Concrete Is Still Hot: 10 Beautiful Designs to Prove It!

The concrete trend has been with us for more than five years. Part of me is quite surprised that it has not yet faded away to join all the other micro-trends on the “trends that was” pile. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy the use of concrete or cement in decorative items, homeware and furniture. I just thought that people would have grown tired of it by now. Not that I have, I still love it as much as the first time I saw beautiful and clever concrete-y décor (not to mention those clever cement DIYs).

I suppose the use of concrete in interior design and decorative objects developed as the Industrial home style flourished. Further contributing to concrete’s popularity, is its versatility and availability. We now see both concrete and cement being used in unexpected, clever and out-of-the-box ways.

I also feel there has been a “refinement” in the way concrete is used by product designers. The general look is far more chic and sophisticated. This is evident in the various concrete products that are currently on our local homeware store shelves. We have selected ten amazing examples of local concrete décor products to show you below.

Well this definitely proofs that concrete is way more that just some passing fad…

Bamboo Desk Lamp by Burghen Siebert

By Marica

By now you all know I have a thing for clever and sexy lighting designs – I therefore just had to share this awesome little desk lamp with you. The Bamboo Desk Lamp, made from steam-bent & laminated bamboo, is the creation of Capetonian Industrial Design student Burghen Siebert.

“The desk lamp was designed with simplicity and function in mind. The lathed lamp shade is toped off with a sand-blasted perspex rim that allows a comfortable 100º glow. The hand spun aluminium fitting allows easy adjustment to the pitch and hight of the lamp, as well as adding a beautiful contrast to the bamboo.”

Isn’t it simply gorgeous?! Well done, Burghen – I would love to see what designs you come up with during the remainder of our studies and thereafter… talented young man!

Bamboo Desk Lamp by Burghen Siebert
Bamboo Desk Lamp by Burghen Siebert
Bamboo Desk Lamp by Burghen Siebert

[Images & info via]

Jared Odell Asks “What’s Your Colour?”

I’ve recently been thinking back to our whirlwind Design Indaba experience earlier this year. We saw SO many awesome things and met SO may awesome designers, including this talented local boy’tjie…

Jared Odell on his FULBRITE Coffee Table

Capetonian furniture designer Jared Odell has been making some serious design waves since the launch of his first furniture range last year. The Fulbrite Range playfully combines bent powder-coated sheet metal with gorgeous solid Scandinavian birch plywood. It has an elegant simplicity and quirky fold-out and slot-in look about it that in some slight way reminds me of flat-packed furniture. The beauty of the range is the option to choose your favourite colour for powder coating, giving you the option to create something truly unique.

The FULBRITE chair. Pick a colour!

Jared, who studied Industrial Design at Cape Peninsula University of Technology alongside the Pedersen+Lennard whiz kids (sho, that year sure turned out design diamonds), is a Mid-century Modernists enthusiast. Just like the Modernists, he attempts to balance aesthetics, function, and simplicity while staying true to his chosen materials.

The FULBRITE bench and the newest addition to range, the “Lobby Chair” on the right.

In an interview with Jared last year, Visi posed the question: “Does South Africa inspire your design at all? If so, how?” I quite like Jared’s answer…

“Yes, I think the relaxed culture of South Africans has inspired me to create furniture that’s fun and not too pretentious. European design is beautiful, but it’s often so serious. South Africans like beautiful yet practical things, so I’ve tried to create a range that’s usable and practical. I’m designing furniture, not making art.”

Check out Jared’s website: here.

The Jared Odell FULBRITE Tri Table & Table
The FULBRITE chair in white.
Absolutely LOVE the FULBRITE desk lamps!
[Images via Jared Odell]

Design Indaba 2012: Lighting Designs

Another section of stands we enjoyed at the Design Indaba was those of the Emerging Creatives. Every year young designers are invited to apply for a spot on the Expo floor sponsored by the Department of Arts and Culture. This opportunity serves as an excellent platform for the chosen designers and many a successful design career has been launched from this programme.

Rose and I were completely bowled over by the immense talent of this year’s design up-and-comers and noticed quite a few of the Emerging Creatives’ stands featuring lighting designs. Now, being total suckers for gorgeous lighting we could not wait to share these awesome designs with you…

Martin Doller

Martin Doller's range of "slot-in" lighting designs.
Loved this little table lamp.

