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Masters of their craft: Rikesh Mahabeer

SHF’s design and development leader lives among the tools of his trade: his sparse office smells of wood and protractors, and long stainless steel rulers lie on his desktop where he sketches his new designs by hand. Amid the noise of the sawmills in a section of the factory, Rikesh Mahabeer’s office is a haven of quiet and creativity. But do not be fooled by the old bookshelf and his comfortable espresso-coloured chair: although he values old-world craftsmanship, Rikesh is a thoroughly modern man whose arms are covered in tattoos as a reminder and celebration of his wife and two children. His dual values are evident in the furniture he designs. Although grand in scale, the Belford coffee table he designed for SHF is made modern by its clean lines and uncluttered detailing. The Arice 12-pane mirror evokes the windows many of us grew up with, and the hand-finishing and attention to detail illustrated by its perfect symmetry – Rikesh is never without his tape measure – speak of his painstaking focus on each and every aspect of a design.
image6 Mirage chair; R15 995

Designs such as these also reveal something of the man who designed them. Among his colleagues, Rikesh is known for being straightforward and having a quiet authority, which is respected by all who come to know him, tempered with a warm and welcoming nature, much like a well-designed, considered piece of furniture.
image10 Empire bed; from R9 995

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