Dokter and Misses, a leading multi-disciplinary product design company based in Johannesburg, has won the highly revered ‘Icon’ award at the recent Southern Guild Design Foundation Awards 2015/2016.
The award, which was sponsored by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry, was presented to Adriaan Hugo and Katy Taplin, the husband and wife duo who run Dokter and Misses. In total, seven companies were awarded under the categories ‘Icon’, ‘Object that Moves’, ‘Maker to Market’, ‘Manufacture’, ‘Future Found’, ‘Apprentice’ and the newly introduced ‘Design with Purpose’, with the awards acknowledging both highly successful companies, and designers entering into the industry.
According to the organisers, the ‘Icon’ award is awarded in recognition of work produced by a highly regarded South African design company, acknowledging outstanding achievement, innovation and career advancement. Dokter and Misses was recognised for its major trajectory over the past 18 months, which includes having participated in a focused exhibition of African design at R & Company in New York last year, and continually showing at the top design fairs around the world with Southern Guild, with bespoke work being commissioned for some of the best homes and hospitality venues around the world. The company currently has work on show at Beauty – Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York, and its involvement in developing a solar-powered Wi-Fi bench for public areas shows the company’s far-reaching effect within its own country.
“Our partnership with the Southern Guild Design Foundation Awards marks our strong commitment towards the promotion and marketing of American hardwoods as a truly beautiful and sustainable material. Through this partnership and others in South Africa, we are looking towards further strengthening our ties with the top designers and architects in line with our mission to raise awareness about American hardwoods in South Africa, while also supporting the design community. These awards continue to provide a unique and exciting opportunity to recognise some of the very best talent in South Africa and we are confident that American hardwoods will maintain their position as a preferred material for design in the region” added Roderick Wiles, AHEC Director for Africa, Middle East, South Asia and Oceania.
Other winners on the night included Wonki Ware (Object that Moves Award); Pichulik (Maker to Market Award); Woodheads (Manufacture Award); Pinda Furniture Design (Future Found Award); Jason van der Linde (Apprentice Award); and Repurpose Schoolbags (Design with Purpose Award). Aimed at recognising the industry’s top achievers as trailblazers in local design, manufacture, commerciality and innovation, each of the seven winners received a bronze gorilla sculpture, now a Design Foundation Award tradition, sculpted by Otto du Plessis from Bronze Age Foundry. The fourth edition of the award ceremony was attended by top industry insiders, designers, local media and VIP guests, with wine from KWV and Laborie, beer from Striped Horse, and ice tea from BOS. In addition, Creative Brands ensured that all vinyl print work set the scene for a night of celebration and recognition.
“As a local design brand, Dokter and Misses has developed a unique voice that, unencumbered by trend-driven aesthetics, strives to create a new African design vernacular,” explains Southern Guild Design Foundation board member Trevyn McGowan. “For a remotely positioned country, with an extremely young industry, it takes a design company with a very strong identity to create an impact in the saturated global design world. Katy and Adriaan have been making that impact almost from the outset of their careers. Their retail spaces, high-scale commercial contract business and contemporary production ranges all signify a true grasp of what it means to be a successful design brand, all the while being professional, generous and two of the nicest people you could ever meet.”