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The Luxury Deep Dive
Join House and Leisure and three of the country’s top design minds as we look beyond the tropes that have come to define the luxury conversation
Garreth Van Niekerk

Get three leaders in the field of luxury around a beautifully designed table, and we figured that something good would happen. But even we were surprised by our first Round Table discussion – a new regular feature in which you can expect bright minds talking about big ideas while surrounded by some of the continent’s finest furniture.

With this month’s issue being all about luxury, we asked African design doyenne Cathy O’Clery, this year’s 100% Design ‘Designer of the Year’ Mpho Vackier, and WITS University media studies professor Mehita Iqani to gather around Tonic Design’s beautiful Alberto table.

For 45 minutes we looked back, we learnt, laughed, and tried to look forward, and there simply isn’t enough space to squeeze everything that we covered in here. So read below for the highlights reel, and keep your eyes and ears open for upcoming podcasts and films that will take the discussion even deeper.

Garreth I think a lot of us see luxury differently, but how would you each define what luxury is?

Mpho I think authenticity has a lot to do with the luxury conversation. For this year’s 100% Design I stopped myself from designing a million things, and rather designed one piece, which was quite luxurious from the point of view of a designer. I feel like if you are creating from an authentic space, if it’s clear, then you will hear that voice in the piece. It has to be from all angles for it to be luxurious: you need to ask how it feels, if this is the perfect material, if this is the perfect form? But people are in the know – they receive it, the message.

Cathy What they are seeing also, which is what I would consider a definition of luxury, is the intelligence and consideration that went into the design. Rather than designing a myriad of things, you gave yourself the space to really consider a piece that was going to be special. And the audience sees that genuine intelligence that’s gone into the design, whether they know design or not.

Garreth So you can’t really fake luxury?

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October - November 2019