7 Interior designers who should be on your radar

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Design by Rolecia Janse van Rensburg.
Design by Rolecia Janse van Rensburg.

From Kara Schoeman’s use of aluminium to Bright Dimba’s collaboration with women in rural areas to create his colourful furniture, all of these designers are pushing the envelope when it comes to product design and storytelling. The seven form part of the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives programme, which was created in association with the Department of Arts and Culture to give a platform to young enterprising talent. They are set to exhibit alongside 50 other creatives at the 2019 Design Indaba Festival in Cape Town and in Johannesburg at Lisof.

1. Christine Goosen is an interior designer from Franschhoek whose work has been featured in Elle Decor and Visi magazines. Her recent designs under her company Jacobs Collection feature an integration of materials, soft fabrics and steel to create functional pieces of furniture.

Her most successful project to date is her design for the Yellow Lounge Chair, which was selected as a piece in the Best of the Best of South African design at the Rand Show in 2017.

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2. Furniture and homeware designer Kara Schoeman teams up with her father to create functional aluminium art. Their company, Kara Artistics, uses recycled aluminium and found wood to make the consumer aware of the importance of environmental care before they purchase one of the duo’s unique designs.

Her most celebrated project is one that is currently exhibited at the Absa Gallery in Johannesburg. Called The Ubuntu Mind, this work saw Schoeman use her skills in glass and cast aluminium.

The designer’s work has also been exhibited at Youngblood Art Gallery and Gallery on Leviseur.

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3. Bright Dimba is on a mission to do good with his passion for interior design. His company, Dukada, is an artisanal crafts brand based in Kwazulu-Natal that collaborates with the rural women crafters of the town. The company specialises in the design and production of unique, handwoven, colourful furniture products and accessories.

Dimba describes his most successful project as the Dukada side table/stool: “The product is a twist of the conventional African decorative items found in the marketplaces across South Africa, with bold functionality being the driving component in our design process; it is a craft furniture production.”

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4. With a master’s degree in interior design from the University of Johannesburg, Rolecia Janse van Rensburg investigates the role of the interior designer in the creation of functional products that have an impact on the world.

In her personal work, the product designer looks at creating quirky everyday pieces that are led by humour. “My design approach is towards fun, humorous elements that unify all people (especially South Africans),” she explains.

Currently, Janse van Rensburg is an interior designer at Adendorff Architects & Interiors in Port Elizabeth.

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5. Minenhle Zazi Cira established his company, Clan, in 2018. The brand aspires to represent African culture and art through product and interior design. Cira and his co-founders are all about promoting love, peace, unity and equality.

“This company has one main aim and that is to make people’s lives better and make the world look good,” explains Cira.

The designer’s most successful project to date is Ivovo/Ihluzo, a chair he designed for the Elle Decoration Izitulo challenge.

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6. Durban-based interior designer Simphiwe Mlambo is a founding member of Circa’s Clan. Mlambo’s main focus is product design.

In his work, he explores African cultures for inspiration. “I am constantly inspired by my surroundings and heritage and constantly looking for a way to communicate these ideas in a modern context through elegant forms and finishes,” he explains.

In 2017, Mlambo got his B-tech in interior design from Durban University of Technology and went on to be groomed and mentored by one of the most successful design studios in Durban, GIH Studio.

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7. Lesego Maloka is a self-taught textile designer who uses African stories, patterns, and sounds in her work. She is currently the creative director of Pone Creatives, where she focuses on home furnishing, fabrics and gifting.

Pone Creatives has been featured on Top Billing, at 100% Design South Africa, on e.tv business news, in Elle Decor and in Visi. Lesego entered the Emerging Creatives programme to bring awareness to her company on a global stage. “[I entered] to share and experience Pone Textiles with others, in Africa and worldwide, to tell our African heritage through textile illustration,” she says.

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