. I’ll look forward to checking some of it out. And, and actually when you mentioned Africa where the best creatives live, Nairobi Design Week started with the idea that obviously the, the first people came from Africa, the first humans were African and the first.

[00:20:46] People to create things where people designing in Africa. So design is made in Africa. 

[00:20:54] Daniel Ampofo: [00:20:54] Yeah. 

[00:20:54] And I love that. I love that so much. And I think that that, that basically tells the entire story of, I mean, what we also stand for. So I love that. I love that. 

[00:21:05] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:21:05] Good. Good. So tell me more about some of these creatives in your, in your community who need the shoutout, who, you know, you’ve said that more, more Ghanaian creatives need exposure.

[00:21:20] So who are the ones who need shout-outs. 

[00:21:24] Daniel Ampofo: [00:21:24] That’s good to be a pretty tall list. 

[00:21:27] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:21:27] That’s true. That’s true. How about you? Give me, how about you? Give me either three projects or three designers who are doing something who you’ve seen that are top of your mind right now, because they’ve done something recently.

[00:21:42] Daniel Ampofo: [00:21:42] Okay. So, I mean, I mean, for me, one of the very first people that comes to mind is I always mentioned it. Ed and ed runs Lime & honey. So limexhoney  (Lime & Honey)  it’s is like a creative studio here in Ghana. And I definitely mentioned Ed first, because I mean, he brought, he brought a lots of life too.  Dex in particular.

[00:22:05] And, he has been doing some amazing projects. We can check our limexhoney on social media. And then when it comes to the creative work they are doing really, I think that’s, what’s probably hits different spaces in 3D and an image in 3D in particular. One of the people that really calls out to me is Ora.

[00:22:26] Ora is run by Usiwa and, I think Seyram, they are really, really doing amazing when it comes to 3D design. And so they are one of the groups of people that also really calls out to me. And then I like to kind of give a shout out to, for all of the amazing work that they’re doing in the, in the creative space, here in Ghana and maybe, just one more person

[00:22:55] Well, yeah, I’m being biased. I mentioned my friends because yeah, I love their works, but yeah, Joshua Cleopas, also really calls out to me. I mean, here he runs a YouTube channel. I’ve got, lots of people can, can check it out.  he does film and he does photography and he does design so pretty, pretty diverse, but really, really good.

[00:23:16] And I mentioned one last person. that’s,  pretty good. He also kind of is very diverse and there lots of spaces and, he has, he also has work online. He does film. he does, 3D and emissions as well. And he’s also one of the people that, I’d love to give a shout out to these people.

[00:23:33] I mean, I’m, I’m sure there are lots of these because they are also groups of people who really inspire me when it comes to design and, their works are all over social media. I’m showing we check their names out. You’d love. You’d love what you see. 

[00:23:47] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:23:47] So you’ll, you’ll send me the, the details and we’ll put them into the description for the podcast.

[00:23:54] Daniel Ampofo: [00:23:54] Definitely. Awesome. 

[00:23:57] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:23:57] So, so you have a big education and emphasis, as we’ve talked about already, and you’ve talked about things like current degrees being too long and other things. about , how you might envision a, a design education system. So what would be, you know, at this stage because our, our thoughts evolve and change, but at this stage, what would you envision a dream design education curriculum to be?

[00:24:26] Daniel Ampofo: [00:24:26] So, well, I mean, I mean, we had a conversation on the topic like this with, With a woman called  Farah Hamoui graphic design departments in a school in Ghana, and a few things that she talked about really, really stood out for me. I really, really enjoyed the conversation and yeah. And then, and with that conversation, she highlighted a few things that really caught my attention about the fact that design education should be very practical.

[00:25:00] And for, for everybody to be able to kind of enjoy and education like that for a lot of times in our minds, we think that’s a design education should, teach you every single thing that you have to know. Right. For many people, the practicality of, of a design education should really, really involve industry expertise.

[00:25:22] So that’s when you finish designing and you go out there. You are able to kind of fit within industry in general. And one of the things that’s in the conversation really stood out for me was that one of the reasons they allow students to intern with agencies and design and creative spaces was, was because they wanted to allow for students to be open and exposed to industry as well.

[00:25:49] And so, so that was the school their part in doing maybe that. Theory and the other parts of technical parts, the agencies, and then the creative studios. Would, take care of being able to kind of help them fit into the creative industry and then the creative spaces. And so for me, I think that’s so far even do the work that has been done.

[00:26:11] Isn’t still where we wanted to get to yet. I think that it’s a good start because here in Ghana, for almost everyone who is in design school, you actually forced.  for you to do some internships with a creative space and ended up, and that’s able to balance what you’re learning in academia and experience that we get in industry.

[00:26:31] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:26:31] Yeah, absolutely. So, so as a, as a designer yourself, what are some of the. Projects that have pushed you creatively. 

[00:26:47] Daniel Ampofo: [00:26:47] That that’s, that’s a good one. I mean, I think one of the projects that’s has pushed me creatively is a project that I’m so like, you know, right now, Unfortunately I might not even be able to share full details, but I think that one of the, there there’s a second, that project is another project that I worked on for a digital library business that’s called perbicubs.com What they do is they use, and then that happened during this covid time.

[00:27:15] So there used to be a fiscal library where they used to set up in various schools and then they share. they, they give the book, the kids access to reading books, and then they read the books and then they take some quizzes on them. And all of these things were done physically. but because of covid, the entire thing has had to be migrated online where the, the books are going to be digital.

