Made in Woodstock: Kraftisan



Product design and manufacture brand, Kraftisan™, was launched in 2011 by young industrial designer, Lucas R Adams. Having recently moved into Side Street Studios in Woodstock, Cape Town, he invited us round to see his new place.


Lucas says that the products designed and made under the Kraftisan label aim to add value over and above the basic purpose of the item. There is also a strong focus on the environmental impact of the materials used throughout the manufacturing process.


Besides designing products unique to Kraftisan, Lucas also works on briefs for brands, most notably Bacardi.


The very organised studio and workshop is an example of Lucas’s handiwork in itself as everything has been custom designed to suit his needs. The space also functions as a showroom for Kraftisan products and anyone is welcome to browse and shop.


Here’s our chat with Lucas:


Between 10and5: Where is your space?


Lucas: Our studio is located at 48 Albert Road, 006 Side Street Studios. Right next to the Woodstock Exchange building.




10and5: What do you love about the area?


Lucas: Our building, Side Street Studios, differs from others in a sense that it has a communal pulse whereby everybody shares in the up and (rarely) downs of everyday work. The Woodstock area in general, feels real and untinged by modernity; it holds a richness in its people and at the same time presents challenges as a working environment.




10and5: What is the Kraftisan aesthetic?

Lucas: Our visual aesthetic is that of subtle minimalism through form and function while maintaining the ‘local is lekker’ South African feel.




10and5: How did it all begin?


Lucas: For the most part, it started with an idea to produce functional products that would be attainable by the majority by making them affordable. But most importantly making people connect with a brand name behind it all. To be honest, one of the first things I did was to establish the brand identity in the form of a logo and material language before I had even designed a product!




10and5: Can you tell us a bit about the work you’ve done for other brands?


Lucas: I have been blessed since last years’ Design Indaba where I attended for the first time as an Emerging Creative under the Kraftisan label, as the rest of the year was dominated by working for really interested agencies with brands like Bacardi & B-Guided. We specialize in volume product as well as once-off projects, and some of these you can view here.



Kraftisan for New Media Labs

Kraftisan’s latest project, an arcade-game themed interior installation for New Media Labs. See the making of here.


10and5: Would you be open to collaborating on a product with fellow young designers in other fields? If so, who?


Lucas: Absolutely, although I would have to find the time! I’ve wanted to do something with a ceramicist, and I love what Zizipho Poswa and Andile Dyalvane of Imiso Ceramics are getting up to with their highly creative methods in changing the way we see this material.




10and5: Who is welcome in your studio space?


Lucas: Anyone interested, just give us a shout!




10and5: What music is playing?


Lucas: When my hands are on the tuner, it’s ’80s music for the most part of the day with Michael Jackson and Dire Straights pulling through. During marathon CAD (computer aided design) sessions, it’s strictly electro.




10and5: Any exciting projects to look forward to?


Lucas: I’m currently working hard in preparation for this year’s Design Indaba with a new product launch, new online store, new packaging and an incredible stand which we hope you will all enjoy! Please do come visit at stand H102.






Between 10 and 5