Latest News

Emerging Creatives

Looking for your creative break? Look no further than the annual Emerging Creatives programme presented by Design Indaba and the Department of Arts and Culture.

The Emerging Creatives Programme presented by Design Indaba and the Department of Arts and Culture provides support, education and mentoring for South Africa’s future designers.

This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has helped launch the careers of celebrated and vibrant young designers such as Laduma Ngxokolo, Katherine-Mary Pichulik, Daniel Ting Chong and Andile Dyalvane.

What the programme did and is still doing for my business I could have never imagined. – Abongile Gwele, Apples & Oranges (2016)

 About Emerging Creatives

The Emerging Creatives programme is a developmental platform for young creatives who have relatively little industry exposure. Design Indaba established the Emerging Creatives programme in 2005 because of a strong belief in nurturing this new creative talent and knocking down the barriers to entry for those just getting started. With the fundamental changes in the media landscape and the local design industry, we have endeavoured to make the programme even more relevant in the South African context. Architects, fashion designers, illustrators, furniture designers or jewellers – all sectors are welcome and participants are selected based on the quality and originality of their work and its ability to stand alongside world-class designs.

The programme provides the opportunity to be inspired by the best designers in the world and the selected participants will get to meet leaders in the local and international design industry. Their work will be showcased to retail buyers and media from around the world, and the programme gives support, mentorship and guidance in how to manage and grow small businesses.

The 2017 Emerging Creatives program will be two-tiered, which will have a wider national footprint and which will also allow more creatives to participate in varying capacities.

If I am accepted, what is included?

If your application is successful and you are chosen to be a Design Indaba 2017 Emerging Creative, you may receive the following**:


Emerging Creatives: Main Class of 2017

Applications for the main class of 2017 (which will be hosted in Cape Town, but sourced from all over South Africa) closes at midnight on 31 October 2016. A total of 40 participants will be selected from entries received by this deadline.  This group will be subject to the full Emerging Creatives programme, including attending the Simulcast, attending the workshop, exhibiting at the Cape Town venue, as well as attending the prestigious Design Indaba social networking events.**

Emerging Creatives: Extended Class of 2017

Applications for the extended class will be sourced until 15 November 2016 and will feature only candidates from Johannesburg and Durban. Successful applicants will attend the Simulcast in their home city, and they will exhibit their work there as well.

 ** The above benefits are subject to the sponsorship funding received for the programme. 

 Emerging Creatives FAQs

Criteria for Entry:


Apply to be a 2017 Emerging Creative here.

Find out more about some of our Emerging Creatives alumni and what they have been up to since launching their careers.