SA’s most beautiful object for 2019 unveiled

A traditional loveseat with an eccentric twist - the Interdependence II bench is all the rave at this years Design Indaba

05 March 2019 - 10:14 By Sanet Oberholzer
Houtlander's Interdependence II bench has been named this year’s Most Beautiful Object in South Africa at the Design Indaba.
Houtlander's Interdependence II bench has been named this year’s Most Beautiful Object in South Africa at the Design Indaba.
Image: Instagram/Houtlander

The votes have been cast and this year’s Most Beautiful Object in South Africa at the annual Design Indaba is the Interdependence II bench. Designed by Houtlander, it is a playful spin on the traditional loveseat. 

The graceful lines and vibrant blue of the bench give the impression of movement. With some imagination, you can visualise a roller-coaster ride or the ebb and flow of the ocean.

Houtlander was started by designers Phillip Hollander and Stephen Wilson. On their website, they say they care about inclusivity, the environment and legacy.

"We admire modernist design … respect the tried-and-tested methods of centuries of traditional joinery and challenge ourselves to employ modern methods to create functional pieces with a future heritage."

The Interdependence II was exhibited, along with the other nominees, at the Artscape Piazza in Cape Town from February 27 to March 1

Each of the objects in the running for Most Beautiful Object in South Africa was nominated by a prominent public figure. The bench was nominated by local entrepreneur Nandi Dlepu.

“The manufacturing ability exhibited with this product is applaud worthy. I really love that it’s an abstraction of something familiar. A Shaker-style love seat with a twist, literally!” she said.

This is the 12th year the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa has been part of the Design Indaba. The idea behind the nomination, selection and voting process is to encourage debate around the definition of beauty.

Design Indaba manager Bev Cupido told Biz Community: “We want the public to decide what they think constitutes a ‘beautiful object’ – and it’s not just about what something looks like, it’s also about smart functionality or a design’s ability to enhance the quality of life for its user or effect change. In the selection process itself we want to foster a sense of appreciation, accessibility and engagement.”