Tristan du Plessis and Tuami Zulu on Design Joburg

PORTRAIT Elsa Young WORDS JP de la Chaumette

A mentor and mentee are joining forces to create a living room and kitchen stand for Design Joburg feature Rooms on View.

Interior designer Tristan du Plessis of Studio A will be mentoring emerging designer Tuami Zulu of Proportion Studio of Design as they create a feature stand at Design Joburg as part of the CoLab Mentorship Programme, presented in collaboration with paint brand Fired Earth. We chatted to Tristan and Tuami to find out more.

What are you planning for your feature stand at Design Joburg?

Tuami: Tristan and I are planning to create a feature that highlights a real-life experience, spatial harmony, a design that works and a space that facilitates escape.

What can we expect to see?

Tristan: A slick tailor-made luxury living and kitchen space with a touch of rock ‘n’ roll, layers of black laced with hand-brushed bronze, and some irreverent furniture pieces by the likes of Diesel and Moroso from True Design. The highlight will be a fully specced and never-before-seen blu_line kitchen. The floors will be covered in Diesel Living tiling from Avanga and show-stopping lighting from Streamlight.

As a mentor, what are you most looking forward to in terms of the collaboration experience?

Tristan: I look forward to having a sounding board when we are going through ideas and, more importantly, to sharing ideas and being able to come up with original and fresh design.

What excites you about South African design at the moment?

Tuami: The Ndebele design movement and the strong impact it’s having on the global design scene both excites and encourages me to design and create timeless products.

What would you like to see more of in local design?

Tuami: We have so much local talent; I’d like to see the involvement of local designers in creating and executing fresh contextual ideas for international brands wanting to launch in South Africa.

What do you see as the ultimate trend right now?

Tuami: The “living office”, a human centred approach to work and workplace design. There are heaps of research and case studies in support of this trend, the findings of which are both practical and radical in terms of the transformation of business as we know it.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give another designer.

Tristan: Don’t design for other designers.

Design Joburg takes place at the Sandton Convention Centre from 25 – 27 May 2018. For more information, visit