Cape Town based Industrial Designer, Martin Doller, developed this range of “slot-in” lighting designs. The collection, aptly called “Framed”, includes pendant as well as table lamp designs. He showed us hoe the slotting system works – it is clever yet super uncomplicated. He also said that the material needn’t be restricted to plywood – if it can be CNC cut, it can be used…think copper or perspex.

Kraftisan

Kraftisan's Luna Light. Image via Kraftisan website.

This little desk light by Kraftisan took the Design Indaba by storm! Constructed from Birch ply, it’s fully adjustable and rotational (check out the video clip). The Luna Light can be fixed down to most surfaces via velcro feet and at R445.00 it was an absolute steal! They flew off the shelves. A truly ingenious piece of design!

Van De Vlam

The Van De Vlam lighting range. You should see the awesome names for these...
Van De Vlam's super cute "Wintie" table lamp. Image via Van De Vlam.

I loved Van De Vlam‘s adorable “Wintie” lamp with its stubbly Kiaat legs – too cute and extremely well crafted. Although each item in the range is quite individual there is something distinctly South African about the designs. The beaded pendant lights were also funky – loved the bold colours.

Micah Joel Chisholm

The intricate laser-cut lighting designs of Micah Joel Chisholm.

These gorgeous chandelier-like designs also drew a small crowd. Designed by Micah Joel Chisholm, they are made out of laser-cut recycled cork and wood sheeting and then folded and fixed into place to create these magnificent suspended lamps. True to its form, Micah named the range Centripetal Skeletal Designs.

Delicious Monster

An impressive section of Delicious Monster's massive chandelier... photos really doesn't do it justice.

Ruth Prowse School of Art graduate, Bianca Mimose de Klerk the force behind Delicious Monster, constructed this massive chandelier out of bits and bops. On closer inspection one can make out shapes like sunglasses, computer cables, fish net, beads, buttons and doilies – all forming this impressive nest-like lighting feature. Rose and I both wondered where we would use a chandelier such as this…we still don’t know – but it’s super awesome. Do yourself a favour and check out their Facebook page in order to see the scale of this thing.

Jan Douglas

A part of Jan Douglas' collection. Aren't those floor lamps just amazing!
All of Jan's designs have adorable Afrikaans names. Jan humorously calls this desk lamp "Kantelknaap." Image via Visi

We immediately loved the contemporary elegant lighting designs of Jan Douglas – especially the gorgeous floor lamps. Jan calls these designs “low-tech solutions” – made by hand from varying lengths of standard-size wood and nuts & bolts. I really appreciate that we can get back to the basics of furniture design – it’s all about balance, function and craft. Jan’s designs has also recently been added CCDI Handmade Collection – well done!

Keep an eye out for these designers… I predict big things!

All images copyright of The Design Tabloid except where otherwise indicated.
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Design Indaba 2012 Is Here!

Design Indaba Conference & Expo 2012
Images from the 2011 Design Indaba Conference and Expo

It’s finally that time of the year again! Design Indaba 2012 is but a day away, whoop-whoop!

This year however, Rose and I are extra excited as we have been given media accreditation and will be attending the live simulcast of the Design Indaba Conference which starts tomorrow as well as getting up close and personal with all the exhibitors at the Expo.  The Conference is held over three days, with a back-to-back speaker programme that features a wide range of designers, artists, social entrepreneurs, ad gurus, filmmakers, culinary masters and this year even a scent expert!

We are practically bouncing up and down in our seats from excitement! Keep your eyes peeled as we will be soaking up all the design goodness and posting regular feedback and play-by-plays! YAY!

Design Indaba Expo 2011
Images from the 2011 Design Indaba Conference and Expo

For those of you unfamiliar with Design Indaba, it’s THE event on the South African design calendar which includes the design conference, expo and other design festivities. To further explain the significance of this annual design celebration find below a few excerpts from the proverbial “horse’s mouth”, i.e. The Design Indaba website…

Highlights of the Design Indaba Expo 2010.