[00:27:38] I’ll also do use an online platform to share the books to the kids. And, the kids read them right from their home and. One of, I mean, it was a very, it was a very, daring project because then we had to kind of build right from the identity developing an identity that is exciting enough to get that attention of the, of the parents and then the kids themselves, while they are at hoe.

[00:28:01] And then from building the identity, being able to translate that same identity into whatever content that went on to social media. And, to, to create this, the kind of excitement that we wanted to get people to get on board this program. So I could sit up, I mean, beyond the one that I’m working on now at baby cups seems to be, the, the project that has been, that has really pushed me because it got me to kind of think beyond being just a creative.

[00:28:31] to even thinking as far as being like a digital strategist and content creator, to look at some of the things that would really, really succeed online for the brand. 

[00:28:42] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:28:42] What about some of the, challenges you faced with Dex, Ghana that you can tell us about? 

[00:28:49] Daniel Ampofo: [00:28:49] I mean, with DexGhana, 

[00:28:50]

[00:28:50] I can say that.

[00:28:53] I mean, one of the major challenges I think that you do this would be funding. Right. And also because, I mean, this is more like an, an NGO. and so we are not really running any business out of this. It has been more of trying to help the community grow and get bigger. And so we have been kind of self financing, the entire project, and then the entire events with, with some supports that comes in.

[00:29:20] Very rarely. last year, I mean, last year StanBic kind of helped us secure a venue. And so that was one of the greatest contributions to this  funding has been the core thing, because we want to be able to scale some of the activities that we have been. We have been doing. We plan on doing the circles. I was telling you about like the census that I was telling you about.

[00:29:41] All of these are things that we have been looking to scale one of the major challenges. I mean, and the funds to kind of organize the initiatives and the programs as, so for some of them, we sometimes have to get creative. we, for a series, we did some really cool creative tee shirts and then merch.

[00:30:00] And then. Then we brought in some good money that we use to run some of the initiatives and beyond this challenge is also the fact that’s because all of us, all of us in the team have our full time jobs that we do. I mean, sometimes finding the balance in between the two has been one of the challenges, but I think that’s, the goal is huge and where we want to get to, becomes the ultimate thing that we all look up to.

[00:30:24] And so we still find ways and means of committing our time to it. 

[00:30:28] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:30:28] That’s really interesting. I think a lot of creative organizations, obviously, and organizations in general, finding lack of funding to be an issue, especially at this 

[00:30:41] time. 

[00:30:42] So what about, you’ve mentioned your ambitions for Dex. So what about some of the longer term ambitions for what you might imagine to be, to be doing?

[00:30:54] Daniel Ampofo: [00:30:54] Yes. So ultimately, I mean, for us, one of the core things that we believe to be. In the future for us is to be able to kind of have an influence in design policies in Ghana, to be able to kind of control the design space so much so that, when the governments wants to make any decision that involves design.

[00:31:17] The government probably wants to redesign something. If it’s a hundred year anniversary, the government is looking at the design a hundred year anniversary logo, and Dex should be in a position to,  either. Contribute to it or help with that entire process. I mean, to be able to get the extent of influence in certain policies that the government is going to carry around, put out there around designers in Ghana.

[00:31:44] Those happens, we are very long term goals. We want to be able to. Be in the middle of every conversation that has to do with design in Ghana and ultimately extended to Africa as well. I mean, of course with other partners like Nairobi Design Week to be able to kind of contributes to, like I said, ultimately the very long ter vision is to tell people that’s in Africa where the best creatives live , but in our short term, we want to be in the middle of every conversation that has to do with this in Ghana, whether it’s  from the government.

[00:32:18] Well, it’s just from private parties as well. That is a very long term goal. 

[00:32:23] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:32:23] Again, I think shout ambitions through many communities. It’s something I hear from designers from across the world, I think. designers want a seat at the table, don’t they? And, and to get that seat at the table, we have to prove that we deserve to have it.

[00:32:46] So by I guess,  proving the things that we’re creating are having an impact and showing that impact and being able to communicate it to the people who, who need to hear it as well. Right? 

[00:33:00] Daniel Ampofo: [00:33:00] Yeah. I mean, I mean, that’s very, that’s very well put, so yes, they have, they have been these conversations all the time where designers want to have a seat at the table.

[00:33:12] And it only makes sense because, I mean, I was just. Saying earlier this morning that the future is design and data. I mean, design is a very instrumental parts of our everyday lives. And even during this covid season and make it is very, very clear and everything that was put out there about COVID-19 was probably designed by someone.

[00:33:31] And so that’s how powerful design is in this era that we live. And so I’ll say that. Yes. I mean, having a seat at the table is very instrumental, which means that, I mean, the work has to be done by us. And so that is why as matter of fact, one of the things that we are working on is to is, is the, is the circles that we have been looking at.

[00:33:54] Having in, the various institutions around us, just so that we can kind of start grooming and mentoring designers to have the right attitude and then the right skill. And then the ability to even contribute heavily when given the seat, when we are given the seat at the table, I mean, you can’t ask to have a seat at the table and not be able to contribute anything meaningfully.

[00:34:19] Right. And so we want to prove. Through these initiatives be able to kind of groom groom, creatives, and also, Furnish the with some of the social skills that they will require to be able to, be a very good contribution. 

[00:34:34] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:34:34] Yeah, absolutely. So, so looking abroad and across the world are the other countries design scenes that particularly inspire you.

