In the spirit of Batimat’s focus on Africa, ArchiExpo spoke with one of the leading designers in Cape Town. Laurie Wiid Van Heerden, founder of Wiid Design, specializes in interior design and focuses on the quality, authenticity and originality of his work.
Wiid Design uses a lot of local and natural materials: stainless steel, new and reclaimed timber, leather, felt and ceramics. While the designer incorporates these local materials when possible, he also “[uses] a lot of cork, which is imported from Portugal.” One of his exemplary products is the Poodle stool and table range, a name given because “a lot of people said it looks very similar to a poodle, especially [he] attached the cork sleeves to the timber legs”
The Poodle range was designed four years ago and showcased at 100% Design in London. Today the designer continues to play with cork. “I’ve been working with cork for quite a while, so I understand it very well.” His large cork pendant, 2.8 meters tall, was exhibited at the Southern Guild Gallery and won the Best Lighting Design award in 100% Design South Africa in 2015. The gallery founded the first international design fair in Africa called Guild Design Fair.
The cork is 100% organic and completely recyclable. The product is currently listed as the world’s largest cork pendant, fitted with a dimmable 30-watt warm white LED light. The light structure is fabricated from mild steel tubing and plate, and finished in a durable black ferro grade powder coat.
Wiid Van Heerden shows his work within and outside Cape Town: Australia, Miami, Switzerland and Dubai, to name a few. “In Africa I’m generally seen in the south.” The Southern Guild Gallery, focused on high design and collectible art, makes up 70% of his exhibitions.
He collaborates with architects, artists and interior designers, and is currently working on new projects for Milan, Miami and potentially Portugal. He’s working on local projects with companies like Nando’s and Cécile & Boyd.