Local (Design) is Lekker!

The local design world’s abuzz with news of the first 100% Design South Africa, which starts running at Gallagher Convention Centre tomorrow in conjunction with Decorex SA. This international design exhibition, which started in London and has made its way to Tokyo and Singapore, now finds itself at the gateway to the African continent. As an official part of Cape Town’s World Design Capital 2014 programme, 100% Design South Africa firmly establishes that local (design) is lekker!

100% Design South Africa

The visual feast that is 100% Design South Africa

I had the good fortune of meeting 100% Design South Africa’s Programmes Director, Cathy O’Clery, as she was scouting out prospects for this curated exhibition. In her opinion, “Africa designers are totally conscious of the bigger design world and are beginning to be confident in offering their take.”

As a curated show 100% Design South Africa guarantees that the exhibitors all meet the grade. It is no wonder that Ballack Art House caught Cathy’s eye. Her eyes and hands lingered on the Ballack Art House canvases and she almost hugged their cushions, describing the designs as “fresh”. There and then she extended an invitation for them to exhibit in a section of the show called 100% Talent that is focused on emerging creatives and partially sponsored by Business of Design.

Ballack Art House will be showcasing their new Karoo range inspired by the vivid and changing landscapes that artist and photographer Ivan Ballack encountered on a recent journey through the Karoo. “These images,” he explains, “were taken from the window of the local long-distance train, the Shosholoza Meyl, and speaks of changing seasons, the roaming wildlife and the inevitable decay so visible in this part of the country.” Here’s a sneak peak …

Karoo, Ballack Art House Karoo range

Karoo, part of Ballack Art House’s new Karoo range

Hex Vally, Ballack Art House Karoo range

Hex Vally, part of Ballack Art House’s new Karoo range


Some exciting features of the show include the Mr Price Home Colab Café, a space for unwinding in the middle of the exhibition hall celebrates Mr Price Home’s collaborations with SA designers like Ed Suter (check out the desirable hoodie by Ed below); the live drawing of multi-disciplinary artist, Atang Tshikare (see his customisation of a pair of Adidas – sublime!); and 100% Office where office design possibilities will no doubt be challenged by the likes of Dokter & Misses and the Dauphin HumanDesign Group (see the Dauphin sound-absorbing chair below). An extra treat at the 100% Office display will be the free copies of Visi Magazine – yay!

Ed Suter design

Ed Suter’s wax print fabric designs in a ultra desirable hoodie

Atang Tshikare Adidas

Atang Tshikare customised a pair of Adidas sneakers

Atang Tshikare drawing

Atang Tshikare in action






Dauphin HumanDesign Group

Sublime privacy, Dauphin’s sound-absorbing, high-backed seating

I can’t wait for this visual feast of South African contemporary design alongside works by internationally acclaimed designers Jaime Hayon (http://www.hayonstudio.com/) and Thomas Heatherwick, the man responsible for designing the much-anticipated conversion of the Grain Silo in the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town into the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa.

Museum of Contemporary Art Africa by night_image courtesy of Thomas Heatherwick Studio

By the looks of it the rest of the world also thinks South Africa is lekker!


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