[00:34:44] And are there ways that designers work in other countries with governments and other larger entities? That really sets an example ?

[00:34:56] Daniel Ampofo: [00:34:56] One of the, I mean also because yes, the US has been, has always been one of the countries. That’s lots of people, kind of look up to, I think that’s for, for me as a designer, growing up these, we, one of the people that won one with countries that I look up when it comes to design, in the, in the sense that good pay people like Chris Do, who.

[00:35:17] Correct. The who, who has control, who also contributed a lot too. I mean, a lot of designers here in Ghana, I mean, watch lots of these YouTube content and I mean, he happens to be in the U S and so it became the closest country. That’s most of us looked up to when it comes to design and how it works in their system.

[00:35:34] And I mean, Sue, a lot of times we are here analyzing how some of them are getting paid over there. How their industries are working, how their systems are working in how even the government looks at how even their governments looks at design. I think even for them, sometimes they do complain, but I think it’s, it’s way better than it is over here, how they are critical about, the, the designers.

[00:35:57] That they put out there , how they pay attention and, And so how is it so important? How design is so important to them? I mean, beyond the U S for some time, I have been trying to kind of look within Africa because there’s, I got tired of having to always look up to the, to the West for these things. And then I started looking at Africa to kind of identify how.

[00:36:22] Design in Africa is also beginning to look like. And so it’s one of the things that’s actually led me, the Nairobi Design Week. To kind of look out there and then see what’s what is happening in other African countries. In terms of design really wants it to, and it’s actually an ongoing thing that I am doing.

[00:36:44]as an ongoing research that I’m doing, trying to really look into Africa and then see what countries, taking design, this whole concept of design. Let me see personally and,  and are pushing the agenda. And I mean, when I took a look on Nairobi Design Week, I was really impressed with all of the work that was being done.

[00:37:03] And, I enjoyed it and Nigeria is also one of the countries that I have been looking at and I will still be loving what they do. I think what I like about them is the fact that I see as they are really puts in a lot of their work out there. And then there are reasons they are one of the countries that’s really raising the standards when it comes to design in Africa.

[00:37:21] So he has a husband, Nigeria and has been King of those are the two countries. Well, so far I have been able to kind of dig a little bit into it. 

[00:37:28] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:37:28] But it’s really great that you’ve been, been reaching out and that you reached out to us. I’m sure that we’ve come across Dex Ghana before. but it’s, it’s interesting that you mentioned Chris Do because, and we’ve talked about mentors.

[00:37:44] He seems to be a mentor to an entire industry globally, and that’s clearly openly the mission. Right. It’s 1 billion creatives, right? Exactly. So definitely if people haven’t yet come across ‘the futur’ and Chris Do and that entire team, then it provides value and they’re literally, Upping  the ante for the entire industry.

[00:38:12] In many countries, because the designers who are going to learn from, from all of that in the next one, two and five years and beyond are going to provide more value to their economies. So  that’s a really great thing. 

[00:38:30] Daniel Ampofo: [00:38:30] And also I’d like to add that, as so far as, so for me in particular, I mean, for the next few years, what I’m also, looking up to is for other African creatives to kind of also stand out too and also be able to do.

[00:38:44] Stuff like, yeah, the futur has been doing. I mean, because actually, because I mean, they have, I mean, we have lived in the African system. A lot of it  so, I mean, all of us just like you’re saying his he’s become like an industry leader. I mean, and he has made very big contributions to almost every, every single creative I know.

[00:39:06] I think that’s, I’m also looking forward to having an African, I mean, get to that point where. The also become enough. Let me say an authority in Africa and also, the world as well. So yes, that’s one of the things I’m really looking forward to 

[00:39:24] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:39:24] absolutely same here. And I guess that’s what these podcasts platforms, are for aren’t they, to allow more people to have a voice and to hear the, hear the stories.

[00:39:35] And to learn from them. You’ve mentioned Nigeria as well. And Kenya, have you had an opportunity to work with designers in other countries in Africa or beyond 

[00:39:45] Daniel Ampofo: [00:39:45] in, in terms of conversations? Yeah. I had some conversations with a number of designers outside of Africa, but we haven’t really worked on any projects yet.

[00:39:58]I’m really, I’m really sure. Something will be something like that will be happening very soon because I’m on a project right now and it involves, a Nigerian agency. So, well the possibilities are there. They’re with this project, but so far I haven’t. and I think that’s, yeah, I have been looking at all of these pieces and I’m hoping.

[00:40:19] And that we get to do a lot of collaborations. So there, so there’s, one, one of the speakers for, that’s DexArtmosphere this year called Tunji Ogunoye. So Tunji also,

[00:40:32] A group in Nigeria called Dear designer. Yes. So is a design community. Let me put it that way. Dear designer and is one of the people I reached out to, to, for the addition this year, and he’s, he’s actually talking on the power of collaboration because yes, I wanted to open up that conversation about collaborations and, I am really hopeful.

[00:40:52] That’s that’s, that’s that’s that would open up a lot of conversations about, us collaborating with other African countries. 

[00:41:01]Adrian Jankowiak: [00:41:01] yeah, , it’s always good to know your, your own community as well, and know what, how you can represent Ghana, and, and help to bring in other people from Ghana when you’re going to.

[00:41:15] People who are abroad as well. Yeah. But that’s a, that’s a really good thing. And I’m looking forward to, to the things we’re going to be collaborating on. 

