Simultaneously Familiar and Strange | Southern Guild shows at Design Miami


Southern Guild, established in 2008, is a platform that showcases the best of South African contemporary design with focus on collectible and limited-edition pieces. They support both emerging and established designers, simulating and activating the local industry. Southern Guild exhibitions have become a benchmark for quality and originality, presenting our dynamic and stand-out aesthetic that redefines how local design is perceived within and beyond our borders. This year they’re joining Design Miami, an international design show, with the aim of conveying South Africa’s multi-faceted design industry to a global audience, encouraging networking and facilitating extended opportunity and discourse.


South Africa, with both its beauty and challenges, is a place where crafters, artists, planners and creators come together. South African designers are motivated by our past, present and future, producing an aesthetic of intuitive forms and unusual colour combinations with sparks of ingenuity.


South African design is artisanal, handmade and cerebral and our designers work in a very personal, exploratory way, with deep cultural relevance and little interest in passing trends. For Design Miami 2014, Southern Guild aims to convey the multi-faceted nature of South African design, which is layered with story telling, political allusion, historical and cultural references and a drawing down into a primal and earth-bound essence. These impulses are expressed through sculptural and graphic forms that seem simultaneously familiar and strange.


The event runs from 3 – 7 December and will include work from 20 participating local designers, seen below.



Andile Dyalvane, Docks Table White

Docks Table White is inspired by Dyalvane’s view from his studio window onto the Docks Yard of the Cape Town harbour.



Ardmore Ceramic Art, Elephant Vase

Sculptor: Somandla Ntshalintshali | Painter: Jabu Nene | Hand-painted, glazed-earthenware ceramic.



Atang Tshikare in collaboration with Art in the Forest, Ngwana, Ngwedi and Ngaka

With names meaning Child, Moon and Shaman in Tswana, this is a unique series of 10 objects made from stoneware clay, with surface decoration by Atang Tshikare.



Babacar Niang,  Bedjenak and Coleoptere 

Senegalese designer Babacar Niang carves wood into the most fantastical forms, adding horn and leather to some of his bespoke seating.



Beth Diane Armstrong, Reach

Armstrong’s Reach builds on the idea of small, gradual change or deviation in quantity; growing and spreading to cover a surface.



Bronze Age, Welcome To My World and Skull Candy II – Deep Jungle Apocalypse

The life-size bronze gorilla opens up to function as a liquor cabinet, playfully revealing a smaller gorilla inside the chest cavity as its ‘inner gorilla’, while Skull Candy opens to reveal a candy container within each skull.



Cheick Diallo, Sekou

This unique tie-dye leather chair makes use of Malawian designer Cheick Diallo’s signature mix of ancient wisdom and modern sensuality.



Daniella Mooney, Porcelain Catenary Arch with Yogi De Beer and Stone Appreciation

Inspired in part by the Gateway Arch in Missouri, Porcelain Catenary Arch deals with ritual, performance, celebration and finding the sacred within everyday life. Stone appreciation is made from Red Granite, Rustenberg Granite, Soapstone and Panga panga.



David Krynauw, Haywire Black Ash

The arms on Krynauw’s Haywire chandelier can be manipulated to change its lighting configuration and focus.



Dokter and Misses, LALA Surma I and II

These drinks cabinets are inspired by the body painting of the Surma people of Ethiopia, a nomadic community that uses bright minerals to embellish the skin. In these cabinets, the colour palette is that of natural pigments: red ochre, yellow sulfur, white kaolin and grey ash.



Ebrahim EB Assur, Delela Chair

As the recipient of the Southern Guild Design Foundation 2013 Apprentice Award, EB Assur carried out an apprenticeship at revered Master Craftsman Pierre Cronje, which resulted in the inspiration for Delela Chair.



Gregor Jenkin, TBC

Jenkin’s latest table interprets a familiar form, using industrial material and complex construction.



Guy du Toit, Improvised Seating

Improvised Seating emulates the casual seating found on building sites but adds an interesting comment by casting these familiar forms – bricks and rocks – in bronze.



John Murray in collaboration with Paco Pakdoust, Topple

Topple, by artist John Murray and carpet-maker Paco, forms part of a series of limited-edition art carpets commissioned annually for the Southern Guild Collection.



Justine Mahoney, Beehive, Girl Blowing a Bubble, Masked Boy, Hooded Boy

Mahoney’s bronze-and-enamel figures concern themselves with anodyne suburban existence, the awkwardness of adolescence and the fruitless search for physical perfection.



Laduma Ngxokolo in collaboration with Yellowwoods Art, Half Square Panel

These handmade glazed ceramic tiles on fibre cement board have been designed by acclaimed textile and knitwear designer Laduma Ngxokolo, inspired by his Xhosa heritage.



Laurie Wiid van Heerden, Untitled (After W.B)

Developed from techniques learned through SA artist Wim Botha, Van Heerden’s bench portrays the energy of movement through timber components of sharp, bevelled angles that connect the signature steel top and legs that have become the designer’s signature.



Madoda Fani, Vessel 1 and Vessel 3

Known for his contemporary monochrome decorating techniques, Fani’s ceramic forms are organic, showcasing designs inspired by Xhosa tradition and simple aspects of nature. Continuing themes include animals, insects and flowers.



Porky Hefer, Bettina Esca

Bettina Esca, inspired by the scales of the deep-sea Angler Fish, is made from leather, fishnet and steel, and explores Hefer’s continuous fascination for human-size birds’ nests – conceptual precepts that manifest in three-dimensional forms.



Vogel + Plunkett, Loves Me, Loves Me Not

This table makes humorous reference to the game played with flower petals, and these petals can also be separated to function as smaller occasional side tables.



Between 10 and 5