Monday, 31 March 2008

Time out

Also spotted in Chris Tate's house (see below) was this Karlsson Mixed Numbers Wall clock.

It's available in red, black and silver too. And if you have some time on your hands, take a minute to check out all the other great Karlsson clocks right here.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Issue 54 - Trunk Call

Our cover story this month is about Chris Tate's amazing glass box house deep in the dense New Zealand rain forest.The house has no driveway access, with just a slim timber staircase snaking down into the forest ravine to reach the deck.

Inside, the house is all clean lines and a simple palette of black and white, broken by vibrant dashes of lime green.

Love the green Leaf chairs by Lievore Altherr Molina for Arper, and the slatted timber Glide chaise by David Trubridge.

Find out more about this house that manages to marry style and sensitivity to the environment so well by visiting Chris Tate's website.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Giveaway - Homemakers Expo

The second annual Garden Route Homemakers Expo is on from 3 - 6 April, showcasing the latest trends in home improvement and home enhancement.

This year’s event will be held in George, and 20 lucky Deco readers have the chance to win a set of 20 double tickets , by just emailing us at Quick, it's almost April already!

For more information on the Expo, visit the Homemakers Expo website.

Issue 54 - As it is in Heaven

The story about trekking in the Himalayas on pages 146 - 150 of the latest issue of Elle Deco SA will to stir the wanderlust of even the most committed couch potato. Here are more of Ruan Benade's photos of magical Nepal to get those itchy feet of yours all a-twitch.

Read more about how to go about organising your own trekking trip on page 150 of Issue 54, and see more of Ruan Benade's photographs at his Flickr page.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Issue 54 - House of Spirit

If you have the latest issue of Elle Decoration SA, I'm sure you were enchanted as I was by the beautiful home of Cape Town architect, Victoria Perry on pages 104 - 111.

Victoria's Sea Point cottage was so charming that our photographer Mickey Hoyle couldn't stop snapping away! We ran out of pages in the magazine, but have lots more dreamy pics to show you here.
Victoria's Isamu Noguchi coffee table takes centre stage in the living room, and she displays books and treasures on the concrete plinth that also doubles as additional seating.

In the magazine, you'll see that Victoria has her own swing in the garden, and this element of girly fun is evident in her bedroom too, where she has an adorable collection of quirky softies.
I'm sure I can spot one or too Woo-men amongst them.

A confessed ceramics nut, Victoria has a wonderful collection, including handpainted tiles and retro treasures.

You can spot a bit of Signal Hill from the balcony, which is a great place to unwind on a balmy Cape Town day.

What a beautiful home. I hope it gives you lots of inspiration for yours too. It's important to dream, after all...

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Jan van Mol

Thanks so much to Jan van Mol of Addict Lab for guest blogging for us all week.

His Open Lab 2.0 event closes on 10 April, and interested readers can email him for more information at

Read more about Jan and his work on page 70 of issue 54 of Elle Decoration SA.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Holland, South Africa, Belgium.

I wanted to share three concepts from three different countries - Holland, South Africa, and Belgium - all on show at Open Lab 2.0 currently on in the Design Quarter.

This is Peter Van Riet's Sit'n Read from my previous post, but in Tord Boontje's funky colours.

South Africa.
Haldane Martin's newest couch came straight from the Joburg Art Fair to Open Lab 2.0. Respect. To be honest, I would recommend the people from Design Quarter to buy this couch, as it works perfectly in that architectural surrounding.

Urban forest is a light installation aiming to bring back nature into our cities, or at least respect for nature. This is a concept that I wanted to show in a commercial environment like Design Quarter.

Urban Forest consists of objects shaped like irregular tree trunks, made from recycled plastic. It criticizes our consumption attitude, using waste to start reflecting on our human behaviour. The built-in LED lights can change colour depending the atmosphere, the soundscapes, the seasons or other emotions linked to the location of the forest or the reason for gathering. The forest therefore can be silent and contemplative, or assertive and loud.

The inside can also be used as drinks cooler, turning the light objects into a lounge accessory. The art installation becomes a guerilla tool or a design object, to be used at outdoor events in cities and forests, but always creating reflection and respect for our surrounding. Material: recycled plastic, LED spots, ice, cool drinks

(The Urban forest shown here is a prototype in perspex. It looked better with the ice and the beer. But for some reason the cold beers have gone...)

Friday, 21 March 2008

In tempore non suspecto

The MAX5000W candle holder is an interesting concept from Kathi Stertzig and Albio Nascimento, as part of their DESIGNFORFUTURE project, also published about in my Ad!dict 'World 2.0'.

DESIGNFORFUTURE is an annual exhibition focussed on design projects that contemplate environmental and social impact in their stages of development and through their usage. Eco-efficient design is not defining itself through ecomaterials, or efficient production only, but also through understanding and reflecting on common ways of using our objects, which is what this design does so humorously.

Although it wasn't created with the South African power issues in mind, I must admit that MAX5000W could be a great solution for Eskom, no?

