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New Directions

Mar 29, 2019 | Design, Featured

Each year ushers in fresh design trends that allow us to reflect on where we are now and where we’re going

TEXT Julia Freemantle PHOTOGRAPHS Elsa Young, Dave Southwood, Alix-Rose Cowie and supplied

FASHION: GENDER-NEUTRAL

  1. Adebayo Oke-Lawal, founder of the fashion brand Orange Culture, has been designing clothes since the age of 10. Having grown up in a system that promoted a hyper-masculine sensibility, he has created a name for himself designing clothes that do not conform to gender stereotypes. He describes Orange Culture as a movement more than a brand, designed for a creative class of men whom he describes as “self-aware, expressive, explorative, art-loving nomad(s). The riot of contemporary and traditional prints and colour, combined with Nigerian silhouettes and urban streetwear, ushers in a new era for African menswear. orangeculture.com.ng

FOOD: THE XX FACTOR

  1. Spearheaded by food maverick Hannerie Visser, Food XX points to a larger movement within the food industry of a rise in the prominence of women-led food initiatives and leadership. The recent Food XX awards and conference served to highlight the achievements by women in various areas of food-related work, and are an acknowledgment of the enormous role women play in the industry. studio-h.co.za

RETAIL: MINDFUL CONSUMERISM

  1. Created by JP Bolus and the team behind the popular Loading Bay restaurant and retail experience in Cape Town, Sans is a community-minded retail concept that focuses on building relationships with local suppliers, supplying quality and promoting mindful buying – in terms of low waste, as well as knowing where what you consume and use comes from, and who made it. Encompassing Pauline’s coffee bar, Sans retail and deli, and an Aesop kiosk, the concept will make you consider the pros of steering away from mass produced and packaged retail experiences in favour of something more sustainable. sanscommunity.com

BATHROOMS: SPA EXPERIENCE

  1. As a global brand and an industry leader that sets itself apart with cutting-edge technology and design-forward products, Kohler is at the forefront of international bathroom trends. A trend that has been gathering steam for a while, the concept of a spa bathroom is now realising its potential. The mechanics have finally caught up to the ideal, so home bathrooms can now offer an experience to rival that of a spa. The Kohler Real Rain shower is a case in point. With impressive similarity to natural precipitation – different droplet sizes, different drop rates and random formations – it offers a soothing experience to rival a real rain shower, only more luxurious. africa.kohler.com

SURFACES: ENGINEERED STONE

  1. The Phoenix Stone collection from WOMAG comprises a range of engineered surfaces that are durable, low-maintenance and resistant to scratches and stains – and they look so good that they’re a great alternative to marble and granite countertops. The tiles can be used for anything from bathroom vanities to wall cladding. womag.co.za

TEXTILES: NATURAL FIBRE

  1. Mohair has recently come to the fore as a material of choice for designer rugs. This fibre has long been regarded as the most luxurious and best-quality natural textile material available. Its long, smooth and naturally lustrous fibre and its durability, resilience, elasticity and comfort make it ideal for decor use. It also holds dye well, allowing for deep and brilliant colour. What’s more, although it’s long-lasting it will biodegrade in soil. The new Montage mohair rug by Fibre Designs displays the beautiful colours achievable with mohair, and Frances van Hasselt’s lovely hand-made ranges for her brand Frances VH and Bofred celebrate the Karoo landscape, where the mohair comes from. fibredesigns.co.za, francesvh.com

PROPERTY: URBAN PLAYGROUND

  1. Urban planning has come a long way in terms of designing public spaces holistically to align with how people live, incorporating integrated zones for leisure, commerce and art within cities. Architecture firm dhk recently completed Battery Park, a new publicly accessible urban park at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. The 12 000 m2 site was developed as the nucleus of a larger urban vision for the district, and includes a park and piazza that effectively conceal a 1 206-bay parking facility as well as new pedestrian routes to encourage activity and engagement in the precinct. The firm took the opportunity to pay homage to a historical landmark (the site has archaeological significance) whilst providing spaces for leisure and recreational activities (skate park, sports courts, waterways) and engaging the community. dhk.co.za

