Dokter and Misses
Seed to Seat
is a new and exciting collaboration that’s currently taking place between seven of the most prominent and exciting designers in South Africa and the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry.
The designers involved are Andrew Dominic of Andrew Dominic Furniture; James Mudge of James Mudge Furniture Studio; Laurie Wiid van Heerden of Wiid Design; Christoph Karl of Guideline Manufacturing; Jacques Cronje of Jacques Cronje Timber Design; David Krynauw of David Krynauw and Adriaan Hugo of Dokter and Misses. They have been given an enviably open brief, having simply been asked to design ‘something to sit on’. We’re looking forward to seeing the resulting creations, which will be made from a selection of four American hardwood species: American cherry, tulipwood, soft maple and red oak. They will be unveiled at 100% Design South Africa 2017, which is will take place on 9–13 August in Johannesburg.
Prior Seed to Seat initiatives have taken place in the Middle East, Australia and Europe, and have featured international design luminaries including Zaha Hadid, David Adjaye, Matteo Thun, Sou Fujimoto, Norman Foster and Paul Smith.
According to Roderick Wiles, regional director of the AHEC, the word ‘sustainable’ is regularly used by designers but is, at times, little more than a form of ‘design rhetoric’. Many well-intentioned designers claim sustainability in their approach to their work, but there is often little solid evidence to support them in making those claims. By contrast, during the manufacturing process for each of the Seed to Seat chairs, all the materials used, energy usage, transport and wastage will be carefully recorded to assess the full environmental impact for each design.
‘We’re very excited, not only by the calibre of the designers involved in this project, but also by the fabulous pieces that we look forward to seeing in these versatile, yet less well-known American hardwood species. We’ve seen for a long time that South Africa has a real commitment to sustainable design in principle and through this project we can demonstrate what that means in reality – an opportunity for us to show, and learn, what works and what design elements make a difference to the environment,’ says Wiles. ‘In addition, we have also developed a microsite for the project. This will be the hub for all information regarding the project and will include details regarding the designers.’