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.”