Review of the first edition of the first Pan-African and Global Forum on Design, Innovation and Creative Industries Economies and the first World Design Talks in Africa by Africa Design Days under the high patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI at Rabat on 28, 29 and 30 June 2017

Rabat (Morocco) – The first African edition of the World Design Talks, hosted by WDO Member Africa Design Days (ADD) has resulted in a most promising outcome – this being the first pan-African and international forum dedicated to design and innovation.

Organized in Rabat on 29 and 30 June 2017, the event was distinguished by the quality of the participants it attracted. There were more than 250 participants with over 80 designers, decision makers, and companies, representing top continental and international design professionals, as well as a significant contribution by WDO’s international membership. They actively participated in numerous workshops organized to address the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #12 – Responsible Consumption and Production.

The event was also purposefully held to coincide with WDO’s 60th anniversary on 29 June 2017 and became part of a global roster of events, celebrated in more than 34 countries, by more than 100 design organizations and companies on the occasion of World Industrial Design Day.

In Rabat, the theme was discussed in six panels at the Forum and World Design Talks. These panels, marked by the presence of recognized national and international figures, resulted in recommendations that will be further explored during the next WDO General Assembly, which will be held on 14 and 15 October in Torino, Italy. These recommendations will be presented and discussed with the global design community at a dedicated workshop for WDO Members, inspiring the actions of a global design agenda during the next two years.

“Historically, WDO has aimed to seize every opportunity to elevate events that provide a bridge between pan-African communities,” stated WDO Board Member Gilles Rougon. “The event and its workshops presented an unprecedented format that we were eager to explore considering the large number of non-design participants. As a result, we have every confidence that the outcomes will not only continue to stimulate the right actors to pursue collaborations that will propel design at the heart of Africa’s progress, but will contribute to WDO’s own global dialogue around the achievement of the UN SDGs.”

The event was also distinguished by the singularity of the creations of six award-winning participants at the Africa Design Award 2017 held on 28 June 2017. Organized as a prelude to the ADD, this competition was founded in 2014 by Moroccan designer Hicham Lahlou to showcase African design and innovation, and subsequently launched at the New York Forum Africa in Livreville, Gabon.

In addition to these six winners, the jury of the Africa Design Award also honoured four other designers for their commitment in the field of design and life long dedication. They awarded the Tribute Prize to the following:

  • Marva Griffin Wilshire (Italy), Founder and Curator of the Satellite Show
  • Mugendi K. M’Rithaa (South Africa), President of the World Design Organization
  • Anne-Marie Boutin (France), President of the APCI Agency of Promotion and Industrial Creation
  • David Adjaye (Ghana), world-renowned architect & Designer

Who Was There

  • Azza Ayachi, Industrial Designer, WDO Community Liaison (Tunisia)
  • Abbas Jamie, Aurecon (South Africa)
  • David Kusuma, Tupperware Brands Corporation (USA)
  • Hicham Lahlou, Africa Design Days, WDO Community Liaison (Morocco)
  • Pierre-Yves Panis, Philips Lighting (The Netherlands)
  • Gilles Rougon, Électricité de France (EDF), WDO Board Member (France)
  • Srini Srinivasan, Lumium, WDO Board Member (USA)
  • Pradyumna Vyas, National Institute of Design (India)
  • Ralph Wiegmann, iF International Forum Design GmbH (Germany)