[00:41:24] Daniel Ampofo: [00:41:24] Exactly. And I mean, I’m, I’m really, really stoked about it. I mean, when I reached out to you, you are very helpful. You are, I mean, you have been helpful so far.

[00:41:33] I mean, the very first conversation that we have was a really good one. I enjoyed every bit of it and all of the help that you give. And I already foreseen some major collaborations between in between us. And I think that this will, start us on the journey of kind of bringing all of African creatives together and to collaborate with one another as well.

[00:41:54] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:41:54] Yeah, definitely. Definitely. And what, what are some going back to your podcast as well? What are, what are some of the most important things you’ve learned? So far from, from all of your podcasts. 

[00:42:05] Daniel Ampofo: [00:42:05] Okay. I think that’s, I’ll see about two or three things really stand out to me. The very first thing is, collaborations.

[00:42:16] I mean, so for me, because of that, I have become. because someone who’s very keen on collaborations and collaborations have become very, very important to me. It’s the very first thing that I learned from them. The second thing that I learned was the fact that we have to be actually, strategic about the work that we produce.

[00:42:39] We need to be very strategic about the work we produce. It always has to be, it always has to be, Something that’s more, functional rather than, rather than something that is just off your thoughts. especially when you are dealing with clients, because you need to be able to defend the work that you are putting out there.

[00:43:01] You need to be able to. Gets them to appreciate that thought process that went into the weekend. So you don’t have to be overly emotional about it. I think as one of the things that I picked up  from Benjamin Anyan in particular about, about the fact that it’s important to not get overly emotional about the work that you produce.

[00:43:21] That’s be very. conceptual and be able to defend whatever that you are putting on your design and be able to kind of explain why you have done what you have done, and that will be a winner for you. And then the last thing that I would say on this has to do with, being able to be very, very attentive and, be a great learner, especially when it goes on this journey.

[00:43:50] Yeah, you are, you meet so many people along the way. And what you can do is solely pick something from them so learning as the very important parts of this process, for any creative  to learn and be open to collaborate, and also be very, very strategic about the work we do. 

[00:44:09] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:44:09] Yeah, it’s important as we always, as a site to share your process.

[00:44:14] And you mentioned that don’t get emotional about it because it’s, it’s not art it’s design,  right? It’s there, to fulfill a brief. 

[00:44:24] Daniel Ampofo: [00:44:24] Exactly. Exactly. 

[00:44:26] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:44:26] If 

[00:44:26] Daniel Ampofo: [00:44:26] it was  art. Then you could just do everything that you was from arrived from your heart 

[00:44:32] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:44:32] that could express more emotion on your part, 

[00:44:34] Daniel Ampofo: [00:44:34] right? 

[00:44:37] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:44:37] Yeah. Yeah. Also the, the importance of learning that that’s true and trying things and doing things, And we keep coming back to the importance of collaboration and perhaps the role of designers, people who going forward are able to bring together collaborations because through that empathy, So you’re that creative problem solving and ability to bring people together.

[00:45:10] So that another thing that’s on my mind is, I was writing recently about the challenges that designers are going to face in the coming years and how that role will change. And specifically, I don’t know if you saw recently Art Lebedev, the idea of studio in Russia, a really cool design studio developed an AI.

[00:45:33] Designer who for a year fulfilled client briefs. And they, they sold them off as a real person to their entire studio apart from a few people. 

[00:45:44] Daniel Ampofo: [00:45:44] Oh, I haven’t heard of that. I’d really love it. If you could share the link to that with me, I really wants to go check it out. 

[00:45:51] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:45:51] Absolutely. Our share the link with you.

[00:45:53] They always do cool things and now pushing, but this, this really is kind of now showing what the. What the opportunities are because some of the tools we have access to already enable us to, to do, perhaps you could say the basics. You know, graphic design or UX. so I’m very interested in hearing how you, you, as a, you know, UI UX and graphic designer, how do you think designers need to face up to them?

[00:46:25] Daniel Ampofo: [00:46:25] Yeah, so it’s a very interesting question. I mean, in my design agency, one of the things that we actually. So it’s part of the seven values that we believe in is that we actually say DI over AI, and we say this because, and for us, we believe that even though AI really do a lot of working in design, In the future. I mean, just like I said.

[00:46:53] I mean, these days that is online platforms that put all of your details and in the end develops an identity for you. And I think that one of the things that human beings can never do without this is the human touch that are personal. Human element to all of these. I mean, sometimes even the conversations that your clients get to have with you, I mean, there are days that you could have with clients for you, and then you discuss business and then they share their ideas with you and they give you give feedback on some of their things.

[00:47:22] And so in the future, it’s about designers being more empathetic and being able to provide additional value rather than just their routine process. I mean, For a lot of the projects that I work on, I always tell the client as for me, I give 101%, and then the extra 1% is all of the free ideas and thoughts that I share in addition to whatever I’m doing.

[00:47:44] And so for me, it’s, it’s about the little extra things that you’re going to be doing for the clients that they will not be getting from any of these things. The little things like the checkups, the conversations that. From time to time checking out on their brands and then coming back to them with feedback, checking on their brands and coming back to them with ideas.

[00:48:05] Sometimes these ideas end up even fetching you more, more money because then they end up putting you on that particular project. So for me, it’s about the things, the little, little things that that’s not the personal touch, the things that makes you human and, and the conversations. I mean, there are these, I speak to clients for about an hour and sometimes.

