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#WDC323 – Another Small Step Towards Ward Upgrade

Okay, okay – at this time of the year we can be heard making this common statement – “This year has flown past so quickly”.  And honestly – that is exactly what comes to mind right now as I sit down with this post. At the start of 2014, Design Monarchy put their hand up to become involved with a World Design Capital 2014 project. The project involves the makeover or upgrade of the Acute Care Surgery Ward in Cape Town’s iconic state-run Groote Schuur Hospital. You can read more about this project, #WDC323, by reading our previous posts on the matter: here & here.

We did suspect back then that this project was going to be a biggie. There have been times when huge strides were made in this ward upgrade, times when I felt it was standing still and other times when it just moved at its own pace. As frustrating as that may be, I guess that is just the nature of this beast we are working with. Nevertheless, we go with the flow and keep making our plans for completion. That has been ear-marked for February 2015.

This week saw another two more amazingly generous sponsors install the first phase of their product. I have had the absolute pleasure of working with Efraim De Leeuw of Albert Carpets in Cape Town, and he brought Percy Lotter of FloorworX along with him. Together these two companies are responsible for providing one of the major elements (cost wise as well) for this ward upgrade… new bumper rails. FloorworX provided the product and Albert Carpets the labour expertise for the installation thereof.

They kitted the new Nurses Station with these bumper rails. Next year sees them installing meters and meters of the same throughout the whole ward.

Bumper rails are one of those elements of design that we don’t even notice when we move around a hospital. In a very busy ward, such as this Acute Care Surgery Ward, patients are moved to and from the operating theatre all day long (just about) – these bumper rails are thus critical in providing protection to the ward surfaces.

A MASSIVE THANK YOU AND BIG WHOOP WHOOP TO ALBERT CARPETS AND FLOORWORX. You guys rock!

Albeit it that we look forward to completion only in 2015 – this WDC#323 Project remains an exciting challenge to be a part of.

World Design Capital Awesomeness

The year is quickly racing to a close and so also Cape Town’s stint as World Design Capital 2014. With over 460 recognized WDC projects it was (and still is) quite difficult to keep track of all of them. We find it sad and somewhat frustrating that some awesome projects slipped past us without so much as a whisper.

HOWEVER, the year is not over yet! There are still fabulous projects in the pipeline not to mention some stunning ongoing project. AND of course, our very own Design Monarchy studio is still hard at work with our World Design Capital project: #WDC323 the makeover of the Acute Care Surgery Unit at Groote Schuur Hospital…

To keep the yellow design fires burning we would like to share some of our favourites WDC projects with you in the weeks to come. Today I would like to single out two official World Design Capital projects that are still in motion… and might I say, pretty awesome. Though both projects sprouted from the temporary World Design Capital platform they are said to become permanent fixtures.

#WDC344  |  Stable:Stable on Loop

“stable: A collaborative exhibition space where Designers, Artists and Artisans have the opportunity to showcase their work.”

Located on 65 Loop Street in the CBD, the purpose of stable is to create a link between talented local designers and the everyday consumer.

The concept of stable is the brainchild of designer Aidan Bennetts and the shop features a boutique collection of innovative South African design. Designers, Artists and Artisans from every corner of South Africa showcase their work alongside one another in a professional retail environment. There is a wide range of items including chairs, tables, lighting and accessories all curated under one roof for your convenience.

stable is a long term initiative, with plans to open new outlets and growing beyond 2014.

#WDC533  |  Table Mountain Frames:download

“This project celebrates nature’s beautiful design: Table Mountain. Seven frames will be erected around Cape Town that perfectly frame Table Mountain from well known & unusual views.”

I am so in love this concept – it gives folks an opportunity to “interact” with Table Mountain.

The Table Mountain Frames were designed by Porky Hefer. Each frame was optimally positioned to perfectly frame a view of Table Mountain. Visitors can travel to all 7 sites to collect an image of themselves & Table Mountain. By setting up framed views from some unusual locations, people will be reminded of the beauty of the mountain from within the city, and convey a sense that it is a mountain for everyone, not just for visitors to the “usual” tourist locations. This is a great way to celebrate Cape Town’s New7Wonder of Nature and to encourage people to share images of the different views on social media.

Frames has already been set up at the V&A Waterfront, Blouberg Beach, Signall Hill, Khayelitsha and Cape Town Station.

“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.

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