Design Indaba 2012: Trust Your Gut And Take Risks To Really Be Creative

Design Indaba 2012: Trust Your Gut And Take Risks To Really Be Creative

PSFK was on hand for Design Indaba 2012, and was inspired by South African product designer, Porky Hefer's talk about transitioning from advertising exec to product designer in order to be able to express himself.

Kyana Gordon
  • 17 march 2012

“This talk is not to change the world, but rather to offer some words of encouragement,” declared Porky Hefer at the start of his Design Indaba 2012 presentation. After spending 16 years in advertising (and one step away from becoming the CEO of a major ad agency), he left it all to start his own venture, Animal Farm. Now, making a name for himself as a product designer, his ideas come to life by constantly sketching. One of his creations, Lite is a range wooden bulbs using indigenous African hardwood which function as lampshades and include an eco-friendly CFL bulb or LED light.

He also showed his Nest tree house project, which was inspired by weaver birds’ nests. Built with no inner steel framework, each nest is meticulously hand-constructed using all natural material like bark and branches. We had the opportunity to lounge in one of Porky’s nests during our visit to the Babylonstoren wine estate while in South Africa.

Inspired by a dog running past him at the beach that looked like it had human teeth, he created the hilarious Rogz Grinz Ball. A dog-friendly product when gripped by a canine’s teeth gives the impression of Porky’s initial vision.

Porky also shared how he got to a point in his advertising career where he realized the agency needed clients more then they needed us. He was frustrated by the many brilliant ideas he saw being thrown away due to politics and ignorance. And started making things. He offered the audience various nuggets of wisdom:

• NEVER stop evolving.

• The simpler your idea, the bigger your audience – too complex, too niche!

•  I consider myself an 8 year old with 35 years experience — but I can use power tools without adult supervision.

• Disconnect from the iPad, iPod, iMac and get sketching, test those ideas with a pen.

• With every thing you do, do something NEW every time.

• No one is going to say ‘leave my company, cos I’m paying you too little.’

• TRUST YOUR GUT to do that funny idea.

PSFK caught up with Porky Hefer to discuss the importance of trusting your gut.

Are the words “Trust your gut” your mantra, and why?

Yes, and never stop evolving. Don’t sit back and reproduce something you did yesterday. Make something new. Do something better. I want to be known for being limitless in solving problems and thinking up ideas.  It’s something I believe everyone should strive for too. Everyone can do it. They just need to break through that barrier that says they can’t.

Thanks Porky!

Photo Credit: TheM2K

Animal Farm

Design Indaba 2012


Fitness Advocate: Paving The Future of Workouts With Audio

Fitness & Sport
Brand Development Yesterday

Swipe Left On A Dating World Built To Keep You Single And Disconnected

Hinge's VP of Marketing Karen Fein tells us about the service's daring ditch of the swiping culture that's designed to attract advertising revenue, not meaningful connections

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Marvel Comic Tells The Story Of A Heroic Syrian Mother

Madaya Mom is the true tale of a family trapped inside a town for over a year


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Advertising

See All
Retail Yesterday

Brooklyn Cafe Lets Customers Pay By The Hour, Not By The Cup

Glasshour is an establishment that provides free coffee and pastries and charges for the time guests spend there

Technology Yesterday

Electric Spoon Changes The Way Food Tastes

The Taste Buddy is being developed to manipulate your taste buds and make everything more delicious

Travel Yesterday

Bike Path In Poland Can Glow For 20 Years Using Solar Power

Cyclists can follow the shimmering blue lanes for better safety each time they ride

Technology Yesterday

Open-Source Toolkit Lets Communities Build Their Own Street Furniture

The Wikiblock database contains 30 blueprints of different neighborhood fixtures including benches, bus stops, and kiosks

Food Yesterday

Tiny Pub Only Has Space For Three People

Make Time For It is a small London pop-up bar that encourages conversation without the distraction of technology


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Community Builder: How to Hack Slack

Claire Wasserman, Founder of Ladies Get Paid, describes how she's using an internal team communication tool to build a network of thousands

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Advertising Yesterday

This Beer Was Brewed Just For Scotch Drinkers

Highland Park Scotch Whisky & Sixpoint Brewery have teamed up to create two limited-edition pairings for New York City boilermakers

Mobile Yesterday

Let An AI Librarian Help Sort Your Digital Bookmarks

A new app uses machine learning to help organize your virtual life

Mobile Yesterday

Pizza Hut Tattoo Lets You Place An Order From Your Body

The latest gimmick from the fast-food chain is a tattoo-like sticker that lets customers get delivery with a simple tap on their arm

Travel Yesterday

Reinvented Bicycle Inspired By Supercar Design

The yellow bike based on a Lamborghini has sharp edges and an aluminum alloy frame

Health Yesterday

Health Platform Gives Perspective On Your Weekly Habits

Gyroscope is a new wellness app that works by amalgamating data about your life into beautifully designed visuals

Beauty Yesterday

Korean Beauty Brand Uses VR To Let Customers Pick Their Ingredients

Innisfree created a unique experience for its Shanghai Disneyland customers with a virtual reality trip to select what goes into their purchase

Arts & Culture Yesterday

3D-Printed Creations Resemble Floating Paper Outlines

Japanese design firm Nendo's exhibition features works that look like sheets of material being folded, torn, and crumpled

Technology october 21, 2016

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images

No search results found.