Most Beautiful Object in S.A. 2015 is…

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And the winner, by public vote, for Most Beautiful Object in South Africa 2015 is… 

…”The Boomslang

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Kirstenbosch’s suspended walkway designed by architect Mark Thomas and structural engineer Henry Fagan is the public’s choice in the Most Beautiful Object in SA at Design Indaba Expo 2015.

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“This award is such a wonderful surprise! Never before has there been an opportunity like this for an architect and an engineer in South Africa,” said Thomas about Kirstenbosch’s commission. “It has felt unreal from the beginning – I still pinch myself about this project. We worked on it for three years. We were surprised that it was possible to create such a complex 3D shape.”

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Inspired by a snake skeleton, the walkway is a curved steel and timber bridge that winds and dips its way through and over the trees. It takes the visitor on an awe-inspiring journey through nature, rising up from the forest floor into and through the trees and bursting out above the canopy, giving spectacular panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains, Garden and Cape Flats. Thomas and Fagan designed the structure to be low maintenance and low impact.

{What do you think of this year’s MBOISA winner? Who did you vote for?}

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MBOISA 2015: Nominations!

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It’s our great pleasure to once again share the much-anticipated Most Beautiful Object in South Africa (MBOISA) 2015 finalists with you. Beauty is profoundly subjective, at times even divisive. This year’s nominations feature a wildly mixed bag – from the personal to the practical to the political…

I won’t lie, I was rather surprised by some of the choices. I mean, a DSTV decoder is not my idea of a beautiful object. I am however sure the reasoning behind its nomination was sound. My vote would probably be a toss-up between the funky Haywire Chandelier by David Krynauw or the beautifully whimsy Centre Point: Dancing Ballerina by Llewellyn Davies.

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“Every year Design Indaba invites the public to engage with the question of what constitutes beauty through the MBOISA award. More than just an object of visual delight, MBOISA encourage a wider definition of beauty – one that encapsulates attributes such as social significance, economic impact, usability, sustainability and even humour.” – Design Indaba

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The winner will be determined by public vote. Vote for your most beautiful object in South Africa, via SMS or online. The designs of all the MBOISA finalists will be on show at Design Indaba Expo, open to the public from Friday 27 February to Sunday 1 March at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. 

{Go to the Design Indaba website (here) for a full description of each finalist’s design and to vote!}

So what do you think, see something you like? Who is going to get your vote?

{click on image to enlarge}

{All info and images via Design Indaba}

“Today for Tomorrow” at Made by You Pop-Up Shop

Cavendish Square collaborated with local green designers to create sustainable products from the waste recycled by the centre. These chic & functional products can be bought at their Made by You & Cavendish Square Recycling Pop up store during the month of October 2014…

I rather like that title “Today for Tomorrow” as a WDC 2014 initiative.  To me it carries a very powerful message of being present in what we undertake today, with a view of impacting our environment and surrounding going into tomorrow. One of those “speaks for itself” taglines.

And in keeping with the whole pop-up shop trend that is still gaining momentum in Cape Town, it is heart warming to see one of Cape Town’s landmark upmarket shopping malls, Cavendish Square, playing host to a designer orientated pop-up shop. For those further afield from Cape Town, just a piece of useless information – Cavendish Square has many, many designer label shops. Mostly all in the “High Street” genre. That to me then makes this initiative by Cavendish really cool – bringing in your street level designer labels and giving them exposure alongside the high street labels. Just the kinda inclusive exposure these designers need.

 I realise that it is a bit late in the month, but for those of us in the Cape Town area, there is still time to nip over to Cavendish to take in the power of creative design influences by local designers. Something that we can surely be very Proudly South African.

Interior Greenery

By Marica

I while back I stumbled across a little decorating mantra that suggest you put something “living” in each room of your home – be that a vase of flowers, plant, or goldfish. I can understand this sentiment as plants do give an increased sense of well-being – probably their air-filtering, oxygen-emitting qualities!

I don’t know if you can recall but a decade or so ago somebody decided that interior plants are less than desirable. Why I do not know – maybe the greenery clashed with the chosen colour scheme, or the organic plants did not sit well with the harsh minimalist contemporary interiors that was so trendy at the time… Well, I just think that’s absolute poppycock!

The sad part is – I had not even notice this absence of  house plants until Rose mentioned it last week whilst we were discussing the current lovely hanging planter trend. Luckily, a couple of years ago, some nature-loving, green-fingered plant enthusiasts (like Rose and myself) insured the reintroduction of plants in the interior space. Seems it only takes a few individuals to fan the flames of a trend we were subconsciously craving for. Now? – plants everywhere – and I’m loving it!

What I most appreciate about this pot-plant revival is the unusual and interesting ways you can incorporate greenery into your home. The variety of indoor planters today is remarkable. They come in all shapes, sizes and styles – anything from recycled tins to beautifully painted ceramic pots.

Look up… no really, look up – the least used space in your home will inevitably be the ceiling. Wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted planters are both great quirky ways to add plant life into your home without having to sacrifice floor space – a rare commodity in today’s urban environment.

Need something low maintenance? Why not cultivate a terrarium or two – it looks amazing and if you select the correct plant and vessel it will pretty much take care of itself!

And then my absolute favourite, however very unconventional… using furniture to house you beloved plants! An old dresser with a plant sticking out of every other drawer, a glass-fronted armoire that serves as a mini greenhouse, or a rickety chair with orchids where the seat used to be – it’s ideas like these that really excites me! It is a guaranteed conversation starter.

{So, what do you think of this awesome and unusual planter revolution? Do you have plants in your space?}

Plants & Planters ǀ The Design Tabloid (9)

I simply adore how Grace Light of Poetic Home repurposed this vintage library card catalogue into botanical cabinet filled with a dozen of air plants!


Plants & Planters ǀ The Design Tabloid (8)

This stunning geodesic terrarium with its  triangular glass panes used to be an antique chandelier – lovingly transformed by Restoration Hardware.


Plants & Planters ǀ The Design Tabloid (6)

Glass bell jars can make for excellent terrariums! Don’t you just love this interesting vignette created when using glass vases of different shapes and sizes as planters?! Image: Better Homes and Gardens

Emulate by Tersia Fisher

By Marica

Rose and I found the Emerging Creatives section at this year’s Design Indaba Expo so utterly amazing and talent-filled that we are breaking The Design Tabloid tradition and featuring each Creative individually. Over the next few months, hopefully once a week, we will share our favourite up-and-coming designers from the Emerging Creative bunch with you. Keep your eyes peeled – these guys and gals are muchos talented!

First Creative up – surface designer Tersia Fisher and her range of soft furnishings and fashion wear. Tersia found inspiration in nature, especially in the highly textured ocean-dwelling organisms, and named her handmade range “Emulate“.

Admirably, she set out to create a truly sustainable product. The fabrics used to create her cushions and accessories are 100% off-cut and waste materials she salvaged from office furniture manufacturers. Tersia then hand-stitches each cushion, creating an organic once-off product. This process is extremely time-consuming – the bigger floor cushion took her a whopping 72 hours to complete!

The result is highly tactile – my first instinct was to reach out and run my fingers across the cushion’s textured surface. In fact, I saw a good few people at the Expo to exactly the same – but like Tersia said: “go ahead, they are made to be touched!

To find out more about Tersia and her beautiful cushions please visit her Facebook page: here.

Emulate by Tersia Fisher ǀ The Design Tabloid (7)

Emulate by Tersia Fisher ǀ The Design Tabloid (2)

Emulate by Tersia Fisher ǀ The Design Tabloid (4)

{Images via Tersia Fisher}