RX Africa Launches South Africa’s First-Ever Design Week in 2023
After the tremendous success of Decorex Africa’s radically reimagined return in 2022, Africa’s leading exhibition and event organiser RX Africa is taking this dynamic design platform to the next level with the launch of South Africa’s Cape and Joburg Decor & Design Weeks.
This year for the first time, the Decor & Design Weeks will bring together SA’s three leading decor and design exhibitions, each with its own powerful and distinct identity, as part of its comprehensive city-wide programme of events. Decorex Cape Town, Decorex Joburg, 100% Design Africa and Design Joburg will run simultaneously while all around them, SA and Africa’s top designers, retailers and creatives will join forces for an expanded programme that will spread throughout each city’s design districts for a city-wide celebration of creativity, inspiration and insight.
“We are calling on our colleagues and brands in the industry to coordinate their launches, customer events, innovation announcements and client meet-and-greets with the all-important Decor & Design Week dates (Cape 19 – 25 June/Joburg 31 July – Sunday 6 August); we want South Africa and the world to see and understand just how powerful our design and decor potency is right here,” says Carol Weaving, Managing Director at RX Africa.
Each Decor and Design Week – one in Cape Town and one in Johannesburg – will encapsulate a multifaceted programme of design events, exhibitions, showrooms, open studios and talks spread throughout the cities. These exciting schedules will be unmissable for both design professionals and enthusiasts who want to stay abreast of the spirit of the times.
“This year is Decorex’s 30th anniversary,” adds Weaving. “What better occasion for a unique platform that has become synonymous with decor and design to grow and evolve to celebrate the power of design?”
Design media veteran Sumien Brink, who launched and edited both House and Leisure and VISI magazines, recalls, “I was there when Decorex launched in August 1994! It was the perfect platform for us to promote the launch of House and Leisure, which was first published a few months prior. I remember the excitement of taking part in SA’s first decor show. We sold many, many subscriptions. That was long before social media and everyone having access to everything by clicking a button. It is much harder to put on a fabulous show now, but all the other big international decor and design shows are back with a vengeance and so should we be!”
Built by RX Africa, the Joburg and Cape Decor & Design Weeks are being launched at a crucial moment when design platforms and events need to grow and evolve to harness the transformative power of the creative community and act as a catalyst for collaboration.
Decor & Design Week creates the conditions that make it possible to inject new life into design production through the sharing of ideas, capturing the energy and excitement of South Africa and Africa’s world class talent to lead design for the future.
“Burgeoning creative communities all across Africa have arisen as loci of global excellence and inspiration and an urgent voice of optimism at a time when solutions, action and energy are most needed,” says Sandra Barrow, RX Portfolio Director of Lifestyle, Design and Retail.
According to the 2022 Decorex State of the Industry Report, however, South African creativity is better appreciated outside the country than at home. “It’s time for the local design industry to take back its agency and reclaim its narratives, rather than letting others interpret them and Design Week will provide the perfect vehicle to do so,” Barrow adds.
“Around the world, design weeks have proved to be a highly effective way to kick-start positive awareness of the local design industry, shining a light on an industry brimming with optimism, creative solutions and extraordinary potential,” says award-winning interior designer and owner of DNX Interior Design, Donald Nxumalo. “They provide a wonderful platform for talented, young designers to showcase themselves, which is why I welcome the announcement of these decor and design weeks for the local design scene”
International design weeks have also become an indispensable force in facilitating connections, jumpstarting collaborations and bringing new and undiscovered talent to light, and bringing talented groups and individuals together to share their visions and ideas, which plays an invaluable role in keeping the design community vital and motivated. It’s an inspirational shot in the arm for the power of design.
It’s a role Decorex, 100% Design and Design Joburg have each played in their own rights, but which will be enhanced exponentially with the design of the Decor & Design Weeks.
Philippe van der Merwe, co-founder of Tonic Design, one of South Africa’s foremost furniture and interior design studios, who served as creative director for Design Joburg 2019, and have exhibited at many editions of 100% Design Africa, says, “If you are a new business, there’s no better place to put yourself than at these shows because it’s an immediate opportunity to present yourself to a wider market. As a more established business, the importance is reminding people who you are, but also as a platform to showcase something new and creative. It’s also an opportunity for us to push our design language further and do something that’s ‘pure’, outside the constraints of a normal client relationship. For that, we’ve always loved doing the shows.”
He adds, “As Creative Directors of Design Joburg 2019, we had the opportunity to work with other designers as part of a community, which reminded us of the importance of building the professional design environment. Putting on a powerful professional presentation shows the general public that the design industry should be taken seriously.”