Design News South Africa

#WeDesignSA launches at Design Joburg Collective

WeDesignSA launches this week at Design Joburg; A creative collaboration that brings together a trio of creative entrepreneurs to inspire, the #WeDesignSA initiative presents an installation that shows how even in the toughest times South Africa's creative community can come together to design a South Africa full of optimism, hope and resilience.

Born out of the flames of a turbulent 2021, Dylan Joseph of Semper Fortis, Cara Saven of Cara Saven Wall Design and Tshepo Mohlala of Tshepo Jeans have joined to launch the #WeDesignSA initiative. A collaborative project that pivots off the bespoke Halcyon design created by wallpaper artist Cara Saven.


A beautiful floral-scape resplendent with South African proteas, aloes, grapes and a kingfisher, representative of the mystical Halcyon Kingfisher, a bird that, according to legend, has the power to calm the waves, soaring high above turbulence to instill peace and birth a new future.

“This collaboration is informed by all our roots,” says Saven. “I am a Capetonian at heart and am naturally inspired by nature. My contribution has a mythical undertone, but is essentially bright and brave and very much reflective of the South African spirit.”

Saven’s bespoke print has been recreated into a fabric used to cover the Semper Fortis Prana chair, a unique interactive love seat resplendent with the greens, yellows, brights of our beloved nation. This is a sofa that invites you sit front and back, a modular shape that encourages the paradox of being together and apart.

A jumpsuit designed by the team at Tshepo Jeans pays homage to the entrepreneurial spirit that naturally pulses through our South African hearts. “South Africans are naturally resilient and entrepreneurial,” says the Johannesburg-based designer. “This 70s inspired garment is designed to exude the presence and confidence of the woman wearing it.”

The collaboration started when Dylan Joseph, founder of Semper Fortis, met Saven on the top of Table Mountain. Together they unveiled the #WeLoveSA banner. “After the incredible response that Dylan and I saw to the banner of love, we decided that like-minded entrepreneurs could make a difference to the negative sentiment that exists for many South Africans,” explains Saven.

“We wanted to find a way to continue the message of hope but in the actual design work we do, hence we started with a wall design that encompassed elements from all over South Africa into a wallpaper and fabric that is fantastical and happy and optimistic."

#WeDesignSA will launch at the Semper Fortis showroom in Kramerville at Design Joburg Collective on 28 October and will run for three days at the event before moving to Tshepo Jeans’ retail space in Hyde Park Corner.

Panel discussion

To celebrate the event and create debate around the #WeDesignSA initiative, the trio will host a panel talk where they discuss the heart of creative business; how to build a brand from passion, testing systems to map success and unpacking the spirit of personality behind the business.

Supporting entrepreneurs

To further support the growth of South African entrepreneurship a portion of profit from sales of the #WeDesignSA Wonderland Collective will be donated to the Over the Rainbow foundation, an organisation offering guidance and support to South African entrepreneurs.

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