Design Joburg arrives in one of Africa’s most Afropolitan cities this month!

Bringing us the best of the best when it comes to International and local talents, South Africa’s most-polished design and décor show is back from 19 to 21 May 2022 at the Sandton Convention Centre. Its concurrent fringe event, Design Joburg Collective, launched yesterday at nearby décor and design districts Kramerville and 44 Stanley, running from 17 – 21 May 2022.

A host of South Africa’s top creatives including multi-award-winning designer Rich Mnisi, award-winning contemporary multimedia visual artist, Trevor Stuurmanindustry icon Maira Koutsoudakiscreative director N A T U R A .co-Lab Manthe Ribane Liebmann and Cocoon Lifestyle founder Bilala Mabuza – all hailing from Johannesburg – will be taking part in Design Joburg, a highlight on the annual design and décor calendar.

Now in its fourth year, this three-day extravaganza of interiors, design, fashion, architecture and sustainable design returns with a full live event, which includes highly sought-after architectural tours and a stimulating talks programme with speakers from some of the country’s most innovative and influential architecture and design studios.

Read our personal list of top must-see’s & do’s ahead of the main event:

Cocoon Lifestyle’s Bilala Mabuza. IMAGE COURTESY OF DESIGN JOBURG.


The Design Theatre will be a space to pause and catch up on fascinating and eye-opening design-focused talks, both from local shapeshifters and commenters and international mavens, who will be broadcast in via the Design London platform. Cocoon Lifestyle’s Bilala Mabuza will lead the curation of this engagement space. The impressive lineup of speakers and moderators include: Koutsoudakis, Rich Mnisi, Trevor Stuurman, Sir Abner, Andrea Kleinloog, Melody Maker, Nthabi Taukobong, Peter Rich, Steve Pinto, Wandile Mabaso, Ann Roberts, Chris Bakker, Donald Nxumalo, Gillian Holl, Graham Wood, Brian Leib, Kulani Keagile, Tessa Proudfoot and Trevor Sibanda.

Mpho Vackier from The Urbanative. IMAGE COURTESY OF DESIGN JOBURG.
Zizi Poswa from Imiso Ceramics. IMAGE COURTESY OF DESIGN JOBURG.
Candice Lawrence from Modern Gesture. IMAGE COURTESY OF DESIGN JOBURG.


Headline sponsor Sanlam Private Wealth is presenting a showcase of brand-new work by leading female creatives Mpho Vackier from The Urbanative, Zizi Poswa from Imiso Cermaics and Candice Lawrence from Modern Gesture.

In a unique collaboration, the globally acclaimed artists have created a multi-layered installation which is set to be unveiled at the main Design Joburg event.



Always a hit with visitors, the Hendrick’s Gin Bar returns using the iconic gin’s signature blend of 11 botanicals as its design cue.


Design Joburg 2022 will be given an olfactory edge this year with the introduction of a scent workshop presented by Cape Island, a local female-owned manufacturer of eco-luxe home fragrance products inspired by Africa.

“We are excited to launch a scent workshop at Design Joburg,’ says Suzanne Snowdowne, Chief Executive Officer at Cape Island. “Guests will be taken on an interactive, guided fragrance journey in an intimate and informal setting where they can unleash their creative energy, find their nose, and learn the basic steps to crafting and composing their unique fragrance formula.”

Attendees will also have the opportunity to connect with and be inspired by interior mavens and collaborators Nthabi Taukobong, Founding Member and Managing Director of Ditau Interiors, an interior design consultation company, and Bilala Mabuza, Founder & Creative Director of interior design studio Cocoon Lifestyle.

Cape Island products are African designed, and all made on African soil. “We source fine fragrance oils from leading perfumers in Europe and then make our hand-poured scented candles, fragrance diffusers, sulphate free soaps and lotions in South Africa,” says Snowdowne. “We are excited to share our passion with fragrance lovers at Design Joburg and enable them to create their own scent story.”

There will be two scent workshops per day of 90 minutes per session. Numbers are limited and bookings are essential. To purchase tickets for the workshop, go to designjoburg.com/book-a-ticket.



The best part of a show with a design bent is the opportunity to shop and the Retail Corridor is a dedicated space where visitors can take a slew of locally designed lust-haves home with them – from cushions to ceramics and of course a phone full of images to mull over for further at-home inspiration.

You can expect to find Tonic, La Grange Interiors,


Into the metaverse, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and other cutting-edge digital technologies are amongst the key features at Design Joburg 2022, with visitors being treated to an immersive trip into the metaverse, a series of expert talks, architecture, interior and design, as well as life in general.

Visitors can also expect to see real-life robots in action! Featured speaker Steve Pinto, CEO of innovative local tech start-ups New Reality and Ctrl Robotics, says to keep an eye out for two hospitality robots whirring around the venue. Described as cat-like, these cute little helpers will be delivering hot coffee and snacks as one of their top-priority table service tasks.

From its inception, Design Joburg has stood apart for its insightful and substantial celebration of cutting-edge local architecture. Its architecture programme has become known for its custom designed gallery pavilions, each year by a different selected firm, showcasing new buildings by the country’s most exciting architects.

This year, the focus on architecture is, as in the past, designed to appeal to professionals, design aficionados and the general public alike. It will bring everything to the topic that it has in the past and more, particularly relating to new developments in virtual reality (VR), which proved to be a game-changer for architects and interior designers during the pandemic and has become more widely used and appreciated for offering immersive experiences of architecture in 3D VR.

Read below more about this year’s gallery programme, which allows visitors to experience buildings from the inside without even leaving the gallery. Also of interest is the architecture programme which provides designer-led in-person building tours.



The Architects’ Gallery, a showcase of some of the country’s finest architectural projects. This year however, the introduction of a three-dimensional immersive element will bring each of the buildings in the gallery to life.



Architectural Tours, this year’s programme invites us to attend designer-led tours which showcase two of Joburg’s new architectural landmarks. These iconic buildings include The Bank in Rosebank designed by Daffonchio Architects and The Leonardo in Sandton designed by Co-Arc International Architects. 

The Bank is an exciting new mixed-use development in the hub of Rosebank. Hosting tenants such as VOCO hotel, Proud Mary and Workshop 17, The Bank also contains an extensive art collection curated by Art Gazette (not to mention a massive mural by SA artist Cameron Platter).

The next attraction on the list is Africa’s tallest building, the Leonardo. At 57 stories, it is a feat of engineering and architectural ambition and is within easy walking distance from the SCC for in-person tours. Led by a majority women-team at Co-Arc International Architects, the building has proved transformative in many surprising ways, not least its contextually appropriate unique design and construction approaches and its focus on creating job opportunities and contributing to the local economy. Apart from the architecture, the building is remarkable for its thousands-strong art collection, much of it specially curated and commissioned for the building by art consultants The Trinity Sessions. These include artworks on the scale of Mbongeni Buthelezi’s 20m-long, two-storey-high mural and Damien Grivas’s geological sculpture that fills the stairwell connecting the ground floor entrance to the reception level above.

All tours will have a brand-new VR component that will allow visitors to experience buildings from the inside without even leaving the gallery.

Ticket and Tour bookings

With ticket prices starting from R30 to R130, you can easily book your ticket(s) via this link.

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