20Q: Haldane Martin

When he's not designing, Haldane Martin is probably out mountain biking. He also reveals something of his latest project, a bed system.
Haldane Martin.
Haldane Martin.

Haldane Martin is one of South Africa’s most high-profile furniture designers. His designs are warm and inviting but also innovative in the way they draw on local cultural references.

1. What is your most treasured possession? My mountain bike. Commencal Meta 6.6 all mountain trail bike.

2. Do you recycle? Yes, both at home and at my business.

3. What are you reading at the moment? Reading is one of my greatest passions! It’s so empowering. I’m about to read The Architecture of Emergence: The Evolution of Form in Nature and Civilisation by Michael Weinstock.

4. What's been your favourite design to date? Other peoples design's: the iPod. My own design: the one I’m working on at the moment, a cocoon bed system.

5. Do you have a creative hero or rolemodel? Vitra furniture company and Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec.

6. Are you passionate about South Africa? Yes, but I’m not naive about it.

7. If you had to live inside a work of art, which would it be and why? I'm not sure, but it definitely wouldn’t be Duchamps urinal!

8. What is the first piece of design you ever created, and how old were you? Model ship out of steamed Balsa wood at the age of nine.

9. What makes you laugh out loud? Nik Rabinowitz.

10. If not design, what would you do? Be very miserable…

11. To which faults do you feel the most indulgent? Perfectionism.

12. Do you have a favourite gadget? My 17-inch laptop.

13. What's one thing that you haven't done that you would still really like to do? Go on holiday to a deserted island…

14. What's been your most exciting design-related experience? Speaking on the main stage at Design Indaba Conference in 2007.

15. Summer or winter? Both: yin and yang.

16. What virtue do you most admire in others? Integrity.

17. What's your secret obsession? Evolution.

18. What do you do on Sundays? Mountain bike with my mates.

19. Can creativity save the world? The world doesn’t need saving, it’s been here for 4 billion years, but design could save humanity.

20. What’s your idea of perfect happiness? Being paid well for my creativity.

Watch the Talk with Bouroullec Brothers

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