WitOpWit’s three architect-turned-designers have stayed true to their roots with their latest installation, an edible scale model of the city of Pretoria. Called “Eetstad”, it was presented recently as part of the Cool Capital Biennale 2014, a series of citizen-lead creative interventions to reinvigorate South Africa’s administrative capital that runs until 15 November.
For the live installation, the trio – Karlien Thomashoff, Inge Wilkinson and Marguerite Pienaar – stenciled the city’s grid in icing sugar and assembled the inner city block by block using nougat, coconut ice and biscuits.
"The audience was invited to ‘eat the city’ as a metaphorical gesture," said Thomashoff. The idea was to raise awareness of a decaying inner city of Pretoria, and its inherent potential.
Bringing together architecture and food is nothing new for the WitOpWit trio. They’ve made table runners with detailed topographic prints and recently released a collection of paper doilies that feature graphic cut-outs of four Pretoria landmarks – the Union Buildings, Voortrekker Monument, Freedom Park and the whale skeleton at the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History.
Their hometown is definitely a muse. The company debuted at Design Indaba Expo 2014 with its Stad in ’n Boks (city in a box) series, pop-up paper artworks depicting landmarks of Pretoria, Bloemfontein and the Karoo. Square in Pretoria is a laser-cut décor piece made of rigid cardboard, into which a candle is inserted. The cut-outs depict the city grid and cast geometric shadows.
Now WitOpWit has also launched a collection of pendants in perspex or brushed silver inspired by iconic Pretoria architecture, including the Union Buildings. Fans of the city can now literally keep it close to their heart.