Did you know?
The Saxon Hotel is where Nelson Mandela completed his memoir, Long Walk to Freedom.
Design in Johannesburg is easy to find when you visit one of the many design districts dotted around the city. At the Design Quarter in Fourways you’ll find the flagship stores all of the major décor retailers such as Woolworths, Boardmans, Mr Price Home and @home.
The boutique stores of Parkhurst are the place to shop if you're looking for exclusive designs that make an individual statement. Closer to Johannesburg, find vintage treasures at the ecclectic Bamboo Centre, and retro-chic glamour lives on at 44 Stanley Avenue, a complex of about 40 speciality boutiques.
At the Maboneng Precinct in downtown Jozi and Juta Street in Braamfontein, edgy urban and vintage South African design rubs shoulders with Afro haute couture in the ateliers of the city’s top contemporary fashion and interior designers.
In Johannesburg, design is heavily influenced by the vibrancy of the city. Top hotels and homes are as likely to include items of high design as they are to feature the work of local beaders, weavers and other craftspeople.
In Sandhurst, world-famous South African interior designer, Stephen Falcke, created the now famous interior of the Saxon Hotel. He covered one wall of the lobby with floor-to-ceiling traditional woven baskets. In Sandton’s Da Vinci hotel, Falcke installed a wall frieze in the entrance using the work of an artist who works in melted plastic trash.
Johannesburg designers to look out for include Dokter and Misses at 44 Stanley, Joe Paine at Co-op in Braamfontein and Tonic Design in Parktown North. These 3 have established distinctive design signatures that, while uniquely South African, are also world-class. Much of their work is sold internationally.
Entropy at The Bamboo Centre stocks a variety of local designers, including the work of Raw Studios in Pretoria. It has created an elegant and ergonomic system of pine plywood designs. Objekt in Parktown North stocks unique timber designs by the Goet design studio.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Corner Leslie Avenue and William Nicol Drive, Fourways
Tel: +27 (0)11 467 5152
44 Stanley Avenue
44 Stanley Avenue, Milpark, Johannesburg 2001
Tel: +27 (0)11 482 4444
Stephen Falcke Interior Design
39 Rosebank Road, Dunkeld
Tel: +27 (0)11 327 5368
3 Desmond Road, Kramerville, Sandton
Tel: +27 (0)11 262 4506
Best time to visit
Look out for annual design events such as fashion weeks and art fairs on Johannesburg's event calendar.
Around the area
Like all major cities, Jo'burg is in constant flux, with exciting new design studios openning all the time.
Tours to do
You can take an art and design-inspired tour of the city with a number of different tour operators. See the city's tourism website for details.
What to eat
If you're into design, try Cube Tasting Kitchen in Jo'burg, which creates its menu based on the colour, texture and seasonal availability of ingredients.