Presenting the very best of South African creativity, Design Indaba Expo is a showcase of exceptional design across all disciplines, including advertising, architecture, craft, décor, film, fashion, graphic design, interior design, jewellery, new media, publishing, product design, visual media and more. Every year sees a more sophisticated interpretation of what South African design is.

Setting a high professional standard, each exhibitor is pre-approved by a curatorial panel of industry experts, ensuring that you will only see bespoke designs of the highest quality on the Design Indaba Expo floor.

In 2010 the core Design Indaba Expo, showing more than 280 exhibitors, including 80 first-time exhibitors and 40 Emerging Creatives, drew well over 35 000 visitors, including 379 journalists and 427 buyers – one third of which were international.  – designindaba.com

Design Indaba Expo 2011
Images from the 2011 Design Indaba Conference and Expo

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So why all the fuss?

1. Design Indaba Expo is your all-in-one creative stop, recognising and celebrating local creative work across all fields.

2. All designs are quintessentially South African – no derivatives, no imports.

3. An influential contingent of local and international buyers consider Design Indaba one of their key shopping destinations, creating a platform for productive trade relationships.

4. On the Design Indaba Expo floor you can catch all-day fashion shows, short films and Pecha Kucha presentation, chat to the designers or simply browse the gorgeous creations on display.

5. Design Indaba Expo coincides with Design Indaba Conference, resulting in a week of creative rejuvenation.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Images from the 2011 Design Indaba Conference and Expo

THE DESIGN INDABA EXPO takes place from the 2nd – 4th MARCH 2012 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Opening Hours:

Friday 2 March:  10h00 – 20h00 (On-site tickets sales close at 19h00)
Saturday 3 March:  10h00 – 20h00 (On-site tickets sales close at 19h00)
Sunday 4 March:  10h00 – 18h00 (On-site tickets sales close at 17h00)

Price:

Adults:  R60
Pensioners and Students:  R40
Scholars and Children:  R30
Kids under 10:  free!

 Info & images via the Design Indaba website (be sure to check it out for more info)

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Design Now! at the Cape Quarter

Yesterday Rose and I quickly dropped into the Cape Quarter Lifestyle Village for the Design Now! exhibition and it was quite the design treasure hunt! The mini design “festival”, which coincides with Cape Quarter’s 2nd birthday, celebrates local design and the talented movers and shakers behind the awesome products.

The event features various interactive furniture installations and design exhibits all curated by Freeworld’s Tracy Lynch, as well as workshops and music happenings.

Serving as a design treasure trail, the whole centre has been spun with funky brightly coloured ribbons – each colour leading you to the next exhibition point.

A striking sight to see was the beautiful jumble of unfinished Pierre Cronje chairs forming part of the Old School, New School exhibit and one of Pierre’s artisans strapping up a riempie chair (right there, in the middle of the centre!) . Here we also had the opportunity to taste some exotic teas by Nigiro and unrefined Khoisan seasalt whilst chatting to Neil Stemmet about the launch of his new book “Sout en Peper”.

Thereafter we followed the blue ribbon to the Supernormal exhibit featuring the innovative furniture designs of Pedersen & Lennard – this installation is said to be inspired by Jasper Morrison’s essay, Super Normal.

The next ribbon led us to the stimulating Culture Clash exhibit. It is a spectacular riot of colour and texture, featuring amongst others, exceptional lighting displays by Ashanti Designs and beautiful rainbow coloured ceramics, textiles and furniture pieces.

The last exhibit aptly called, Designer Nature, was a beautiful collection of natural, eco-conscious and nature inspired designs and textures. A true rustic reminder of how nature inspires design.

Another installation that caught our eye was the Emerging Young Design display which boasts with the top 20 designed chairs created by second-year CPUT Industrial Design students in collaboration with Klooftique (it was quite exciting to see these prototypes up close).

Furniture designer, Aaron Kearney, was also hard at work hammering away at the old Airstream caravan parked just outside the Designer Nature exhibit. He was challenged to re-design and install the interior of the caravan in only 10 days and on a very tight budget. After the transformation the caravan is destined for the Old Mac Daddy Luxury Trailer Park in Elgin.

Design Now! ends tomorrow (the 5th), so if you haven’t visited yet, be sure to do so tomorrow. I suggest making a day of it – Cape Quarter has some gorgeous little shops and eateries. Check out the deets: here