We’ve passed the halfway mark of Cape Town’s year as World Design Capital and, as promised, the official #WDC008 Pop-up Space just opened its doors on Long Street. In true South African style, the space takes a do-it-yourself approach to design to showcase local creativity. We paid a visit to the new spot to see what the fuss is about and it turns out that the team at Studio HV, who are managing the project on behalf of World Design Capital, collaborated with a few local creatives to turn this small and slightly awkward space into something of a design wonderland.
The #WDC008 Pop-up Space is tiled with locally sourced and branded recycled cardboard and comic-style printed paper wall tiles. In the one window there’s a custom vertical hydroponic farm growing lettuce, while the other window celebrates the slightly less wholesome but equally delicious local snack, Nik Naks. Speaking of snacks, the space also hosts a Guerrilla Kitchen and a coffee bar by Department of Coffee. The main attraction in #WDC008 is The Coop, a lock-up-and-go retail space to showcase and sell local products – everything form Lorraine Loots’ 365 Postcards for Ants to Reneé Rossouw‘s liquorice inspired ceramic vessels are for sale. There’s also a Pop-up Projects Room and an Interactive Kids Room with educational toys and a library curated by Nali’ibali. The Pop-up Office, complete with free wifi, ample seating and more than enough plug points, invites the public to come inside, hang out, get some work done and be inspired by clever local design.
We chat to Hannerie Visser from Studio HV about the space, the design and installation thereof and how they plan to use it throughout the rest of 2014:
Tell us about the concept behind the space.
The space is inspired by a do-it-yourself response to design. On the one hand it is a global trend with a lot of DIY initiatives happening on an international level – for instance urban farming and pop-up kitchens. On the other hand DIY has always been a super localised type of design that stems from “making a plan” and being intuitive and inventive with whatever materials are available. This kind of design is awesome because it requires no education and very little money. The corner shop was one of our big influences – which was what inspired the cardboard floor. The paste-up wallpaper is another home-taught and anarchist form of design utilised in urban environments. The Chicken Coop is a backyard project that we’ve taken indoors.
The general feeling we want to convey is that design is for everyone. Essentially the concept and purpose of the space is to offer local creatives and especially official WDC projects a space in the centre of town to sell or display their design product. It is also an information hub for Cape Townians to interact with World Design Capital. It was designed to be a friendly and welcoming space rather than an intimidating, high-end design shop. We wanted to create a space that felt light and fun, in which locals and tourists could work and chill but also buy things and learn.
Which creatives were involved in the design and decor of the space?
We chose people who work in a responsive and makeshift way and are able to work with easily available, local materials.
The cardboard floor was inspired by the Cape Town corner shops, and was installed and designed by local artist Joshua Williams. The tile print on the wall is a cost-effective way of carrying the chipped and broken tiles that are on one of the shop’s walls around the whole work area. The graphic print was designed by local graphic company Kinsmen Collective. It was printed in black and white on A0 rolls and applied to the wall with glue and water. The Chicken Coop shop came from the concept of the DIY backyard projects and container shops – a lock up and go style shop. It is made from pine, chicken wire and corrugated plastic and was designed and built by Industrial Designer Erwin Jacobs. The hydroponic window farm was designed and made by Thingking and Greg Nicolson. It uses a basic pump system along with plastic gutter pipes and fluorescent lights to make a vertical garden producing fresh edible vegetables. The Guerilla Kitchen is Jade de Waal‘s latest project – a mobile kitchen using gas and a plywood fold-out work area. When her project at WDC comes to an end, she is making this kitchen fully mobile by adding wheels to it, and then moving off to set up elsewhere. The large yellow strip curtain was cut and installed by Shannon Brand, who is part of the technical team at Michaelis. The pop-up projects area is an ever changing space for local businesses to inhabit for a 1 month residency on Long Street. Other areas include a screening room/ reading room with a library curated by Nali’ibali.
What can people expect when visiting the space?
In the Coop authentic local design goods are for sale. Jade’s Guerilla Kitchen cooks up fresh food daily from a constantly evolving menu. She will also be running a guest programme in which local food entrepreneurs take over her guerrilla kitchen for a day or a week and cook limited edition take-away lunches. In the back Department of Coffee are serving the freshest caffeine in town. We’ve also got free wifi, benches and tables to work at with plenty of plug points. YOH! is taking over the pop-up project space at the moment to showcase their upcoming collection of clothing which will be available soon. This space will change every month and we have a few surprises up our sleeves.
What can we look forward to from the #WDC008 Pop-up Space?
We’ve got a few how-to workshops coming up, with wheat pasting, mural painting, iron-on printing classes to name a few. There’s also a tour from the #WDC008 Pop-up to Khayelitsha with the guys from DOC and a multi-lingual reading sessions for adults and kids by Nali’ibali. Two exhibitions and a pop-up ‘Zine store are also in the works.
All our workshops are free and take place every Saturday morning at 11am.
The space is project managed by Studio HV
Creative Director (concept and execution): Andrew Aichison
Project Manager and curator: Maryke van Lill
Space Manager: Suraya Pandor
Hydroponic Window Farm: Thingking and Greg Nicolson
Coop design and production: Erwin Jacobs
Cardboard floor installation: Joshua Williams
Guerilla Kitchen: Jade de Waal
Window vinyls and tile wallpaper: Kinsmen Collective
#WDC008 is open on Mondays – Fridays 10am – 5pm and Saturdays 10am – 2pm at 150 Long Street.