SAE working creatively to shape our best creative minds


“World Design Capital’ is robust, alive and kicking in Cape Town and in South Africa in

While creatives, artists and designers have been grappling with the concepts of
design and design thinking for many years already, the significance and use of these
terms for all people are beginning to take a general hold.

In the past, certain terms – such as creativity, right-brained and out-of-the-box
thinking – tried to tell us what airy-fairy artists, creators, writers, inventors and
designers were busy with.

There were many books on how to integrate left- and -right-brained thinking, to work
holistically and to look at the big picture (or the forest) and not only count the trees.
We learned about innovation and inventions, entrepreneurs, wicked problems and
imaginative ideation (idea-generation). Throw the general state of the every-growing
population’s social and ecological challenges into the mix, and it is clear that logical
and analytical thinking alone will not do the job anymore.

The same airy-fairy people, it was understood, could maybe bring something different
to solving problems. Creative imagineers and design thinkers were called to brain
storm ways of solving these tricky human questions, and increasingly more
innovative, intuitive and non-logical solutions were found to solve problems. It’s
important to remember that the typical artist, creator, imaginative designer, is also
usually the one who is emphatic, human- and user-focused and is attentive to the
stories of the people with the problems.

The age of design and design thinkers has arrived. Slowly, people realised that design
thinking – which is often the opposite of logical and analytical thinking – could be
used in many different ways and areas, and that the “d-word’ is a totally valid and
even scientific means to “design’ our lives, careers, happiness, studies, arts,
environment, future, homes and cities on a daily basis. The design cycle of “define –
research – ideate – prototype – choose – implement and learn’ is now a method
accessible to all people to help solve their problems and challenges in new,
refreshing, innovative and original ways.

So can creativity be taught to and learned by all people, or is it reserved for the right-
brained imagineers? One of the biggest triumphs of tertiary education, globally and
locally, is that entire private schools and universities now deliberately foster and
apply the teaching of design and design thinking through creative and critical

SAE Institute is one of these design-creative media schools for sound production and
engineering, film production, and animation and motion design. In the business of
communication, we approach all media content (texts) as creative designs in answer
to audiences’ needs. All media messages – film, animation, music, sound, magazines,
newspapers, posters and books – are communication that is carefully created and
designed for optimal effect.

Our sound production and engineering students may work with a music group that
needs to get out there in the public eye. So we are then driven by creative questions:
how can we design their sound, their genre of music, their identities and produce the
very best sound for them that we can?

For our students in film production, the process is driven by asking: how can we
“design’ the best film, considering budget, equipment, time, actors and media
channels, to become an award-winning, profitable screen story? Our animation
students likewise follow rigorous steps for drawing and illustration, storyboarding,
character development, narrative design and finding actors to design good animation
films. Motion design can be used to enhance other messages and platforms, such as
websites, films, educational content and music.

Design, in education, is one of the most forceful and creative forces that can be used
to secure a prosperous life and future for everyone in this country. SAE Institute is
on this journey to the new “kingdom of design and creativity’, where we just love
what we do, every day.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here