The morning after the opening of A New Wave, the exhibition of work by new local designers now open at Southern Guild’s shared gallery space at The Trumpet in Rosebank, Julian McGowan of the guild pointed out that an exhibition like this involves more than just talent-spotting.
It involves creating a market for new designers.
Perhaps the first part of that process involves getting people to look at design and think about it in new ways.
A New Wave has its origins in a call more than a year ago for unknown designers to submit work for consideration in an exhibition. More than 70 submissions were considered strong, and 40 were selected for an exhibition in Cape Town last year.
The exhibition, now in Johannesburg, is a showcase of one-offs or small editions. You could call it functional art, but it's more like the design equivalent of haute couture. The fact that it's displayed in a gallery blurs the definition between design and art, but makes it clear that this exhibition is more about exploring ideas than furnishing your living room (although that's not precluded).