50 buck design

Design Indaba invited Durban creatives to show-and-tell us the best design to be bought in Durban for under R50.

First Published in

Sex Wax, R20 at 42 Surf, Brickhill Road

A true classic, this iconic label is an integral part of surftown culture. Sublime in its ridiculous simplicity... if only the label could stay attached instead of peeling off with the cellophane. An indescribable smell that evokes such a feeling of place and time. Inexplicably, just a block of wax! - Scott Robertson

Vanilla Candles, R42 at The Space

These beautiful, soulful vanilla candles were designed for and are sold at The Space. When people come into our stores, they are often drawn there by this fragrance. Not only do they smell amazing, but they are molded into organic and contemporary designs - from lilies to succulents. Although simple in concept, based on the ability to evoke such a sensory pleasure, I would definitely say that they are of superior design quality. And they are original and made in Durban, which I am obviously proud of too. - Colleen Eitzen

Zulu Love Bead Earrings, R50 by Kelbel

All my life I have lived in Durban and have always had Zulu love beads (traditionally used during Zulu courtship) around me. It was quite a simple progression to update the love bead into something new. These earrings team the love beads with classic vintage glass beads and a fine chain, giving the indigenous bead a glamorous and contemporary twist. - Kelly Stapleton

Zulu Earplugs, R25 at the Victoria Street Market

Durban design represents so much more to me than anything I could buy, which is the beauty of this place - it's found in everything. The Victoria Street Market is one of the homes to this weird and wonderful meeting between Africa and the Orient. Here I found these Zulu Earplugs, traditionally worn as a rite of passage from childhood to adulthood in Zulu culture, but now purely fashionable. I love the simplistic design, the strong shape and form, the bold hand-painted black-and-white graphics, and the uniqueness that each pair carries with them. - Lisa Doyle

Blue Bird Maize Meal, R8,99 at Checkers, Davenport

Blue Bird Maize Meal is Durban in a paper bag of happiness, and combines my small obsession with bluebirds and naïve packaging. This 30-year-old brand has a contemporary Marimekko, hand-drawn look with its perfect colour of the sky and imperfect typography, made to display in multiples. Design Well Feel Good. - Kim Longhurst

Bunnychow, R25 at Goundens, Umbilo

The origins of its name remain shrouded in mystery. Although it does boast the shape and size of an actual rabbit, its contours are unsubtle to say the least. Square. Blocky. Not at all streamlined. A bit leaky. Yet the bunny chow, now made famous in Hollyveld movies, is stubbornly cool because it is the epitome of good design: Beautifully simple and totally functional. A phat steaky stew jammed into an excavated bread loaf with a bread lid on top - ingenious! Who came up with it? Again, a mystery. But what a bladdy good idea. It's like the Hummer of the food world. Or the fat uncle who shouts everyone down at dinners. You can't argue with it, just eat it. - bunnyhunter: Trevor Paul, photo: Lanel Janse van Vuuren, words: Gareth Pike

Drawing, R50 from Nick Lewis

Drrrr drrr. Drrrr drrr.
"Lewis, its Tyrone, what could I get for 50 SA rands?"
"Hmmm... I could ink a little character for you on A4?"
"That would be great thanks man, on the way to you now. Bye."
Lewis's Voodoo doll character conjures up images of revenge and I am very happy with my new found piece of art for R50. - Tyrone Mackay

Nyala Packaging, R5 from Spazas, Street Traders, Stores and Hypers

This remains the best example of South African packaging that I've yet seen and it should be enshrined in bronze above every designer's Mac. It falls into that "lost" category of local graphic design in which, like so many local brands we love and adore, the designer is unknown. Probably a "lowly designer" (in the days of Magic Markers and Letraset) working in the studio of one of our über packaging or printing companies. "Creative" was probably not mentioned in the brief nor in the presentation to client. However, it's truly local, relevant, striking, unique and long-lived - a lesson to all of us trying to be "local is lekker" and build a brand through packaging. Oh, and I do have it on permanent display in our studio. - Garth Walker

Along the Way, R40 from Disturbance Design

Along the Way was Disturbance Design's contribution to Cascoland, a multi-disciplinary public art project, which focussed on a walking route through Durban. The book celebrates the lives of 10 interesting characters living along the way, with the images by Roger Jardine and the verbiage by Niall McNulty. An interesting design feature is that each of the coloured bands on the cover represents the age of one of the people included in the book. Originally we planned to give the book away during the festival, but when one of the families featured in the book was in a tragic car accident, we decided to put a R40 price tag on it to raise money for Dominique, the only remaining member of the family, who is also pregnant. So far we have raised R5000. (You can also contribute by ordering the book at cindene@disturbance.co.za). - Richard Hart

Broom, R30 outside Checkers, Mackeurtan Avenue, Durban North

Woven into the rich history of Durban, are people, products and pastimes that with time become intrinsically "Durbs". This cane and wood broom is one such icon. Functional, tested by time, well crafted and relatively cheap, it sits well with the growing worldwide concern for environmental issues and "green" products. - JP Brouard

Aluminium Indian Cooking Pot, R49,99 from Gorimas, Musgrave Centre

I would not be without an aluminium Indian cooking pot in the kitchen. It is a traditional, presumably peasant, cooking vessel and, if not handmade, certainly, hand finished. This is one of the smallest sizes - perfect for a meal for two - but the very large ones are used at weddings, filled with briyani. They are indestructible, can be conveniently stacked, are economical with space and electricity, and are excellent for warming up leftovers. - Andrew Verster

Watch the Talk with Richard Hart