Q&A: WitOpWit | House and Leisure

Q&A: WitOpWit

We simply can’t get enough of WitOpWit’s architectural approach to design and our shared love of South Africa. Here we talk to them about their favourite cities and what to expect next. What made you decide to start creating products for WitOpWit and move away from architecture? As architects we discovered the enormous graphic potential of the data and documents we work with on a daily basis - plans, figure ground studies, drawings of cities and maps. We are also passionate about South Africa and our beautiful cities, and decided to share this passion with others in the medium we feel most comfortable with - drawings. You’ve worked in various mediums. Which remains your favourite, and why? We’ve experimented with so many materials - from paper and fabric to perspex and wood - even food, but keep returning to the medium we’ve been exposed to most - paper. It is extremely versatile. You can print on it, fold it, bend it, tear it, cut it, laser cut it or even eat it! Laser cutting is such a big trend right now. What have you found to be the benefits of using this technique? We enjoy using this technique because it works so well with plans and maps. We also enjoy experimenting with the patterns that topographical maps create. To date you've focused on the four most prominent South African cities (Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg and Pretoria). Which has been your favourite to work on and why? Pretoria, simply because it is our home town. We know the city well and have very fond memories there. Where do you draw inspiration from? Topography, maps, drawings and plans. We also do a lot of research and discover and share observations and historical facts about our cities. We come across secrets in the cities we study and disclose these secrets as part of our designs. What can we expect from WitOpWit next? We will be expanding our urban topography range with an exploration of Durban, just in time for UIA Durban 2014. Interviewed by Astrid Sanders