Photos Henrique Wilding & Rooiwolf Wiid Design, a distinctive Cape Town-based design company, focuses on producing functional furniture pieces that explore the properties of materials worked with and adds aesthetic value to a product’s purpose. Founder and owner of Wiid Design, Laurie Wiid van Heerden, typically works with a range of raw materials, cork, stainless steel, wood, leather and porcelain, amongst others. We at HL were keen to ask Laurie a few questions about his art… How did Wiid Design begin? I started my studies at Cape Tech but felt like a machine in a curated environment; I wanted to venture into the more practical side of things. I was then employed at Bronze Age Art Foundry and gained ample experience in the field of design and manufacturing. After assisting Wim Botha for two years, Wiid Design was created. That was in 2010… Describe your design aesthetic… “Design is the great practical art – when done well, it’s the perfect marriage of function and aesthetics.” I think my aesthetic is a reflection of my personality; I respect things in life, especially when it comes to nature, quality and the purpose of being. This is why I strive for perfection and quality. I hate it when I get a client who asks for the cheapest option possible or to use the cheapest available timber… My work is designed to last, and I hope it will get perceived as timeless and that people won’t label it to a particular style or trend. With which material/s do you enjoying working with most? All kinds of materials – I feel it’s important for a designer to venture and experiment with a few materials before deciding on preferences. It is, however, crucial to understand and respect the different materials. To try and specialise in a few is difficult, so the material I know best, and work with most, is cork. What sort of design style inspires you? What appeals to you about this style? There are a lot of design styles that inspire me; for me it is all about simplicity but at the same time complexity. Design is a strange thing, it is sometimes more difficult to design something that appears simple, or to design an object where you would like to portray a message. I prefer design styles that are honest, original and have some kind of meaning to them. Looking at the materials, the shape, the function or maybe no function at all, but being honest to the concept and embracing the material that suits it best can determine this. I respect 20th Century Modernism, Functionalism and the Bauhaus era (even though these two were more mass produced and machine driven styles) – and off course Danish Design. Where can our readers buy your products locally?
View the Wiid Design website for more of Laurie’s furniture and products at wiiddesign.co.za. Email Laurie on firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 072-494-5914 for more info (studio viewings by appointment only). Text Lisa Wallace