But Is It Art. The Southern Guild at Design Miami/2015 Experience.

This December will see Design Miami/ celebrate all that design can do. From the social and humanitarian projects of Design Visionary Yves Béhar, to the celebration of unrealized creativity embodied by UNBUILT: Design Miami/ Harvard GSD Pavilion; from mid-century works conceived as elegant solutions to post-war problems, to objects of breath-taking beauty and masterful craftsmanship. The presentations of the exhibiting galleries will be supported by an extensive program of satellite projects, collaborations and commissions, which this year will include thought provoking installations, curiosity-piquing exhibitions, dynamic talks, and innovative retail concepts.


For Design Miami/2015, Southern Guild aims this December to convey the multi-faceted nature of South African design, which is layered with storytelling, political allusion, historical and cultural references and a drawing down into primal and earth-bound essence. Established in 2008 to provide a platform for collectible, limited edition South African design, the Southern Guild showcases work by the most recognised names in the country and cultivates the careers of emerging contemporary designers. South African design is artisanal, handmade and cerebral and the designers work in a very personal, exploratory way, with deep cultural relevance and little interest in passing trends.


This year, the benchmark for quality and originality is showcased in a comprehensive and cohesive collection of works by local artists with the aim of encouraging the collaboration and discourse of the local design industry. With no fewer than twelve participating designers being showcased by Southern Guild at Design Miami/ which is the global forum for design. Each fair brings together the most influential collectors, gallerists, designers, curators and critics from around the world in celebration of design culture and commerce. Occurring alongside the Art Basel fairs in Miami, USA each December and Basel, Switzerland each June, Design Miami/ has become the premier venue for collecting, exhibiting, discussing and creating collectible design.

We particularly like the design pieces by Conrad Hicks, Dokter and Misses and Laurie Wiid van Heerden & Ceramic Matters (see below for more information) however the works by Andile Dyalvane, Bronze Age, Cameron Platter, David Krynauw, Driaan Claasen, Justine Mahoney, Madoda Fani, Porky Hefer and Xandre Kriel should not be overlooked as anything but the crème of South African collectables.

Conrad Hicks specializes in hand-forged metal work. His forge is house in The Bijou, an old Art Deco cinema in Observatory and his designs are influence by the time he spends in this space. He asserts that all traditional blacksmithing joining methods are innately metaphorical, adding to the final symbolic meaning of the finished form.

Dokter and Misses is the husband and wife team, Adriaan Hugo and Katy Taplin, which operates in Johannesburg producing a selection of furniture, lighting and innovative interior objects. Inspired by the idiosyncrasies of their surroundings, their modernist furniture pieces with angular lines have boldly upbeat energy that makes them immediately desirable and ultimate statements of “cool”.

Laurie Wild van Heerden & Ceramic Matters producers truly unique products, designed and manufactured in Cape Town, combining simple materials with modern design and energy-saing technology. All the products incorporate handmade elements which Laurie Wiid oversees personally. Occupying a realm of fantasy, illusion and nature, the works of Gerhard Smart and Anthony Harris (founders of Ceramic Matters) are a symbiosis between traditional ceramic forms emphasising and exaggerating the relationship between these difference genres. Collaborating for the past 30-years, they have produced ceramic wallpaper, organic matter, skeletons, tattooed forms and architectural detailing all belying the fragility of the substrates in which they work.


For more information on Southern Guild, follow them on Instagram: @southernguildgallery or Twitter: @southernguild