Johannesburg's Museum of African Design (MOAD)
The new Museum of African Design (MOAD), located in a refurbished 1930s art deco building in downtown Johannesburg, seamlessly blends inner-city grit with urban chic.
It's yet another excellent reason to visit the Maboneng Precinct, an area of Johannesburg that has broken new ground in urban renewal, achieving an extraordinary transformation from down-and-out to up-and-coming.
And MOAD, the new design museum, adds yet another dimension to the area, a creative space that aims to spark cooperation and innovation across the African continent. The refurbishment of the museum building, with its vast exhibition space on two levels overlooked by enormous windows, is the handiwork of architectural firm Enrico Daffonchio and Associates.
Judging by the ingenious twist on everyday objects displayed at the launch exhibition, Southern Guild 2013, MOAD is off to a flying start. This 'puzzle bench' made out of French oak is the work of master cabinet-maker Pierre Cronje.
Acoustic fusion guitar duo CH2 (Corneille Hutten-Burger, back, and Leon Gropp) provided the musical accompaniment.
Many of the artists were in attendance, like Atang Tshikare (seated), who began his career doing graffiti and installations in the streets of Bloemfontein.
And the launch was attended by fashionistas, artists and the downright trendy.
Sculptor Friday Jibu started carving at the age of 10 and now exhibits at the Everard Read Gallery. His Gule Wamkulu Dancers are made of wild olive wood.
John Vogel's Bloom, created from American walnut, is a stunning centrepiece.
And controversial satirical artist Brett Murray contributed this work, called Crown Jewels.
Outside a beautiful old building opposite the entrance to MOAD, under a soft spring Johannesburg sky, awaits yet another magical brushstroke of Maboneng's transformation.
The Museum of African Design is open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 10pm.