Image by JVR Architects
We chat to Andrea Kleinloog and Megan Hesse, the creative directors behind SA’s premier décor and design show Design Joburg, featuring Rooms on View.
This influental duo runs a successful interior design practice called HK Studio, as well as a product and furniture store called Anatomy Design. Despite their youth, they are well entrenched in the South African design landscape and have become an industry asset.
1. What’s new to the 2018 show?
The success of 2017’s show has meant that we are coming back less apprehensive and more excited for the upcoming show.
Marble, one of Johannesburg’s best restaurants, is creating an exciting pop up food experience cued by nature and up to the minute trends from the food and design front. The pop up will add a fantastic dynamic to the show’s lineup, thanks to its mix of inspired styling and enticing food and cocktail pairings.
We have also kept design-sussed consumers in mind with a dedicated retail area called Design Corridor. This will allow the public the opportunity to take home items from the breadth of South African design talent.
In addition, our thoughtfully curated Architect’s Gallery feature will celebrate the very best projects from various South African architectural minds who are leading the pack.
2. What lessons have you learned from the inaugural show?
That our designers are braver than we originally thought. We quickly realised that they welcomed the challenge of collaborating with various industry partners to create holistic views into well designed spaces.
2017 taught us that Design Joburg is a valid platform for uplifting young designers. This time visitors will get to see our mentorship program up and running. We've carefully matched young designers with more established studios and are really looking forward to seeing the results of these collaborations.
3. Have there been any personal and/or professional insights as creative directors of the show?
Yes. Our role as creative directors has opened our eyes to our community of designers and suppliers and shown us how supportive they are. We have been humbled by the incredible network of designers that have supported our, sometimes outrageous, ideas and their willingness to take risks with us.
4. What will you, as Anatomy Design, be bringing to the show?
Anatomy Design will be launching it’s latest set of heirloom furniture. Expect traditional furniture that has been reimagined with contemporary form. Also, keep an eye out for our inaugural range of collectible objet.
5. What are you most looking forward to seeing at this year’s show?
That's a really difficult one! We're really looking forward to the second installment of the CoLab features, particularly those where an established studio has taken on a mentee. For example, we’re expecting explosive stuff from perennially cool Studio A and Proportion Design’s collaboration.
6. Name your biggest challenge and your biggest reward from working on Design Joburg?
The biggest challenge has been creating a show that adapts to the South African mindset, and steers away from the standard model of ‘selling floor space’.
Having said that, the challenge is that there is no straight or easy route. We have had to forge unique solutions for almost every possible iteration of the show.
Design Joburg is a forward thinking design show, and we've adapted all our offerings in response to the feedback (good and bad) from last year.
We are so proud of how progressive Design Joburg is - with the focus being on experiential design with a truly unique character, rather than endless stalls in an anonymous hall.
7. Whose work are you coveting right now?
Houtlander, for their beautiful benches.
8. In terms of your own design journey, who do you wish to collaborate with on a design project?
Within our interior design business we’re lucky to be working with some pretty incredible clients, including game lodges and restaurants. It would be a dream to work on a hotel or travel experience with architect John Pawson, or to develop an African student design program with Ilse Crawford.
Design Joburg takes place at the Sandton Convention Centre, from 25 - 27 May 2018.