News and Trends

Prototype Q&A

We've got our eye on the Mother City's latest design venture, the Prototype Collection pop-up store, which is proving to be the new trendsetters to watch. Prototype is an evolving space that stimulates interest and discussion within the dominion of furniture design. Located in the hub of Cape Town's CBD, the store offers up-and-coming artists an interactive platform to exhibit their merchandise, generate buzz, test new markets and make products available for purchase before being released into the mainstream market. It also enables those testing the waters to access audience feedback and take advantage of seasonal trends with only the freshest looks staged. The talented designers currently exhibiting include David Krynauw, Mark from Luna, Jared Odell Furniture & Design and Anthony Martin from Drift™ furniture. HL recently caught up with the curators of the pop-up store, Anthony Martin and Heidi Finestone, to find out more about the space's growing popularity and why it is the perfect platform for emerging artists... How did the Prototype pop-up studio come about? We had the space available and a few of us decided to create a store specifically devoted to local furniture design. What are you aiming to achieve with this evolving space? We want to highlight the creative process of furniture design, how the ideas and designers are ever-evolving, and address the present hopes and wishes of society. It is also about how they engage with the materials they choose in order to address the current world environmental issues. What are the pre-requisites for the selection of designers? We wanted honest design that cares, especially about environmental issues, but also about the revival of the raw, craft-intensive tradition of furniture design, the human element. Who is currently making waves on the local furniture design scene? We believe that all our designers are making inroads in their own different way… What are the hottest trends for easy living this summer? The newest hot trend is the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, a return to rugged-looking, raw, natural, hand-crafted pieces. When you’re not indoors, where will we find you? We like exploring the old industrial areas of the city, trying to understand old processes and techniques of manufacturing, and enjoy visiting old factories. What’s your can’t-live-without season accessory? A showpiece desk lamp, preferably with old-school craftsmanship and some humour in its design language. We have several like that in out Prototype collection store, so pop in and have a look! The store is open to the public Monday to Friday, initially from 1pm to 5pm, from August to the end of November 2011. Prototype Collection, 9 Orphan Street, Cape Town. For more information visit prototypecollection.co.za or call 021-424-4648.   Text: Jess Suter