[00:48:27] Cause we just spent about 10 minutes or 15 minutes just talking about work, and then I listen to what they have to share. And then I share my thoughts on all other things. And so these are some of them, the things that would make a lot of yeah diofference. When it comes to. And also I believe in the power of the human mind, I mean, And, even though AI will do a really good job.

[00:48:49] And with lots of things, the human mind, I have always believed will supersede, setting certain things that AI might not be able to do after a week created any way. So I think that on this, these are thoughts that, I mean, we, the empathy parts of us needs to start out and not at this point. And it’s one of the things that’s will make a major difference for the future of design.

[00:49:11] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:49:11] Absolutely. And we keep coming back as designers to the word empathy. That’s why our theme this year is designed is for everyone. And design is inclusive, accessible. Empathetic sensual  and open some of the, some of the projects we featured this year at the festival and on the platform,  like the blind photography project and, Studio HISI’s inclusive, braille fashion, they even made custom Nairobi Design Weeks because, so we had, we had the stickers printed and then they had a braille machine at the festival to make these stickers.

[00:49:51] Daniel Ampofo: [00:49:51] Wow. Well, now I can’t wait to interview you for our podcast because I’m already loving with what I’m hearing. 

[00:49:58] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:49:58] Oh, wow. Yeah. I mean, that’s, that was so much that we have a lots of amazing exhibitors and, that, and even something like Andre, Andre’s art is really, really spectacular. Andre_be_crae, and he does it with credit cards and old SIM cards.

[00:50:17] And it’s. It’s amazing. I actually just, just, you know, around that theme of designers for everyone off the top of your heads, have you got any, would you know, any, any projects 

[00:50:32] Daniel Ampofo: [00:50:32] you mean here in Ghana? 

[00:50:33] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:50:33] Yeah. In Ghana. 

[00:50:35] Daniel Ampofo: [00:50:35] Yes. I mean off the top of my head. Yes.

[00:50:38] There, there are a few people I could mention. Well, some of them, so one of the few people that I would like to talk about is, I mean, Simon, Simon, Simon Charwey is one of the guys that I love. I love the work he has been doing, playing around with the African systems. And I, I absolutely like, I mean, he creates.

[00:50:59] Assuming assembles. And from, from these, there are a couple of other people I know, but I don’t really remember the names who are using bottles to create so many impressive, impressive works. I think some of them are be able to share the links with you as well. And, DTI is run by Constance Swaniker. does amazing work with metals and, and they’re, I lovely she does some really, really good work with metals and, Very very impressive projects that she has been doing here in Ghana.

[00:51:35] And, she’s one of the people who makes it stand out for me that, I mean, design is absolutely for, for everyone. These are the two people that whose names come to mind actually, at this point, as we speak about this and it really, really stands, stands out. our work really stands out for me. So 

[00:51:55] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:51:55] Simon’s work Simon Charwey, I’m familiar with and he does really cool.

[00:52:01] Yeah. Symbol systems and he’s working on a directory right now. Isn’t he as well. So we’re really looking forward to seeing what that is in his, his, Instagram and his work website. Look really really great. He keeps coming out with really cool symbols. 

[00:52:16] Daniel Ampofo: [00:52:16] Yeah. 

[00:52:17] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:52:17] And what about Constance his work? Can you tell us a bit more about that?

[00:52:22] Daniel Ampofo: [00:52:22] So, with Constance, what she does is that she actually uses a metals. She runs two things, actually a sense, an arts, And then she has a school called DTI or  the design and technology Institute and at DTI, they teach you things about metal fabrication and how they are using metals to make center tables, interior pieces, and the creativity at which they are doing this as one of the things that really.

[00:52:50] Amazes me. So, I mean, they are using metals rights, but the, we are using these metals for wall frames for murals on the walls for railings, for almost anything at all that you could have in your house, they could actually kind of replicate with metal and it’s as fascinating. And you kind of detail that she puts into the work that she does.

[00:53:15] And, it’s, it’s always stands out to me and it’s always inspires me about the possibilities of what’s, and design mind or creative mind can do and, share, share link to pages and you will love what you see. I mean, she has been a very strong industry player and when it comes to, using metal for any kind of.

[00:53:36] Any kind of, so she uses metal for furniture, for Gates, for, for tables, for scopes, and it’s as brilliance for balustrades to accents your house and all of that. And that’s what Constance does. And, I have been keen follower because of, because of the detail she puts in the work she does. 

[00:53:59] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:53:59] I can’t wait to see that.

[00:54:00] And. It’s it’s really actually cool that you mentioned metal. We had Farhia Kashyap and Grishon creates during the urban residency with Kenya Lighting Industries, metal seating, lighting, and basketball hoops. And you know, the, the stuff that you can do that they’re doing with laser cutters is really incredible. can go down to a millimeter and can cut down jewelry really.

[00:54:29] So it doesn’t need to make that there’s so much potential in these different manufacturing, manufacturing industries and in connecting designers to different. Abilities and just making them aware of, ,  the opportunities that lay in industrial area, because there are so many manufacturers who don’t really have ideas for products.

[00:54:55] And would kill for a designer to just come in and give them a few insights. 

[00:55:02] Daniel Ampofo: [00:55:02] That’s really, really true. I think that’s, I mean, these days, I remember I met someone who runs a, a furniture company. she does, she does work with wood as more of a wood furniture company, and she was actually trying to find a designer to be able to kind of.

[00:55:19] Design some of the furniture, the products and, and, and, and all of that. And, from a conversation with her, I noticed that it was really something that, really, really, paid attention to the fact that she would have a designer come up with concepts of, of the products that she wants to be made. And so you’re so right about that.

