Furniture design company, Houtlander has been announced the makers of this year’s Most Beautiful Object in South Africa at this year’s Design Indaba.
The accolade was bestowed in recognition of the crafters’ Interdependence II, a novel take on a Victorian loveseat.
Houtlander’s Phillip Hollander explains that he and partner Stephen Wilson were inspired by the iconic design of the classic bench, and wanted to see how much further they could take it using their signature production methods – a typical Houtlander move.
The result is a “conversation piece”, according to Hollander; not only because its eye-catching colour and sinuous curves are bound to spark dialogue, but because the witty design of the bench allows interlocutors to look each other in the eye.
Houtlander’s latest honour joins other enviable awards won, including twice being honoured at 100% Design South Africa – Best Furniture Design in 2017 and South African Designer of the Year in 2018.The Most Beautiful Object in South Africa award is particularly noteworthy, because it is based on nominations from the public.
“This is confirmation that we are doing something right,” Hollander enthuses. “We set out to create a unique aesthetic that’s part of a Proudly South African brand, and this is proof that the public have recognised our efforts.”
Up Close And PersonalWe also had the opportunity to chat to Phillip Hollander and Stephen Wilson of Houtlander, to hear about what inspires the brand.
What’s your go-to colour choice?
Natural Oak – Nature knows best
Is there a hotel, interior or building that’s most inspired your work?
We draw a lot of energy and inspiration from the 99 Juta building that we share with other talented designers. The conversations that take place there constantly push our way of thinking and promotes collaborative design efforts.
A place you love to visit?
The bushveld. As long as there are trees around us we are happy.
Where do you go to spot new styles?
Joburg is a great source of inspiration and style. The city has an interesting mixture of creative freedom and a fight for survival that makes it very real.
Do you have a favourite restaurant?
Kolonaki has to be our current favourite.
Who or what is your biggest design influence?
Stephen grew up with a lot of Scandinavian furniture and I with a lot of Cape Dutch furniture so we have a natural inclination to these styles and see our pieces as somewhat of a mixture between that. For us its about being real and staying true to what speaks to us.
Any interesting projects you are working on?
We are working on a few pieces that are going to be exhibited in Milan and France. We are also exploring the concept of transforming our range into furniture that’s suitable for full outdoor use.For more visit Houtlander.