South African Design
Dokter and Misses portrait

Dokter and Misses is a South African design company that focuses on multidisciplinary product design.

South African design company, Dokter and Misses was established in 2007 by industrial designer Adriaan Hugo and graphic designer Katy Taplin. They develop furniture, lighting and interior solutions for private and corporate clients as well as educational institutions. Their hand-painted pieces form part of a growing catalogue of limited-edition collectible work that has shown in Basel, Dubai, London and New York.

This year, Dokter and Misses is the featured designer at 100% Design South Africa and is known for modernist pieces with strong construction lines and bold colours that form graphic shapes and spaces. Creative Feel spoke to Adriaan Hugo and Katy Taplin, the South African design duo behind the brand.

Dokter and Misses pieces were also on display at the Creative Feel stand at 100% Design.

South African Design
Dokter and Misses designs.

CREATIVE FEEL: When was the first time you realised that you were passionate about design?

DOKTER AND MISSES: Both of us showed a keen interested in the arts growing up so it was a natural progression.

CF: Tell us the story of the South African design company, Dokter and Misses: how did you start and where does the name ‘Dokter and Misses’ come from?

DAM: We met while studying. Adriaan studied Industrial Design, Katy studied Graphic Design. We both also worked in those respective fields before starting the company in late 2007. Our first project was a line of cardboard handbags and we opened our first store at 44 Stanley Avenue. It’s been slow and steady growth ever since and have moved to a larger showroom in Braamfontein and workshop in Jeppestown.

The origin of the name is a secret.

CF: What was the inspiration for your recent line?

DAM: The new work that we’re presenting at 100% Design this year in entitled foreva xxx. We started our process by looking into creating new forms that largely stem from sketches and thoughts on material exploration. This has resulted in cloud-like concrete bases, floating half spheres on glass, rounded stone cone monoliths and hanging leather storage hammocks.

The collection’s distinctive style is inspired by the ‘sculpture-for-use’ philosophies of Japanese American artist and industrial designer, Isamu Noguchi. The distinctive marriage of lines and materials found in Brazilian modernist furniture and a handful of carefully selected emojis as well.

South African Design
Dokter and Misses designs.

CF: What’s your favourite piece from this line?

Katy: Swings Cabinet

Adriaan: Fantasia Mirror

CF: How do you think you’ve changed over the years as designers?

DAM: Experience has allowed us to have a clearer vision of the end product at the outset of the design process. We collaborate more and are constantly evolving and are trying to stretch ourselves as designers.

CF: What is your philosophy on sustainable or eco-friendly design?

DAM: Considered, high quality design is sustainable design. Planned obsolescence is the opposite of eco-friendly design.

CF: You have collaborated with so many interesting people over the years, what is the importance of collaboration for you?

DAM: The chances of creating something new and unique are higher through collaboration. It also allows us to pool expertise and create products that we don’t have the expertise or capacity to pull of our own. The design process is largely centred around discovery and exploration. A great collaboration works when both parties bring their A-game and we can learn from one another.

All images are courtesy of Dokter and Misses.

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