[00:55:40] I think that the design elements. Most of these things, it kind of changes things and makes things a little better. 

[00:55:48] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:55:48] Yeah, definitely. speaking of design tools and resources, are there any. Absolutely essential and favorite design tools and resources that you always go to or would recommend? 

[00:56:05]Daniel Ampofo: [00:56:05] yes. So for me, I think that’s one major risk for me as a designer is, behance, I think that’s for every creative out there.

[00:56:16] You definitely need to have an account and you need to be on behance. It’s a very good source of inspiration for any creative at all, for any project that you’re about to work on. Sometimes you can just put together your mood board and start scapes off of behinds projects. And so for me, because for me, I believe that’s what you feed into your system is what you’re able to kind of produce.

[00:56:41] And so for me, the feeding, what you feed into your system is a lot of times, so. Much more important to me even than the tools that you use in creating them. Because I have actually come across with, we use Microsoft teams to even do some really cool digital ads and all of that. And so for me, it’s more about where you find it, the inspiration, and behance is a very, very powerful tool.

[00:57:04] I think Pinterest comes in second because that is where people. Being a lot of the things that interest them. And so it opens it also, it opens your mind to some really, really good perspectives on projects that people have done. Dribble is also one of them think that these three channels as a designer, you need to be feeding yourself with content from these three platforms, almost every single day of your, of your life.

[00:57:28] It needs to be feeding us over content. I mean, beyond that. Yeah, the basic. so it’s whereas, the Photoshops and then the illustrators that’s kind of help you. And then simple platforms like Adobe capture. I mean, if you had creative, you could have Adobe capture in your phone, on your phone. What that does help.

[00:57:46] What that helps you do is to be able to capture. elements, it helps you find fonts. It helps you put together and see, you know, obviously with colors, I mean, our environment is made up of so much color. That’s where you pick your Adobe capture software, you open it and then you scan the room that you’re in.

[00:58:02] You realize that you’ll be able to kind of sample so many colors. As as well. And so, yes, for me, these are, these are the tools. I think that for every creative, it’s a good idea to have Adobe has really good because it helps you pick a lots of things from around you and design is all around us. So it helps you pick a lot of these things.

[00:58:24] And then beyond that, So the ones that you feed 

[00:58:26] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:58:26] yourself with, I have to, I agree. Yeah, that’d Adobe capture and even Google lens are very useful tools for 

[00:58:33] yes. 

[00:58:34] I’ve seen insects on my balcony and I’ve taken a photo and Google lensa has just shown me immediately what the insect is. 

[00:58:43] Daniel Ampofo: [00:58:43] Wow.

[00:58:44] It’s 

[00:58:44] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:58:44] incredible. So now you can find the insect, then use it for inspiration.

[00:58:49] Maybe it holds some nice pattern. 

[00:58:51] Daniel Ampofo: [00:58:51] Exactly. I mean, yeah. And Adobe Capture. 

[00:58:58] Adrian Jankowiak: [00:58:58] So most of them, the tools you mentioned behance Pinterest dribble. are all digital. What about some of your favorite analog tools? 

[00:59:07] Daniel Ampofo: [00:59:07] No, no. I mean, well, well, so for me, there’s just one fundamental thing.

[00:59:14] When it comes to analog, I just see a pencil and a sketchbook. And I say this because I’m so keen to give a shout out to Wawlife. Wawlife is, is, is, is, is as a very small startup in Ghana that sells sketchbooks for creatives. Yeah. So for anybody who’s looking for cool sketch books to buy as a creative Wawlife can get you kind of get you some really cool sketchbooks for analog tools.

[00:59:44] That is one of way that calls out to me as a sketchbook and a pencil. So for me, well, I work in town. Sometimes I have a very small school. That’s anytime ideas come up to me. I just open in a very small one. And then I put some sketches. When I come home, I have a bigger sketchbook where I kind of idea sometimes are just thoughts that are running through my head sheets that are running through my head.

[01:00:10] I’m on a daily, and then I just put them on there. And what that does for me is that it kind of helps me speed up my delivery process because sometimes there are certain things that I have already kind of. So it’s through around sheets like that. And so sometimes just go back to my state books and, and I referenced as well for me that I can’t think of any other two when it comes to another book than a sketchbook & pencil.

[01:00:33] Adrian Jankowiak: [01:00:33] I have to say I’ve agreed with that for a long time as well, drawing, on paper has, something special to it. So, and thanks for, by the way, mentioning which, which notebook and sketchbook you use, because that was probably going to be my next question.  We’ve got a few favorite Kenyan sketchbooks of our own Erregatti make really nice leather ones and. Wow, there’s too many to name, but I’m currently using ones that I got from Quotmie at Nairobi Design Week where you can, the really cool cardboard, bound ones.

[01:01:10] So, and they’ve got nice Brown paper. So, I wanted to ask you, , about.  your plans for the year you’ve got, you’ve got a conference coming up. So how can people be involved in that and work? Where can they find more information and what are, what are your plans for the year beyond the college?

[01:01:31] Daniel Ampofo: [01:01:31] Okay. So I will start with sharing some information about the conference. So it’s happening on the 30th of August, not too far from me today. And, you can find more information on it. Www.Dexartmosphere.org So D E X A R T M O S P H E R E. So it’s the regular atmosphere, but we decided to add an R because we like cool stuff.

