David van der Merwe

David van der Merwe

Teacher Creative Business
Coming from many years of industry experience as a graphic designer, multimedia designer, art director, creative studio manager, portfolio curator and brand manager across South Africa and the Far East, I now share my experience and skills with the students of Creative Business.

My research interests started in the realm of online identity formation but have grown to include the metaverse, applied creativity and cultural branding – all topics I am more than happy to while away the hours talking about, preferably over a cup or two of tea. Or a beer, if it comes to that. I fritter away what little free time I have left on painting, reading science fiction, walking my dogs and occasionally playing roleplaying games. Years of interest in Eastern shamanic practices have gifted me with a calm, unshakable exterior and flexibility: traits I prized highly within the deadline-driven corporate side of the creative industries but which I now turn towards empathising with my colleagues and students.

Fields of expertise

  • Applied Creativity
  • Visual Brand Identity
  • Human-centred Design Process
  • Intercultural Strategic Thinking
  • Emerging Technology

Research themes

Memento Mori and the Online Afterlife; Identity in the Metaverse; Space vs Place and Displacement; Cultural Branding; Brand Identity Formation Theory; Visual Applications of Grounded Theory and Iconology

Other recent projects

  • V13 Media Magazine – 2015 to Present – Vancouver, Canada – Regular writer and reviewer
  • The Fifth Supper – 2021 – Porto, Portugal – Exhibiting artist

Key publications

Scholarly publications

  • van der Merwe, D. F. (2021). The metaverse as virtual heterotopia. 3rd World Conference on Research in Social Sciences, 63–73. https://www.dpublication.com/abstract-of-3rd-socialsciencesconf/41-20250/


  • Basiskwalificatie Didaktische Bekwaamheid; Hogeschool Utrecht; 2021
  • Magister Technologiae in Graphic Design; Tshwane University of Technology; 2019
  • Certification in Agile Project Management; LinkedIn Learning; 2019
  • Advanced Diploma in Digital Marketing; Shaw Academy Dublin; 2018
  • Member: Golden Key International Honours Society; 2014
  • BA (Honours) Visual Studies; University of Pretoria; 2013
  • Higher Diploma in Graphic Design and Multimedia; London College of Art; 2001
  • Higher Diploma in Graphic Design; Design School Southern Africa; 2000