Visual journal: My favourites from Design Indaba

9Lives' Liezel Fourie picks her top exhibitors at Design Indaba Expo 2015.

These are a few of my favourites from Design Indaba 2015. Scroll through my visual journal and read more about these creatives. 

Design Indaba and the weekend-long Expo are one of the high points in the South African social calender, with our country’s top designers coming together to show off their incredible work. From fashion to art, illustration, decor, furniture, jewellery and everything in between, it’s a space where top talent comes together to share ideas. I attended this weekend and these were a few of my favourite finds.

Quagga Fabrics & Wallpapers

This Cape Town based fabric and wallpaper design company tries to “blend classic symmetry with something contemporary” and often combine abstract shapes with recognisable symbols, from cows to lighthouses. “Many of the patterns convey a love of local flavour and sometimes evoke something quite unique to Cape Town,” they explain. “Some of the patterns start as dreamy doodles or with a few elements inspired by things close at hand or in mind. After many tweaks and changes, the patterns are set up for rotary screen printing; the designs are then printed on linen- style cotton. The wallpapers are custom printed.” Go to for more.


Cape Town designers, Sue and Robyn Britz came together to start Zana in 2012, Sue bringing experience in print and production to the table, and Robyn focusing on graphic design. “We are in love with colour, pattern and typography. This is really what gets us inspired,” they explain on their site. All the fabric is screen printed in Cape Town. Go to for more.


Established by Jaques Botha and Janes Meyer, ArtVraat is a range of designer fabrics available as scatter cushions, curtains, tablecloths, napkins and lamps shades. They also aim to support local South African industries, using no imported products. And very exciting: A selection of their products will be going into select Woolworths stores as part of their Autumn/Winter ‘artisan range’.  Go to for more.

LSD by Leg Studios

Leg Studios is run by the architecturally-studied Leon Erasmus, set designer Giulia Odendaal and industrial designer Tim Richert. Their new LSD range is described as “a quirky, contemporary, on-trend collection of furniture smalls” that are designed in-house and manufactured locally. The range includes laser cut steels plated bright polished copper, brass and dark chrome layered over honest raw materials like concrete, ply and exotic woods. Go to for more

Handmade by Me

Sera Holland is one of my favourite Cape Town creatives. A graphic and textile designer, Holland creates bespoke fabrics which are handmade into interior producs. She also has a range of wallpaper. “I am inspired by everything around me, and love to create statement pieces that will get noticed,” she says. She uses high quality natural fiber textiles, and the designs are either digitally printed with eco-friendly water-based inks, or screen-printed locally. She will also custom-make items or create custom designs. Go to more.

The Design Ecosystem installation

Cape Town’s design ecosystem is a established network of groups, organisations, individuals and businesses whose work is driving economic growth. At this installation visitors could map out their own design contribution by tagging a piece of colourful string to different points on the board.

Matter of Fakt

Started by freelance art director and graphic designer, Mary-Anne Grobler, this company creates handmade jewellery pieces built around natural raw stones and crystals sourced from around the world. Go to their Facebook page for more.

Oh Dear Megan

One of my favourite jewellery designers from Cape Town. Designer Megan Fogarty uses old bits and bobs, and particularly antique South African coins, to create new, unique jewellery pieces. Her love for antiques was inspired by her grandfather, who would carry around pins, medals, badges, coins and trinkets and every one would have a fascinating story associated with it. For more, go to

Henriette Botha

Henriette Botha creates handcrafted, locally manufactured statemement jewellery. She draws inspiration from African jewellery, using bold and colourful bead-work combined with semi-precious stones and crocheting. For more, go to

Eon Hoon Jewellery

Cape Town designer Eon Hoon incorporates unusual materials like reclaimed wood and recycled objects, using resin work, woodworking, new technology and goldsmith techniques to create beautiful jewellery. Go to for more.


Anomali is the combined talent of Moniek van Zyl and Marlette Strauss. “Our jewelry is individually hand-crafted in our South African shop, made from repurposed materials – typically silverware – that we find on our journeys around the world,” they explain on their site. “The capricious designs you see in our jewellery are born of the magic we see around us, that we want to emulate in our daily existence. We hope you will join us on our quest to accessorize the world from a more fun place.” Go to for more

Anna Rosholt Jewellery Design

Cape Town jewellery designer, Anna Rosholt, does all design and manufacturing work for her line by herself. Her latest range is all about Africa and luxury, featuring hundreds of handmade beetles and other insects put together to create pieces that are bold, beautiful and quirky. Go to for more.