[01:02:01] So yeah. dexartmosphere.Org

[01:02:08] of the information about the events and also has the registration link. So he does the secure slots for his, the register button. And then you just take you to a form and then you kind of feel not beyond that. Typically, we, you, we, we do so in December we have an event called spacebar now with space, just like traditional skills.

[01:02:29] I know sounds clearly by traditional spacebar and it’s a moment of rest for all creative. So we notice that, I mean, for a lot of creatives, they are working all year round. December, they are working. They are working every month that we can. So space bar is just on events where we tell designers to drop whatever tools they’re using.

[01:02:47] That’s the using hits this piece and then do something fun. So last two years we had a party. It was a very fun party. Last year, we went on a trip, to an outdoor gaming, sports and that we had a lots of fun games. We wore ourselves out. We exercise a lot, did a lots of fun activities here in the, so every spacebar kind of focuses on an activity that does get designers to get away from their screens and just to have fun.

[01:03:18] So, after artmosphere, It’s as highly possible as the next thing that we are thinking about. And because of COVID, we are trying to see what measures we can put in place to make this happen. And so spacebar is definitely the next, thing on, on our list. But before spacebar, we will hide, we will be testing out our design census.

[01:03:40] What we want to do is just kind of start gathering data on design in Ghana and, We just want to, we just want to see the numbers out there. what’s what’s, designers getting paid. These, these illustrators, what I love for instance, up to what’s our identity designers. Do you know what I mean?

[01:03:57] Just to kind of collect data, collect data, raw data, and share it with everyone who has access to it, to kind of interpret it in their own way. And so maybe between now and the end, you know, the, the design census, and it’s a spacebar. 

[01:04:12] Adrian Jankowiak: [01:04:12] Yeah, the you’ve told me about the design census before and that something were really looking forward to seeing the pilot come out and to supporting it.

[01:04:23] And, and, as well, , there are some people in East Africa, like heva fund and hivos and. several others who are doing great work in documenting the creative industries and providing useful data on the industries. And we’d really love to support that as well. in the industry, data is really the data gathering is really important.

[01:04:47] Yeah. 

[01:04:48] Daniel Ampofo: [01:04:48] Yeah. It’s so true. And I mean, yeah, in our conversations, I think that it will also be something good. That’s the even Kenya can also trial. So, I mean, yes, we will want to also help  country that also wants to do this as well. We will share our findings, our processes and everything that every resource that we use in putting together this whole thing, we have documented everything.

[01:05:13] So we share everything with NDW and anybody who wants this information, we are definitely open to sharing it. So that, I mean, we can all build the African, creative space. 

[01:05:27] Adrian Jankowiak: [01:05:27] Yes . And if someone wants to see a design census, then I believe design week, do a, do a good one. Of the design and creative industries and yeah, the information that comes out can be very useful. and I also like how you have at your events, icebreakers, such as console gaming and things that bring people more just to conversation over perhaps things that they already know 

[01:05:55] Daniel Ampofo: [01:05:55] exactly.

[01:05:56] Adrian Jankowiak: [01:05:56] Yeah. That seems a lot of fun. 

[01:05:58] Daniel Ampofo: [01:05:58] Yeah. I mean, so that’s one of the things, I mean, for us, it’s not just about, even about just coming to learn, but finding other people that you can connect with. And sometimes that’s going to be lead to future collaborations. I know a couple of people who came to dex and became friends through, events and have started businesses together.

[01:06:17] And for some have, working on projects together for some have become very, very good friends here. And the, and so that’s one of the things that was very important to us to have different things. That’s what kind of make people connect with one another. And so, yeah, these are some of the things that’s really inspired.

[01:06:35] Some of these activities that we introduced 

[01:06:37] Adrian Jankowiak: [01:06:37] really, really good see that. And, What these platforms, that’s what it’s about. It’s about people sharing and being able to connect independently, , you can come across a creative on a platform and you can reach out to them directly on Instagram if you’re interested in working with them.

[01:06:56] Yeah. So who were, who were some of the speakers? That you’re going to have at this year’s 

[01:07:02] Daniel Ampofo: [01:07:02] conference. So this year we have, Sunita, Sunita Kragbe, runs. So Sunita runs Basecamp initiative. This combination is a coworking space, right? Where you can and that’s for creatives. I mean, Not every creative has an office.

[01:07:17] Just like those times when I used to work from a coffee shop, that’s a place where you can, where it sits and then do your design work as well. We have a so Osmond Tshuma is a Zimbabwean in, South Africa. He’s one of the people that came across.  And I loved all the projects that he had worked on is one of the best typographers that I have met and, he does some really good type. And so he’s one of the speakers for this event. We have Tunji as a brand and information designer.

[01:07:51] And he runs the collective Dear designer in Nigeria. They also kind of do what we do here in Ghana, and we have Yaa Boateng the  creative director. She was part of, I think there recent a young woman. lions in Cannes. I’m sorry. I’ve forgotten. The exact name was, I actually was at the concert as well. Last year, as part of, I think 10 women that were selected by for one of the initiatives and, girls and also we have Nana K Duah

[01:08:22] I mentioned is, one of the well known identity designers here in Ghana. He has worked with some of the major brands that we have here in this country. And he’s also one of the speakers. So yeah, these are the speakers that we have for this particular edition. And we actually have a number of other people who will be sharing their portfolios as well.