Take a look at Kathi Sterzig's Labfile on Addictlab.

Open Lab : Eco research & more.

I'd like to tell you more about our Open Lab that's running in the Design Quarter from March 20 - April 10, where we're showing concepts from the different research projects we're currently running at Addictlab : Kid's research, Gaming, Eco, Nano Technology etc.

These artists, designers, fashion designers, animation wizards, photographers and more are showing their talent .... in a shopping mall. An interesting experiment, if you ask me - showing products almost at the beginning of their life cycle in a truly commercial surrounding. None of these are for sale. But they should be.

Transparent bath (Flore de Crombrugghe)

Flore de Crombrugghe's transparent bath is a result of a workshop we organized in our Brussels based lab with well known designer Danny Venlet and his interior design students*.

Flore has added measurements on a transparent bath, allowing you to see how many bottles of drinkable water you are actually wasting. Read Flore's labfile on Addictlab

The Scooter Desk (Jiri Van Meerbeek, Utilia)

From time to time we do brainstorming sessions for companies, inviting our labmembers to come and participate. This Scooter desk, designed for Utilia, is then an out-of-the-ordinary tool, giving the idea of a "mobile office" new meaning. Take a look at Jiri's labfile on Addictlab.

Sit 'n Read (Peter Van Riet for Juventa)

Read more about this design for Juventa in Peter's labfile on Addictlab. In the version I had shipped over, the seatcovers were designed by Tord Boontje.

And of course, we try to blur disciplines: I'm proud to have shown real life models wearing Clive Rundle & Amanda Laird Cherry's newest collection.

* If there are any South African schools interested in this kind of workshop, just drop me a mail at . The results are stunning, now and then.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Tonight. Let's meet.

So yes, I'm Jan, and I'm taking up the task to inspire you with new things, reflections and more.

But if you really would like to know how an international think tank like works, come over to the Design Quarter on William Nichol, tonight March 20th, at 18:00.

You can spend time browsing through the Ad!dict Inspiration books I publish, and also discover South African talent from different disciplines - there'll be art, photography, design, fashion, animation...

Will post pictures tomorrow. Well, depending on my physical status after tonight's opening...

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Apr├Ęs Valentine's Day

Do you put all your eggs in one basket?
Here in South Africa, my adoptive country for three years, people add to the Valentine's Day madness by dressing in red and on high heels. The bad red and deep cleavage truly challenges me on my eternal aesthetic quest.

Now my sense of aesthetics is heavily under attack again with the next consumer war on its way - we're about to be bombarded with Easter eggs, bunnies, chicken and more of that Easter yellow and green horror. The story of the guy on the cross with nails in his hands and feet is far away, since Easter turns today's society into some sort of commercial Teletubbie country.

To add some perspective to all of that, this design by labmember Kensaku Oshiro for Belgian label Vlaemsch() certainly does its bit.

It's a money box. Ceramic eggs, to save your money in.

Maybe it will help you to save for the next consumer horror (Mothers' Day, Back to School, Halloween - just pick your winner). But at least there is an aesthetic value in doing it the Vlaemsch() way.
See more of Kensaku Oshiro's work at his website, and visit his work at Labfile at

Guest blogger - Jan van Mol

We're very please to welcome as our guest blogger for this week, the Belgian design dynamo, Jan van Mol, who is the visionary behind Addict Creative Labs, and

Jan's vision is a global creative laboratory that attracts multidisciplinary creative talent from all over the world, providing a bridge between that talent and industry that needs innovation.

Browse through one of the 25 Ad!dict Inspiration books he's published, to see some of the amazing work coming out of Addict Labs. You can read more about his latest publication in an article on Page 70 of the latest issue of Elle Decoration SA.

We're most fortunate to have such an out-of-the-box thinker in South Africa, finding and nurturing our design talent from the bottom up. I can't wait to see what inspires his creative thinking and energy while he guest blogs for Elle Deco. Thanks, Jan!

Monday, 17 March 2008

Issue #54 - Refresh

The brand new edition of Elle Decoration is on the shelves today all over South Africa, filled with refreshing news around the theme of Green.

Get it while it's hot... or in this case!

Friday, 14 March 2008

Joburg Art Fair

Last night, the world's first contemporary African art fair opened its doors at the Sandton Convention Centre. The Joburg Art Fair has 22 major galleries selling work in a traditional art fair set-up, covering 5000 square meters. And apart from gallery sales, a curated show by Simon Njami shows off a broader representation of African contemporary artists.

The fair runs from 13 - 16 March, and despite the entrance fee, Joburgers should really do their best to take this opportunity to see what's happening on the contemporary South African art scene.

I've been having a great time going through an image search, to find artists' work to share with blog readers. These are just a few of the works on show, but there are hundreds more, and well worth a visit:

Julia Rosa Clark - Bring it on (get nasty remix)

Kevin Brand - Church

Bronwyn Vaughn-Evans - Home is where the Heart is (Vaughn)

Sandile Zulu - Galaxy 4

Peter Eastman - Small Black Portrait #3