Awards & Competitions - in Africa

Emerging Creatives Programme 2017

Status: Closed

Who can participate: Applications are accepted from South African citizens only (see criteria entry below, ¨criteria for entry¨)

Project submission deadline: Main Class: 31 October 2016 / Extended Class: 25 November 2016


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.**

  • Mentorship and support opportunities
  • Return flights to Cape Town from your home city and accommodation for the duration of Design Indaba Festival 2017, with a daily stipend
  • Tickets to watch Design Indaba Simulcast
  • Attendance to a physical workshop in February and a second online workshop later in the year
  • The opportunity to showcase your work at the Design Indaba Conference in Cape Town (T’s & C’s apply)
  • An exhibition of your work
  • A profile on in the Designer Directory
  • A year of prolonged national and international media exposure including online video, web articles and social media posts

Emerging Creatives: Extended Class of 2017

Applications for the extended class will be sourced until 25 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.

  • Mentorship and support opportunities
  • Tickets to watch Design Indaba Simulcast in your home city
  • An exhibition of your work
  • A profile on in the Designer Directory

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

 Criteria for Entry

  • Applications are open to current students and recent graduates (must have graduated from a tertiary institute within the last two years).
  • Applications are open to those with no tertiary studies as well, granted that the reason for application is justified.
  • Emerging Creatives is primarily a student programme, therefore preference will be given to applicants between the ages of 17 – 30 years old. If, however, you have changed career paths and are a mature student or novice just entering the industry, you are still welcome to apply.
  • If already working within the design industry, applicants must not have had an established business for more than 12 months at the time of applying.
  • Applications are accepted from South African citizens only.
  • Products must be created and manufactured in South Africa.
  • Past Emerging Creatives may not re-apply for entry.

Brough to you by 

DESIGN-INDABADesign Indaba inspires and empowers people to create a better future through design and creativity. We are an online publication ( with an annual Festival and social impact do tank.

Design Indaba has become a respected institution on the global creative landscape, based on the foundation of our annual Festival that has attracted and showcased the world’s brightest talent since 1995. We have broadened our through-the-year offering with our online design publication that features the best of the world’s creativity and attracts over half a million visitors each year. Through these channels we champion noteworthy design, facilitate and produce creative projects, support creative businesses and run educational initiatives.

ARTS & CULTURE-SOUTH-AFRICAThe Department of Arts and Culture of South Africa is tasked to create an environment conducive to the growth, development and flowering of South Africa’s arts, culture and heritage landscape. Among its key objectives are the improvement, re-orientation and expansion of the arts and culture sector to serve South Africa’s cultural needs.



For further information

For further information about Emerging Creatives, visit the official website.

For further information about the Event, please check out their website.

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





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