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Design Joburg: Best in Show

Come May 2017, the Sandton Convention Centre will be the go-to place for design aficionados and those just naturally intrigued by leading décor and design.

The inaugural Design Joburg, which takes place from 12 to 14 May, will showcase the best local and international design brands in a fresh and unique way that aims to fire up enthusiasm and conversation. For three days, the trade and public will have the opportunity to browse and be inspired by hundreds of brands and products for the home, ranging from furniture and lighting, to kitchen and bath lines, materials, craft and objets d’art. But don’t expect your regular expo-style show. Design Joburg sees the return of South Africa’s benchmark decorating show, Rooms on View, as a show-within-a-show. One of the most popular events in the industry’s history, Rooms on View will return reinvigorated to present the latest in trending décor. Inspired by Rooms on View’s novel method of showcasing product via roomsets, Design Joburg will intensify this offering by featuring collaboration as an integral part of the show. Progressive products will come together in creative displays, thanks to the efforts of a wide group of pioneering designers. This process will be curated by two of South Africa’s leading design luminaries, Andrea Kleinloog and Megan Hesse of Anatomy Design and HK Studio.

‘We want to break the mould of a traditional expo and create a live Pinterest board,’ says Andrea Kleinloog.

The design duo aim to do this by pairing up architects and interior designers with prominent design brands to create exhibits and features that are unique, alluring and offer the visitor real take-home inspiration. This creative method of showcasing will ensure a curated blend of quality and diversity, and will bring to the spotlight both seasoned designers and upcoming talents. The stellar line-up will include stalwarts such as GASS Architecture Studios, Robert Sherwood and Michele Throssell, while new-to-the-scene talent will include the likes of Kelly Adami and Thabisa Mjo. Design Joburg will provide a three-day platform for visitors and exhibitors to mingle, converse, admire and discover. With its collaborative and creative approach, the inaugural Design Joburg promises to be an energising and social event, conceptualised in the spirit of design being by people, for people and about people.

Five minutes with…

Three leading local designers share their thoughts on design and their involvement in DESIGN JOBURG

Thabisa Mjo

What’s your name and what do you do?

Thabisa Mjo, the founder of Mash.T Design Studio, an interior and product design firm.

How would you describe your product/style?

Contemporary African-influenced design. Re-imagining the African aesthetic as we know it and presenting it in a cool, fresh new way.

What can visitors expect from you at Design Joburg?

Fun design that doesn’t take itself too seriously. I’m launching four new products; think scale, think geometric shapes and a bit of whimsy.

What are the top trends for 2017 that you’ll be embracing?

One word, iridescent. It’s coming back in a major way and I am loving it.

What can’t you live without right now?

Reliable and fast internet connection.

David Krynauw

What’s your name and what do you do?

David Krynauw, I am the owner and director of a furniture design and manufacturing company. We specialise in the production of high quality solid wood furniture and modular wooden structures.

What do you love most about local design?

The fact that we have a strong voice as a direct result of our own unique experience.

How does SA design differ from the global scene?

In SA most designers become makers in order to design. This gives us a greater understanding of our chosen medium and I see this as a big advantage over our global counterparts.

What can’t you live without right now?

A kale and ginger smoothie, my Moleskine notebook and my CNC machine.

Mpho Vackier

What’s your name and what do you do?

I am Mpho Vackier, founder and interior designer at The Urbanative.

How would you describe your product/style?

We’re all about the celebration of culture and design… think Esther Mahlangu meets mid-century meets contemporary living!

Can you tell us more about any new designs that you may be launching at the show?

We’re exploring multi-functionality, without compromising on the true essence of the piece.

What do you love most about local design?

The stories and energy behind locally designed products. There’s a vibrancy and authenticity to the way South African designers approach their creative process.

What can’t you live without right now?

My sketch book and my support structure (family and friends), sleep, my phone and my portable charging block.

Andrea Kleinloog

Creative Director of Design Joburg… SA’s newest décor and design show

Design Joburg
Issey Miyake homeware for Iitalla

What is your role in Design Joburg?

My title is Creative Director, but a better way of describing my role might be, ‘jack of all trades, master of none’!

Tell us about your vision for the show.

My goal for this project is to work together with the team to create a new platform – one that will be led by the industry and be exciting (and financially viable) for both exhibitors and visitors. We want Design Joburg to change the way the design industry and the public see shows. It should be fun to visit while highlighting the remarkable developments going on in the industry.

What excites you about local design?

We are very lucky to be working in this field in South Africa. We have an inextricable ability to link to manufacturing and production, which has been filtered out in some of the more developed fields.

How do you think Joburg design differs from Cape Town design?

I have always loved this question. I think Joburg is based on industry and production, while Cape Town has a more craft-specific focus.

What local design item are you coveting right now?

The HERR UELER coffee table by Douglas & Company.

What international piece is on your birthday wishlist?

Strangely, for someone who works a lot with things, I covet very few. That said, right now, probably Issey Miyake homeware for Iittala.

What fabric are you using in your latest interior design project?

We use a lot of Philip Pikus fabrics (who will collaborate with T&Co at the show). I love the incredible handle and quality of his collection and the fact that it’s locally manufactured, which is very important to us as a studio.

What are you most looking forward to on the Design Joburg journey?

I think the most intriguing part for me, right now, is how the entire show will come together. From the experience, to the product, to the food, I am excited to see all the plans come to life.

DESIGN JOBURG, featuring Rooms on View, runs from 12 to 14 May 2017. Visit for more details and to purchase tickets.

Collaborative Roomsets

In May 2017, Design Joburg, featuring Rooms on View, will be transforming the Sandton Convention Centre.

Collaboration is an integral part of Design Joburg, and they’re underscoring this with curated feature exhibits that will bring together leading architects and interior designers with top drawer brands, local artisans and suppliers. Design Joburg creates the rare opportunity for South Africa’s prominent brands to access some of the country’s leading lights in design. With almost 20 interior designers, design studios and architects hand-picked by the show’s Creative Directors, Andrea Kleinloog and Megan Hesse, co-owners of Anatomy Design and HK Studio, these design stalwarts will each curate an inspired space. This pioneering approach results in innovative spaces that turn the traditional notion of the exhibition space on its head. Under the direction of leading architects and designers, each stand will showcase the latest trends with creativity and originality at their core. These spaces, however, will not just be about recognised designers and brands. Design Joburg is running a mentorship programme alongside this Collaborative Exhibit showcase by identifying ‘undiscovered’ talents and pairing them up with our established designers as mentors. The results of this mentorship will then be featured in the designers’ exhibits, creating a much larger stage for these emerging crafters and artisans to showcase their skills and wares.

Designers, design studios and architects participating in this revolutionary concept and their corresponding briefs/themes are:

Design Joburg

‘Our collaborative approach will combine interesting and resourceful exhibits, cutting-edge technology and the best craftsmanship. We want to create a refreshing and rousing show where visitors, the public and industry alike, can find inspiration, suppliers and solutions all in one space,’ says Andrea Kleinloog, adding, ‘We want to break the mould of a traditional expo and create a live Pinterest board.’

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