Design Indaba News South Africa

#DesignIndaba2017: Dokter and Misses creating clean, modern beauty

Kicking off Design Indaba 2017 was husband-and-wife team Adriaan Hugo and Katy Taplin of the multidisciplinary product design company Dokter and Misses (DAM).
In a five-act presentation, "Weird Dream by Dokter and Misses and friends", they were joined on the stage by choreographed dancers, performers, projection shows and music by conceptual performers Dear Ribane, Lindiwe Matshikiza, and João Renato Orecchia Zúñiga.

Creating a strong story narrative

With Hugo’s background in industrial design and Taplin’s in graphic design, the duo manages to create a strong narrative with each piece of furniture, lighting and ceramic item they design.

Initially, they mostly used straight lines and often stuck to the primary colours. “We mainly produced things like lights, tables, pendants, and some weird ceramics,” says Taplin.

Image via Dokter and Misses

“Eventually we decided that we needed to extend our product range and in some ways started moving towards mass production,” continues Hugo.

They opened the first Dokter and Misses space in 2007. Ten years on, and they’ve expanded to a workshop and showroom in Braamfontein.

Image via Dokter and Misses

They then started pushing their production boundaries. Where they used to use only hard materials like steel and bright colours, they started using other materials like wood and metal, ceramics and cork, to create softer-looking products.

“Riaan’s mother has a ceramic studio, so we really wanted to make use of that resource available to us and try and incorporate ceramics in our product designs,” says Taplin.

Dokter and Misses appeals to a wide range of people as they create products ranging from educational furniture, to high-end designer pieces.

Image via Dokter and Misses

The Isabelo Smart Bench

They also designed the Isabelo Smart Bench, a stand-alone, solar-powered free Wi-Fi hotspot for public use - complete with USB charging points, night lighting and easy seating.

Image via Isabelo

Image via Isabelo

The smart bench is all about sharing (Isabelo is derived from the Zulu word 'to share'). Whether it's sharing a seat, sharing public spaces, or sharing content online. It allows people to sit down, charge up and freely access information and share ideas online.

Click here for more on DAM, follow them on Twitter @DokterandMisses and visit our Design Indaba special section for all the latest coverage!

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About Ilse van den Berg

Ilse is a freelance journalist and editor with a passion for people & their stories (check out Passing Stories). She is also the editor of Go & Travel, a platform connecting all the stakeholders in the travel & tourism industry. You can check out her work here and here. Contact Ilse on moc.noitacinummocpudrow@ofni or on Twitter.

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