#ECs IN FOCUS THIS YOUTH MONTH: A skilful sidestep saw the creation of furniture design firm DEFT Studios

Architecture graduates Zani Alberts and Martin Tallie formed DEFT as a creative outlet.

Tell us about your Design Indaba Emerging Creatives journey so far - what has it given you and how has the programme shaped your design direction since you became part of it?

Design Indaba has given us confidence in our endeavour as furniture designers. It has shaped our design intentions to be even more empathetic and generous to the community we wish to lead.

How did you come to do what you do?

As architecture graduates we found ourselves met with a situation where the profession was struggling to provide sufficient job opportunities. We needed a creative outlet and decided to explore furniture design. Deft was born through this exploration. We deeply value the craft of woodworking and this also inspired the name Deft, which means a clever or skilful quality, for our brand. What started out as a personal expression of creativity and exploration into new fields of design has since matured into a business. 

How would you describe yourself in terms of your creative identity and your aesthetic style?

Mindful. Simple. We draw inspiration from the principles obtained through our architectural studies and apply them to our furniture and product line – and while we didn’t have any previous experience in woodworking, we have a passion for design. 

What do you aim to say or achieve through your work?

We aim to consciously craft our pieces so that they will last a long time, physically and aesthetically. This forms part of our commitment to reducing the impact of mass consumption on the environment. We want to create designs that will enrich the daily living and wellbeing of the people who interact with them.

Where do you hope this platform will take you?

We hope to learn more from leading creators, to gain a more realistic understanding of what they do and how they do it. We also aspire to having our work and story reach a greater community.

What are you currently working on?

We are constantly working on new pieces. Currently, we are in the process of releasing a new collection this winter June/July, where we’re exploring new materials and geometries. 

Here’s more:

Visit Deftstudios.co.za and view Deft’s Design Indaba Emerging Creatives profile here.