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Fear.Less: Daniel Ting & Jordan Metcalf

Fear.Less is a collaborative project between Daniel Ting Chong & Jordan Metcalf. The objects are all representative of weapons/items used in acts of crime in South Africa, both by criminal and the law. More pictures here (and a few of my favorites below).


The objects seek to playfully examine the place of fear and crime in South Africa context, framing our obsession with violence and the casual paranoia we all seem to suffer from. By scaling the objects and turning them into artworks, the artists aim to re-contextualise the place these items hold in our everyday lives.


Carlos de Spinola Photography


My South African-Portuguese pal, Carlos de Spinola, is at it again with his manual focus. After a brief hiatus of website updating during an extended trip through South Africa, the London-dwelling eagle eye photographer has posted quite the update. Everything from his signature Faux Double Exposure shots to Music, Weaponology (scary, but awesome"“ he used to be in the South African special police force) and my favorite by far, Nature"“ hence the awesome zebra pictured above. Also, keep your eyes peeled for a film he’s producing about South Africa. Congrats Carlos!

Dokter and Misses

Johannesburg’s Dokter and Misses is not exactly a store, but it’s not soley a studio either. A bit over half of the apparel and furniture outfitter’s wares are from their own cubism-influenced label of jewelry, lights, T-shirts, and vests. It’s a place “where dreams come to life and vodka slaying superheroes support and uplift South African design,” say the co-founders. A collaboration between furniture designer Adriaan Hugo and multidisciplinary designer Katy Taplin, Dokter and Misses featured an anti-Mugabe, pro-democracy poster series with Kudzanai Chiurai in the wake of the Zimbabwe presidential “elections” earlier this year. All this from a pair who met designing cardboard handbags at university. Even Tim Gunn’s producers didn’t think of that.


Can You Twist?

South Africa takes the reality show one step further. It’s called Can You Twist: six of the country’s best female short story authors compete online to be crowned “Short Story Diva.” For almost six weeks they’ve come up with zany plot twists in an effort to win viewer votes (and a nice chunk of prize money). We’re not sure what started the storytelling craze down there, but they’ve decided every Friday to bring elements of each story to life.

So far there’s been a huge art installation, the mass distribution of flowers, and a publicized break-up letter. The season is almost over, and who knows what weird machinations their literate minds will manifest.

Design Indaba: 10 x 10 Housing Project Challenge

In 2008, for the first time in recorded history, fifty percent of the World's population will be inhabitants of the earth's urban environments. The dense population of these cities has created a great need for low-cost housing. The Design Indaba Conference, celebrating its tenth anniversary, recently launched the 10×10 Housing Project Challenge to promote the South African design community. The project gathered ten architectural teams, consisting of one South African and one international architect and asked them to provide cutting-edge designs for homes in the low cost housing region of Freedom Park in Capetown, South Africa, that would dispose of the perception that housing for the poor has to be dull and absent of innovation. Some pretty arresting designs by the likes of Tom Dixon, Shigeru Ban, David Adjaye, Thomas Heatherwick And Klein Dytham resulted from the project, but that's not the end of the story; the last step is for the ten houses to be constructed and for a users manual to be given to the Minister of Housing. The manual will ‘provide open-source prototypes for the future.’ Perhaps their vision of the future involves flying cars…a boy can dream, right?

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