IN: Inspiration

MEET THE JUDGES: AARON KOHN

Bright young thing Aaron Kohn OF MOAD provides proof that you needn’t have clocked up years of experience before making a real impact on the design landscape.

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Providing inspiration for other aspiring young creatives, Aaron is the founding Director of the relatively new Museum of African Design (MOAD), which opened its doors in October 2013. First conceived by Jonathan Liebmann and located in the Maboneng Precinct in Johannesburg, MOAD is not only the first museum of design in South Africa, it is also our continent’s first museum dedicated to African design.

Aaron Khon

So how did Aaron come to be involved in MOAD? This American-born cultural instigator hails from Cleveland, Ohio, and started his early career as a filmmaker. He started making films at the age of 16, and travelled throughout Africa documenting what he saw. His productions were largely commissioned by NGOs who were trying to raise funds for foreign aid in Africa. His time as a filmmaker deepened his interest in Africa and sparked a passion for African Studies which then led him to investigate African Art History as an area of special focus. Aaron studied at Wits and in the United States and after this academic stint, he settled in Johannesburg. In 2012 he met up with Liebmann and starting discussing the idea of transforming an abandoned warehouse into a world-class museum destination.

And thus the progressive space known as MOAD, which is not a conventional “white cube” gallery, was born. Aaron is responsible for managing the museum, brokering sponsorships, mounting exhibitions and organising events and attractions that will draw people to the museum.

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