South African designer Haldane Martin founded his eponymous design studio in 2002 to create iconic furniture designs and later interior spaces with a powerful sense of identity and conceptual depth.
As a designer he has been instrumental in the emergence of a new South African design language and identity, both in his early signature furniture designs and more recent commercial interiors that contribute towards the evolution of culture.
Early works such as the iconic Songololo sofa and Zulu Mama chair were groundbreaking South African designs that seamlessly integrate indigenous craft, sustainability, cultural identity, biomimicry, geometry and digital design, becoming highly sought after by design collectors and connoisseurs worldwide.
The studio’s more recent high-concept interior design work has also captured global attention. Haldane Martin works together with commercial brands to create extraordinary spaces. Concepts that capture the essence of a brand transform into innovative interiors with unique character. Original furniture designs and custom fittings created by Haldane Martin for each interior further manifest the brand’s identity in a physical, three-dimensional way.
The studio’s first large-scale commercial project, Truth Coffee’s steampunk-inspired HQ in Buitenkant Street, Cape Town, was named “world’s best coffee shop” by MSN Travel in 2013 and again by The Telegraph UK in 2015, and won a Gold Loerie for interior design the same year. This concept interior with its unique bespoke elements is exemplary of the design studio’s ability to tap into the essence of the client’s brand identity and express it through objects and space in an iconic way.
For Haldane, a design is intuitively recognised as iconic when it marries innovation with beauty and captures the zeitgeist of the day in a timeless fashion. He believes in integrating conceptual depth, aesthetic beauty and elegant functionality into one seamless whole.