20Q: Mike van Heerden

Design Indaba Expo 2012 Emerging Creative and winner of the Most Creative Stand Award answers 20 quick questions about his life and work.
Mike van Heerden. Image credit: Warren Goldswain
Mike van Heerden. Image credit: Warren Goldswain

1. What would you like to have written in your obituary?

A man who loved his family and made a difference in society.


2. How do you deal with failure?

I usually get upset for half an hour or so, then I tell myself to get over it, and then I get over it.


3. Who in the world, dead or alive, would you most like to have a drink with?



4. What's the one gadget that you can't live without?

My computer.


5. What is something that you have learnt in the past five years?

Whatever your dreams, they are possible, and don't let anyone stop you from achieving them. Work hard!


6. What are you working on?

Currently I'm working on a cityscape bookshelf for a client.


7. Are you proudly South African and why?

I love South Africa. It's a place that will always be with me wherever I go, but I also do want to go, for a while. One of the things I do love about South Africa is that there is so much opportunity, especially within the design world.


8. What qualities do you most admire in others?

Integrity and humour are the two most important qualities anyone can have.


9. Are you a morning person?

I never used to be a morning person until I owned my own business.


10. Do you want children?

I want two children. Hopefully adopting one of the two is part of the plan, one day.


11. How old were you when you made your first design and what was it?

I remember when I found a stick in the park, next to my house. I was 13 or so. I took all the bark off of the stick and sanded it down. It had brilliant grain and quite a cool shape. If I had to take a look at it now, it would probably just look like a stick, but I remember being in awe of how cool a 'design' it was.


12. Are there certain characteristics that all creatives possess?

I'm not too sure, but if I had to take a guess, I'd say that all creatives wonder if people are going to like what they create.


13. What do you do on Sundays?

I go to church and then hang with my wife and our friends.


14. Do you have a creative muse?

Not to sound clichéd or cheesy by any means, but most of my good ideas come from my wife.


15. What music do you listen to?

I've got an eclectic taste in music (some would say this means bad taste), but I enjoy pretty much anything that I think sounds good at the time. Rihanna.


16. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?

Never insanity, only weirdness.


17. What would you save from your burning house?

My computer.


18. What is the opposite of design?



19. What do you want to achieve in life?

I want to be a brilliant husband and father, travel the world and get a carpentry apprenticeship to become a master carpenter.


20. What's your secret obsession?



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