Nando's wisdom and Dennis Hopper poetry at Design Indaba Day two

26 February 2015

Another super-busy day in Cape Town saw a thrilling range of creative practitioners take to the Design Indaba stage where they treated us to an amazing array of creative insights. You can check out our Day 1 highlights here – featuring ovulation, orchids and Burning Man – or read on to see our best moments from today.

Robbie Brozin

The day kicked off with Robbie Brozin, co-founder of Nando’s chicken restaurants and a compelling, freewheeling foul-mouthed inspiration. His session was littered with quotable lines (e.g. “I’m fucking lazy, I want to do as little as possible”) and he discussed the humour on which the brand’s messaging has long been built; of doing an ad with chickens he said: “We couldn’t afford actors so we used chickens; there’s no casting and you can put them back in stock afterwards.”

Robbie was particularly interesting in his analysis of the South African soul, and you could see how it has impacted on his success. “South Africa has a sense of insecurity, a sense of energy. We can do a lot with a little. We never want to be irrelevant, it’s part of our DNA.”

He’s confident in Nando’s brand values but isn’t close-minded about the future. “We have Ten Don’t Fuck Withs,” he said. “Actually we have seven, there’s three still to come.”

Santiago Cirugeda

We don’t cover a lot of architecture on It’s Nice That but Santiago isn’t your average architect – he’s an activist whose talk was a call-to-arms for us to reclaim control of our cities. These weren’t just neat soundbites either as Santiago has run a number of projects using empty plots of land and harnessing local communities to create arts centres, education facilities and the like.

He railed against the “pornography” of lots of contemporary architecture which is so obsessed with beauty; of his own work he said: “Everyone has an ugly friend.” And he believes it’s time to stop asking permission to change our built environment: “If they say no, we do it. If they want to collaborate we try…”


Santiago Cirugeda: La Carpa (The Big Top)

Shubhankar Ray

Indian-born branding guru Shubhankar Ray has led some of the world’s most interesting companies, like Camper, Caterpillar and now G-Star. His main idea was that in the obsession with content, we’ve overlooked the importance of context and he showed some examples how he’s tried to toy with the latter. Perhaps the strangest moment of the day was a video he showed of Dennis Hopper interrupting a G-Star catwalk show to recite Rudyard Kipling’s If.

“People expected lots of beautiful people and they got a 70-year-old man reading poetry," he said.

Dominic Wilcox

The artist, designer, inventor, northerner and star of this week’s Bookshelf gave a really entertaining talk about his work and the principles he tries to live and work by. Funny, self-deprecating and ceaselessly inventive, Dominic talked about making time for improvisation, the idea of creativity as a proactive thing and his attitude to playfulness. “It’s the most powerful way of finding ideas,” he insisted.


Dominic Wilcox: A Side ring to draw attention to an engagement ring

Roy Choi

The godfather of the Los Angeles food cart scene, Roy has built a movement off the back of his first Korean BBQ truck. He explained how they spread word-of-mouth in the early days of Kogi using Twitter (“It was free, and was like throwing a message in a bottle to the universe”) and like Robbie Brozin he had a psychogeographer’s feel for his home territory: “Everything is up for change in LA because so many people just arrived.”

His latest venture is Loco’l, a project to revolutionise fast food which is currently in crowdfunding stage, which seems to prove he lives by his mantra: “We don’t lecture, we do…”

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About the Author

Rob Alderson

Rob joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in July 2011 before becoming Editor-in-Chief and working across all editorial projects including, Printed Pages, Here and Nicer Tuesdays. Rob left It’s Nice That in June 2015.

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