Thursday, May 31, 2007

African Prefab

I'm a huge fan of modern prefab, so imagine my delight when I discovered the South African prefab. It's the brainchild of French-born Eric Bigot, who has worked in areas as far-reaching as the Ministry of Housing in Zambia, to the high-rises of New York City. It's called ZenKaya, which comes from wordplay: "Zen because it is a trouble free experience and Kaya means home in vernacular South African language, where the concept was first sketched", according to the website. The other great thing about ZenKaya prefabs is that they're green. Perfect!

South Africa has come leaps and bounds since the first free and fair election in 1994 in terms of providing housing to those without, and I can only see this as an exciting way to continue that.

I wonder if they deliver in Massachusetts?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Visit to Tulbagh, anyone?

Ah, what could be more blissful than a glass of wine on the fair Cape. I know this is only slightly off topic, but this is so worth sharing.

Thanks New York Times!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

South African Design in the News

A short while ago I was breezing through one of my favorite reads, when I saw this. Let me introduce you to Phoebe Munro and her shop in Melbourne, Australia. If you look on her shelf you'll see homewares from South Africa! The red bowls on the bottom left are paper mache', made with the labels from anchovy packaging. Just one example of the ingenuity of using the everday to create something special.

Here is a similar bowl at home in South Africa, in a beach house in St. Francis Bay.

(As seen in Vogue Living, Australia, and Elle Decoration, South Africa.)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Industrial know-how

I first came across Gregor Jenkin's work in the South African Elle Decoration magazine. This lamp was it... Gregor used an every day object from daily life-the enamel bowl- and transformed it into something gorgeous and totally different. Gotta love it.

Since then I've seen it in other places. He makes tables from rackets, shelter from umbrellas, and other smart objects from things that you'd find in your coat closet. See more of his work here(check out prototypes).

Sunday, May 27, 2007


So, the least technically savvy person on the planet has a blog! After much psyching up, here it is! I am SO excited! This marks the beginning of South of the Sahara, a blog devoted to the exciting design, art and craft that is just bursting out of southern Africa. It’s so exciting that I’ve overcome my aversion to the technological to share it with you! I hope you love it as much as I do.

To ease myself in, I’m showing you one of my favorite things. It’s a bowl made of wire and beads that I bought on my last trip home (for more about me, check out my bio). I just love this, the bowl serves beautifully as a fruit bowl and brings fruit
presentation to a whole new level.