[01:08:42] I mean, a lot of times like have portfolio  .sessions as  well , and so just to kind of inspire people and, we have, hawas, has been designing cover art for some of Africa’s top musicians, like Wiz kid and Sarkodie and a few others. And we have, Yeah, we have Nana is a, is a doctor. It was a 3D artist and he does wonderful 3d work.

[01:09:08] And we love his work as he’s one of the guys will be sharing his work and him telling us how he’s able to combine being a doctor. with 3d work he has been, he has been doing so I will be on next two on dex this year, too. And then, last portfolio presenter who is definitely coming from it, Kenya, we are also very excited.

[01:09:31] Well, maybe I can mention the name yet, because. we probably haven’t confirmmed firms who, but we are looking forward to having Wanjira Kinyua, I believe I mentioned the well that we are looking forward to having her come and share her with when we saw her, wait, can I share this with the team? They loved what they saw.

[01:09:48] And so we are looking for it to having her share her work, as well on, on, on, on, on artmosphere. 

[01:09:55] Adrian Jankowiak: [01:09:55] Yeah, those all sound really exciting. The stories from, someone who designs album art and the other people you’ve mentioned  and Wanjira, as well from a community, @born_on_the_way on Instagram.

[01:10:10] And so before. before we wrap up and I’m really looking forward to this conversation being flipped on your podcast now, 

[01:10:23] Daniel Ampofo: [01:10:23] definitely. I want to hear all the stories. 

[01:10:27] Adrian Jankowiak: [01:10:27] So before we do that next time, Have you got any questions for Nairobi design week for myself or for our community? And, and perhaps when I, when I either now I can answer them or put them out to the community for when I speak to you next time.

[01:10:44] Daniel Ampofo: [01:10:44] Yes. So, I mean, what I’m going to do is, in fact, I’m not going to go ahead of myself. I’m good to keep it. No, my questions for when we have our hours, but I’ll definitely send questions ahead. just to, just for you to kind of have an idea on the earth, a few things that are going to add words to find out, but I would want to say that great.

[01:11:03] Like you are doing. I mean, when I, when I went onto the websites and I took a look at the site and I was looking at the projects that well, you have worked on and all of that was impressed. I was so impressive. I mean, I probably spent more than half of the teachers. Coming through the website, just staring and stuff.

[01:11:22] I wasn’t even really reading, just watching the projects. Just watching. Just watch your projects that you had been doing and then from you, or like at, is I’m really looking forward to our conversation. Cause I have lots of questions as well, and then I’ll share most of these questions ahead. I think it’s just follow up questions.

[01:11:42] That’s what we come in as the conversation goes. But yeah, I would like to see that greets work with the community. Africa is where the best creatives live. And I like the fact that you. Well also believe in the fact that yes design started, in Africa. And, we hope that we all get to work together and then build a very strong, community for Africa.

[01:12:04] Adrian Jankowiak: [01:12:04] That’s that’s a really thank you. Thank you for your kind words. And we’re really happy that the website is prey proving useful. And we’re just reworking the website. So we’re going to add more community features and make it much more mobile friendly, and people will be able to upload, update their profiles from their phones.

[01:12:27] So that should make it much more of a live experience as well in the, in the coming few months.

[01:12:35] Daniel Ampofo: [01:12:35] Well, I mean, we are also exploring some possibilities with our website that’s we are, so we are still looking at, for now Madrid’s of the work has been on our events, websites, and now we’re now trying to focus on building the communities website, and I’m sure we’ll pick up some lessons from your website as well, and then incorporates it.

[01:12:53] Okay. 

[01:12:54] Adrian Jankowiak: [01:12:54] So I really appreciate your time. It’s been really enlightening and it’s been, yeah, it’s been conversation just like the last one. Can’t wait for the next one. Where can people again, where can people find you? Where can people find your work and how, how can they be involved, et cetera? 

[01:13:14] Daniel Ampofo: [01:13:14] Okay. So for me personally, so I’m going to share, share a few of the things that for me personally, IamDanielAmpofo.com.

[01:13:22] IAMDANIELAMPOFO.com. And on my blog, I’m just sharing the real stories of designers and creatives in, in, in Ghana and in Africa. So you can just check it out and read a few of the blog posts that I have made. Over there. And, well my agencies, 93 studios. So at 93, we do branding, and advertising 93studios.

[01:13:49] We can find 93studios Instagram as well. And then three salutes our sites and N I N E T Y. And then the number three. So ninety3studios.co.  for my, for my business, website. So, yes, I mean, I double as a creative director, forninety3studios.co.

[01:14:14] And so you find most of our words on our websites and, My personal blog is IAMDANIELAMPOFO dot com. So I think that that’s all I could share for now. And for Dex yes, like I already said, you can register because we are doing it virtually everybody’s invited. I said, you can join me with your friends, share the links with your friends and then have them join in.

[01:14:34] Now they’ll sign up on dexartmosphere.org. Next atmosphere. Yeah, thank you very much for this. I think the very last thing I will want to say is that Africa is where the best creatives live. So we need to keep sharing our work with the world it’s very  important to me, whether in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, what’s a country that’s, you’re in what’s about what you do.

[01:14:58] Once it’s out there, share it with the world, hashtag #Africa, #Africandesigner, #Africandesigner, put it all out there so that when people are, we can be kind of find that brilliance where there’s that type of category to start doing. And that is what I would want to use to end this podcast. Thank 

[01:15:15] you

[01:15:15] Adrian Jankowiak: [01:15:15] African design to the world. Thank you, Daniel. 

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