TRAVEL: ANIMAL-FRIENDLY

  1. The rise in vegan-oriented business has spilled over into industries beyond eating out or consumer goods. Hospitality is jumping on the trend with spaces that offer vegans a design-forward stay with a clear conscience. Design firm Bompas & Parr recently redesigned a suite in the Hilton London Bankside – bedroom, bathroom and living room – so it is completely free of animal products. Using solely plant-based materials (as opposed to leather, wool, down and more), it features a range of alternatives such as Pinatex, a vegan-friendly leather made from fibres sourced from waste pineapple leaves. Feather pillows have been replaced with a choice of buckwheat or millet hulls and fibres from the tropical kapok tree or bamboo plants, and the room’s entire selection of toiletries, snacks, drinks and cleaning products are 100% free of animal-derived ingredients. hilton.com

COLOUR: THE BIGGER PICTURE

  1. Pantone recently chose its Colour of the Year 2019: Living Coral is a vibrant and upbeat yet mellow hue (PANTONE 16-1546) that envelopes with warmth. Chosen for its capacity to provide comfort and upliftment in our continually shifting environment, it’s a response to our need for authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. pantone.com
  2. Driven by trends much bigger than the design and interiors industries, colour is a response to social movements, cultural cues and technological advances. Plascon’s 2019 palette is prompted by a number of current trends. For its “seasons” this year, the company forecasters drew on major social directions to create colour families that would reflect the moods of the moment. In response to our need to cocoon and socialise at home, its Luxury and Glamour palettes create a comfortable sanctuary through colour. The Urban palette caters to our ever-shrinking spaces with clean hues that complement clean lines. Seeing that individualisation is a growing emotional and social urge, the Urban and Minimal palettes answer with eye-catching upbeat tones that stand out. A move towards mindfulness is best served by the Minimal palette – whose uncluttered aesthetic offers pause for thought. plascon.com

FABRICS: BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL

  1. Halogen International’s latest look includes combining a variety of textures and colours. Using contrasting hues is a major trend, says owner Gail Butler, as is colour blocking. Velvets, linens and embossed or quilted looks are in. If you’re after pattern, go big and bright – whether your prefer florals, stripes or geometrics. halogen.co.za

DESIGN: INNOVATION

  1. Kettal is a company that is at the forefront of innovative furniture and design trends. Their products and spaces are always indicative of the direction in which industry norms are moving. Responding to the increase in green travel – bicycle commuting, share riding and so on – Kettal has launched a bike parking pavilion. Designed to be in harmony with the architectural environment, it’s a low-impact structure by virtue of transparent materials and a non-solid structure. Customisable (it comes in various colours) and hugely practical (it has electrical sockets and lighting), the design illustrates Kettal’s regard for functional design that improves life on a daily basis. kettal.com

We asked three design studios what offices look like now

STUDIO 19

  1. “People need a quiet spot for a thinking moment, a phone call or a meeting, but you have to be careful not to create spaces that will never be used. You want your staff to feel like they don’t want or need to go home – that they can have a nap in a breakaway room, catch their breath in a privacy pod to make a phone call, meet with a colleague for coffee and so on.” studio19.co

BONE STUDIO

  1. “There is a lot more emphasis on private environments that offer flexibility. There’s a move away from open-plan in general – it’s not conducive to productivity, so now the emphasis is on flexible spaces (like meeting rooms that become private offices and phone call booths). There is a shift, too, towards office wellbeing in the form of yoga rooms, gyms, ‘mindful’ quiet zones. Tones are moving away from whites and greys to warmer tones, like dark timber, emerald and aubergine.” bonestudio.co.za

HESSE KLEINLOOG

  1. “People are looking for interesting and invigorating spaces to work in, and employees have greater expectations of their environment and demand more from their surroundings.” hkstudio.co.za

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