Spotlight: Human Scale Design – Making Furniture & Space
With a passion for furniture design and innovation, Human Scale Design was birthed during lockdown amid a pandemic. We chatted to Liezel Steyn about the company’s growth over the last year and some of their amazing product offerings.
Tell us about your background?
Human Scale Design was created and is run by two young ambitious professionals, Richard & Liezel. Both Richard & Liezel studied architecture and for the last 5 years have worked in the high end residential, commercial & restaurant industries. Through our experience we have been heavily exposed to seeing projects through from concept design to technical documentation and finally the finished product. Design has always been a huge part of our lives. Our experience in the Architecture industry has been a springboard for us into the furniture industry as we found a passion for furniture design and manufacturing that is not only beautiful but also functional.
Tell us about how you started and your collab with Suzi McAfee.
Human Scale Design was created in amidst a COVID crisis. A silver lining to the pandemic is that the lockdowns and difficult working environment made us re-evaluate our work and consider what was important to us and where our passion lies. And so, to cut a long story short, after our last glass of wine and another day working from home we decided to pursue our passion of working for ourselves making furniture and creating space. The focus of our company is double sided, one, to create unique, high quality furniture that is functional but makes a statement. In this day and age where instant gratification is prevalent we stand by our value that we will never compromise on quality, and quality takes time. Two, to design beautiful eye catching architecture that speaks to its context and is therefore beautiful not only in its aesthetics but also in its function.
The collaboration with Suzi was “love at first site”. We came across Suzi’s work on Instagram and instantly fell in love with what she does. Her attention to detail and unique designs really spoke to us. We got in contact with Suzi and she was an absolute pleasure to deal with from start to finish. Once we received our items from Suzi we were left with only one problem, to design something that would do them justice! The Entle table combines a powder-coated steel frame table in a “pill” shape. This compliments the geometric patterns set into the solid oak top. This table is the first of a range we are doing with Suzi and most certainly will not be the last.
What personally inspires you in your working life?
Our inspiration is endless, we constantly look to improve what we are doing by searching high and low for ideas and concepts that will push the boundaries of furniture and Architecture. Being active people we find ourselves in awe of nature and often draw inspiration from our surroundings and how people interact with their environments.
What are some considerations when designing products?
There are so many different aspects to consider when designing products that people are going to be using every day. One needs to consider first and foremost its primary function. Thereafter the biggest challenge is to marry the look and feel of the product with its function.
Planning a new product can sometimes be a nightmare. How does one navigate the way forward with a new concept?
Yes, with design comes critique. We find ourselves designing and re-working something over and over again with constant critique about the pros and cons of the design. We do this until we feel it is at the point where the product can perform its function and is in line with our design language. As a designer, you are your biggest critic. As such, the design process never really ends, it just evolves. We work closely as a team to ensure that we have covered all of our bases before manufacturing a product for the market.
What is your favourite current product?
Our latest table the “Entle Table” is our favourite product at the moment. It is something so unique with a modern but traditional feel to it.
Which designer inspires you?
There is a South African designer by the name of Regardt Van Der Meulen. What he does is mind-blowing!
The perfect place in your home to indulge?
The lounge, what a space that is!
I know very few of us are traveling right now but if you could where would you go?
We love the outdoors, so anywhere with an outdoor focussed lifestyle. If we had to choose one destination right now, we would love to visit Greece.
What are your current favourite restaurants/shops?
We are simple people. If there is good coffee we will be there.
What’s your personal motto?
“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you gonna get” – Forest Gump
A place you visited to unwind in Africa?
Olifants River – Kruger.
Discover more from Human Scale Design online HERE.