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Design Joburg: A Chat With The Show’s Creative Directors

We chat with Andrea Kleinloog and Megan Hesse, the creative directors behind SA’s premier décor and design show Design Joburg, featuring Rooms on View.

Andrea and Megan run a successful interior design practice called HK Studio as well as a product and furniture store called Anatomy Design. Despite their youth, they are well entrenched in the South African design landscape.

  1. So what’s different from last year’s show?

The success of 2017’s show has led to a wonderful sense of – less apprehensive – excitement about 2018’s show.

Marble, one of Johannesburg’s top restaurants, are providing an exciting pop up food experience, that will add a fantastic dynamic to the show’s lineup. Great food and cocktails paired with good looking décor is always a hit.

We are also focusing on creating platforms that bring the breadth of South African design to the public in a dedicated retail area called Design Corridor.

Then, our beautifully curated and presented Architect’s Gallery feature will celebrate the incredible projects of leading South African architectural minds.

  1. What lessons have you learnt from the inaugural show?

We definitely realised that designers are braver than we originally thought. We quickly realised that they were ready for the challenge of collaborating with various industry partners to create holistic views into well-designed spaces.

2017 taught us that Design Joburg is also a wonderful platform to uplift young designers. This time visitors will see our mentorship program in place. We have paired up complementary sets of young talent with more established studios. We are really looking forward to seeing the results of these collaborations.

  1. Have there been any personal and/or professional insights as creative directors of the show?

Our role as creative directors has definitely opened our eyes to our community of designers and suppliers, and especially how supportive it is.

We have been humbled by the incredible network of designers that have supported our, sometimes outrageous, ideas and their willingness to take risks with us.

  1. What will your own brand Anatomy Design’s offering be at the show?

Anatomy Design will be launching it’s latest set of heirloom furniture. Imagine traditional furniture reimagined into their contemporary forms.

Also worth keeping an eye out for is our inaugural range of collectable objet.

  1. What are you most looking forward to seeing at this year’s show?

This is a really difficult one! We are really looking forward to seeing the CoLab features revealed, particularly where the established studios have taken on a mentee. For example, we’re pretty sure we will see some serious rockstar stuff from Studio A and Proportion Design’s collaboration.

  1. What’s been your biggest challenge and your biggest reward from working on Design Joburg?

The biggest challenge has been creating a show that adapts to the South African mindset, and that doesn’t simply fall into the standard model of ‘selling floor space’.

The challenge of this, is that there is no straight or easy route. We have had to forge unique solutions for almost every possible iteration of the show.

Design Joburg is a forward-thinking design show, and we have adapted all our offerings to the feedback (good and bad) that we received.

We are so proud of how progressive Design Joburg is – where the focus is on experiential design and a unique offering, rather than endless stalls in an anonymous hall.

  1. Whose work are you coveting right now?

Houtlander’s beautiful benches

  1. In terms of your own design journey, who would you want to collaborate with on a design project?

Within our interior design business we’re lucky to be working with some pretty dreamy clients, including game lodges and restaurants. A dream project would be to work on a hotel or travel experience with the architect John Pawson, or to develop an African student design program with Ilse Crawford.

Design Joburg takes place at the Sandton Convention Centre, from 25 – 27 May 2018.

For more visit www.designjoburg.com

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