visi 106

We’re coming at you from two angles in this issue. Both are part of a thread resonating around the globe as, perhaps for the first time in human history, we are all genuinely thinking about our future on this planet.

The notion that unless we change things, we might not actually have a future has moved from fringe activism to the collective zeitgeist. It’s even moved into our second bedroom. I have a very woke teenage daughter. So, as both a nod to key design and architectural trends, and an attempt at some hard-to-come-by Dad Points, issue VISI 106 looks at:

SMALL SPACES Along with the fact that owning property has become less and less affordable in major urban areas, there’s been a conscious move to making do with less. Small spaces compel us to live with less clutter, simplify our lives, and reduce our carbon footprints. In this issue we look at some exceptional contemporary local designs and, in the case of the Holyrood apartment block (page 78), one 80-year-old example. Quite coincidentally, it turns out the VISI team has a connection with this Art Deco gem. Our deputy editor Annemarie Meintjes happened to have lived there with her now ex-husband. “So many stories,” she says with a twinkle in her eye … and my own grandparents stayed there for six months just after my grandad returned from the war in 1945.

SUSTAINABILITY From local brand Sealand Gear and its very cool upcycled bags, to iconic Portuguese ceramic brand Bordallo Pinheiro and its new Amazônia collection that contributes to reforesting the Amazon, a bicycle made of recycled Nespresso pods, and Jaguar’s new emission-free I-Pace electric vehicle, our Reasons section has a strong sustainability theme. Yes, sustainability is about as buzzwordy as it gets, but it’s genuinely beginning to seep into the way I live my life. I know – woke teenager, etc – but if it can shift the perspective of this set-in-his-ways 50-year-old, I’d like to think it’s happening to a lot of people.

– Steve Smith, Editor


You may have noticed three people on our cover. They’re standing on the middle balcony of the wonderful new Tuynhuys apartment block. Adding a dash of primary colours to this issue of VISI are:

• Red – Samantha Charles, VISI managing editor

• Yellow – Michaela Stehr, VISI content producer

• Blue – Robert Silke of Robert Silke & Partners, the apartments’ architects.

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