For past visitors to Design Joburg, 2019 was reportedly even better than previous years, and Habitat agrees. This year the event saw an estimated 11 000 well-heeled feet through the doors of the Sandton Convention Centre over the show’s three-day period, highlighting the demand and enthusiasm for a premium design show of this calibre.

Design Joburg 2019 also saw a number of firsts in store. The show welcomed a sponsorship partner in Sanlam Private Wealth whose dedication to uplifting the local art and crafts scene is applauded. We also welcomed TONIC duo Philippe van der Merwe and Greg Gamble as first-time creative directors and their experience-backed contribution to this year’s show has been highly praised.

The KOHLER Theatre, designed by TONIC in partnership with Belgotex was yet another first, arguably contributing to a winning 2019 show. With three days of informative talks on offer by luminaries across the local design sector, attendees walked away with more than their share of inspiration and wisdom.

For those wanting to see and hear major international designers, this year Design Joburg hosted international heavyweights Michael Anastassiades and Yinka Ilori, both of whom shared insight into their careers, past projects and current work. Whilst ’s KOHLER Design Forum provided a panel discussion platform for interior designers and architects to get the latest perceptions of Kohler’s 2019 theme of “Experiential Luxury”.

One of their most exciting features this year was SPA ZAR, sponsored by SA Tourism. This expertly curated meeting of the country’s hottest local designers in the furniture, lighting, accessories and wall coverings categories successfully captured the very essence of the South African design scene. An absolute highlight in this series was the Hlabisa Bench by Mash.T Design Studio and Houtlander; having been shown in Paris, this was the benches maiden appearance on home soil.

The SA Furniture Collective went down a treat with those wanting to see and meet our local furniture studios. Curated by TONIC, these small capsules packed a major punch, showcasing a selection of pieces from fledgling to famed studios.

Their Architect’s Gallery was manna for architects. Designed and built by SAOTA, ARRCC and OKHA in partnership with VISI, the space itself was a work of art and played host to a showcase of the country’s eminent architecture studios displaying projects from all over the continent.

By now, Design Joburg’s CoLabs are a name in their own right and stand for all that the show promotes – collaboration and a meeting of minds across the industry. This year the CoLabs featured 6 trailblazing designers creating room sets in their own signature styles.

A mentee at last year’s show, Proportion Studio of Design’s Tuami Zulu returned with an ultra-luxe, dark and moody roomset that laid bare his promising career trajectory.

For other well-established designers such as Julia Day, the offering was no less ambitious. Teaming up with the best in the industry, Julia’s stand was a fully realised interior housed within a steel shell, quietly emanating the kind of understated luxury that the interior architect is known for. Read more

Ommni Design’s Nelson Kubheka returned once again with a two-part stand that encapsulated contemporary living for the urban dweller.

For his first appearance at Design Joburg, Dylan Thomaz of Studio Dylan Thomaz created a sophisticated space nodding to heritage within a contemporary setting, complete with architectural features.

FVZ Studio’s Fanie van Zyl returned this year with a grown-up bachelor pad that merged hitech living with comfortable luxury. Also, his customised teal sink was a hit with visitors.

Hailing from Durban, Douglas & Douglas showcased their new Ananas outdoor collection against the backdrop of their popular pink and cactus-lined, Luis Barragan inspired stand.

Another designer worth shouting about is Donald Nxumalo, whose stand last year was hard to beat. This year he occupied a vast space with an arched facade and an impressive 3 room sets, kitted out in a collection of refined, classic pieces in creams.

The Rooms on View installment of the show did not disappoint either, offering design brands a premium platform to show off their aesthetic. Brands like The Storer, a first timer to the show, were a highlight and shared company with the likes of Porcelanosa, Roche Bobois and La Grange among others.

We can’t resist waxing lyrical about the show’s countless new releases either. Using Design Joburg as their launch pad, visitors saw brand new product being unveiled including tableware by Andrew Hector, James Mudge’s Leaning Shelf, KOHLER’s innovative and smart sanitaryware, the pineapple inspired outdoor Ananas Collection by Douglas & Douglas and more.

Those keen for a break over a meal and drinks were spoiled with the show’s two premium offerings. Chef Wandile Mabaso’s Les Creatifs restaurant gave guests a taste of his soon-to-be-launched menu of Franco-African dishes, all prepared fresh on order. Designed by PG Interiors, the restaurant was a stylish affair, and featured a host of local artist’s works including a new tableware collection by Imiso Ceramics.

Designed by Studio 19, the Hendrick’s Gin Bar pulled in the crowds as yet another gorgeous place to pause, G&T in hand.

Thanks to a profusion of floral and botanical inspired décor in a pared-back palette, the bar was plush, comfortable and elegant and was seldom seen empty.

Media 10, the show’s producers are thrilled with how well this year’s show was received and are excited to bring you next year’s installment of Design Joburg.

Now that we have you all fired up, we thought we’d let you know how delighted we are that TONIC’s Philippe van der Merwe and Greg Gamble will be creative directors for 2020 too!



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