In partnership with The Bookery, the Design Indaba’s BOOK.exCHANGE has sent out a call for books to stack the shelves at Kannemeyer Primary School’s library-to-be. Visitors could donate books and stationary at the expo, or you could browse the selection of local and international books for sale at the Expo, with funds going towards the community project. Click here to read more.


Local artists decorated the Leg Studios’ flatpacked birch  carry tables for the CREATe.CHANGE stand at the Design Indaba Expo. People could enter a bid in the silent auction for their favourite, with all proceeds going towards the new library for Kannemeyer Primary School in Grassy Park.

Hoi P’loy

Hoi P’loy creates vintage style light bulbs based on some of the original designs by Thomas Edison. The hand-crafted bulbs are made from high quality materials and available in 8 different shapes and with different element styles, with a 40 Watt ambler glow to create soft, ambient lighting. They also create fabric covered electric cables that can be used to create hanging features. Go to

The Hornet’s Nest

Uté Francke is a contemporary jewellery designer and exhibited as an Emerging Creative at this year’s expo. Her pieces are inspired by the contrast between a voluminous shape and the intricate lines of a detailed element. These are combined to resemble flying machines like hot air balloons, lanterns, intricate plants and clock mechanisms. The pieces, made from wood, silver, brass, gemstones and pastel acrylic paints, also have moving elements that will tempt the user to interact physically with the jewellery.


Africanage Language

Part of the Emerging Creatives Exhibition, Africanage Language is the brand of graphic designer Nqakaza Ntsindiso. His work is inspired by the knowledge of his traditional African language of symbols, which he has used to develop two dimensional patterns. “These patterns and symbols convey different messages about African people and their culture and explore how identical symbols can communicate different meanings at once.” Go to their Facebook page for more.

Maria Magdalena Designs

Maria Magdalena van Wyk is a graphic designer and illustrator who exhibited as part of the Emerging Creatives program. She creates detailed, limited-edition illustrations for her Wander.Collection, each with an explanation about the inspiration behind it, from poetry, snippets from her life, songs and more. “I seek design simplicity on the other side of complexity,” she explains. Go to for more

Damn Good Looking

I loved these fabrics by Emerging Creative Jennifer Bradley, who creates purely hand drawn designs, right from the initial doodle to the stencil used for printing, and all the textiles are 100% cotton and linen. These hand-printed textiles are available as table runners, serviettes, bags and scarves. Go to for more.

ASH Ceramics

I was drawn to the clean, simplistic style of ASH Ceramics, and the combination of strong geometric patterns with organic shapes. Hand made by Emerging Creative Catherine Ash, these pieces are created once-off and are both striking and functional. Ash also creates wall installations using hand-cut ceramic tiles, painted and positioned to form interactive art pieces. Find her at the Art in the Forest stand at the V&A Waterfront’s Watershed and at

Mira Architects: Rosendal Spa and Manor House, Robertson

This model for the Rosendal Spa and Manor House at Rosendal Winery in Robertson was fascinating to look at, creating a wavy pattern when viewed from above and giving the effect of multiple layers of trees when seen from the front. Go to for more

Wolff Architects: The Watershed at V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

This model shows the plans for The Watershed at the V&A Waterfront. Instead of an “interior” space, the firm creating something resembling a street – an exterior space if you will. It’s this feeling of browsing through a small town road that makes The Watershed such an appealing shopping experience. Go to for more.


Our favourite tongue-in-cheek Peri-Peri chicken vendor was also at the Indaba, chosen for their South African roots and their contribution to the design community through arts and music. Nando’s created an interactive exhibition where visitors could explore the connection between the brand and South African art, music and design.

Yellow Jewellery

Cape Town-based jewellery designer, Jess Gouws experiments with fusing functional objects like vintage clock gears, empty bullet shells and photo negatives, and combining them with materials like brass, silver and cast resin. “It’s an experiment to stimulate curiosity, a concept turned into a fully formed functional piece of art,” she explains. Go to

Adriaan Kuiters

Keith Henning of Adriaan Kuiters has teamed up with artist Jody Paulsen for this bright S/S 15 collection. The designs were inspired by movements like Dadaism and Constructivism, which pioneered collage as an art form in the ’20s and ’30s and rely on clean lines and colour-blocking. They’ve used fabrics such as knits, crêpe, chiffon, neoprene, cotton, twill and abaya.


Ilundi Handcrafted Leather Goods

Illundi creates genuine leather bags and accessories influenced by minimalist Japanese aesthetic and clean cut Scandinavian designs. The bags are hand cut, hand stitched and hand woven, with every hole punched by hand – no sewing machines are used. They use full grain vegetable tanned cowhide sourced from tanneries within South Africa. Vegetable tanning allows the leather to continue to absorb water and oils throughout its lifetime, developing a rich dark patina with use. Go to for more


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