Nadine Botha is a research designer and writer preoccupied with the unseen social, political, economic, scientific and cultural values embedded in taken-for-granted materials such as sugar and shit. Through installations, exhibitions, digital media, performances, publications, workshops, journalism and academia, she explores how these materials design our objects, bodies, homes, cities, technologies, experiences and knowledges.
Based in Rotterdam, she is a recipient of the Creative Industries Talent Development Award 2019-20, and is a mentor at Design Academy Eindhoven. Her ongoing participatory research project Sugar: A Cosmology of Whiteness launched at Neuhaus at the Het Nieuwe Instituut in 2019, and is part of the (UN)Real exhibition of the Rotterdam Science Gallery in 2020. Along with Jan Boelen and Vera Sacchetti, she co-curated the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial—A School of Schools in 2018. In 2017 she was assistant curator of the Rasheed Araeen Retrospective at Vanabbemuseum in Eindhoven.
Originally from South Africa, she graduated with a Master’s in Design Curating and Writing from Design Academy Eindhoven, winning the Gijs Bakker Award for her project, The Politics of Shit. Previously she was editor of Design Indaba magazine, recognised as one of the top 100 most innovative magazines in 2009, and worked for Mail&Guardian, VISI and Cape Town Partnership.
In 2005, Deep South published her poetry collection Ants Moving the House Millimetres. Her poems have been featured on Poetry International and The Common, and published in various magazines in South Africa, including Donga, Southern Rain Poetry, Litnet, Sweet, New Coin, Ons Kleintjie, Laugh It Off and Botsotso.