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hl next level 2018: interior designer tristan du plessis

Trevor Stuurman


He’s designed some of Joburg’s coolest spots, including Churchills Bar, Saigon Suzy and the uber-cool Mesh at Keyes Art Mile, and now Tristan du Plessis’ Studio A architectural design studio is breaking into the international market with the launch of even bigger projects including a new design hotel in Rome. We also love Tristan’s ongoing collaborations with creatives like Jana + Koos, which add a whole extra dimension to the work he puts out there.

how did you get started as a designer?

I started with an apprenticeship in the design department of a large development company.

did you always want to be doing what you’re doing now?

I always knew that I wanted to create. Whether it was fashion, graphic design or architecture, I didn’t know but when I started my apprenticeship and saw all that went into interior design, I knew that interior design was it.

do you have a particular favourite among your projects?

Yes, I think Mesh was a great project for me personally as well as for my career – it was by far the most challenging yet most rewarding project to date. I am busy with some very special projects that are currently underway as well.

what has been your defining career moment to date?

Breaking into the international market.

who are the creatives on your radar at the moment?

Architect Philippe Raffner, brand agency Jana + Koos and illustrator Seth Pimentel/African Ginger.

and which artists do you look up to?

Masamichi Katayama, Joyce Wang and AvroKO.

where do you find your inspiration?

Travel, both local and international.

which single place would you recommend that every designer or architect visit?

Palais Garnier, the Opéra National de Paris – to be humbled.

what’s the oddest furniture you’ve ever seen?  

Anything from Porky Hefer.  Odd in the most amazing way…

what is the next project that you are working on?

A design-led contemporary hotel in Rome.

Learn all about the game changers who are taking things to the Next Level in our #HLNEXTLEVEL2018  issue.