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DDesign in Durban exists in a few small pockets around the city. Although small in number, Durban designers have managed to make their presence felt both at home and abroad.
Durban design has undoubtedly fallen under the spotlight thanks to the achievements of Boyd Ferguson of Cecile and Boyd's. Although currently based in Cape Town, Boyd's business remains headquartered on Durban’s Florida Road. It was Ferguson's award-winning design of the 5-star lodges in the Singita Game Reserve in Mpumalanga that really drew the world’s attention. His uniquely sophisticated take on African style and lifestyle continues to be in high demand.
Another Durban designer, Neil Roake, has a quirkier style, with a bit of that laid-back Durban mood injected into all he does. An advertising executive by day, he has created a fashion emporium called The Space that has grown to 11 stores nationwide. Roake works closely with Durban’s best-known contemporary design studio - Egg Design, owned by Greg and Roche Dry.
Durban designers are not limited in any way in terms of creativity. In this city, design and architecture come together at the studio of Rick Stretton of Koop. Stretton has been recognised for his sustainable architecture, as well as his signature wooden furniture designs.
Further out of town, in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, a number of studios are busy making their presence felt.
Ardmore has for many years given the local and international market unique ceramic designs featuring eccentric detailing of animals. The studio has recently moved into tableware, textile and furniture design, with their new home ware still featuring their signature mythological beasts.
Midlands-based artist and stylist Neville Trickett remains the design and trend-forecasting guru of KwaZulu-Natal. Open days at St Verde, the farm owned by Trickett and his wife Sharon, are opportunities to share in their creative and horticultural visions and to feast on some of the local designs that they have discovered.
Travel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Ph: +27 31 366 7500
Best time to visit
All year round.
Things to do
Florida Road, home of Cecile and Boyd's, features Edwardian structures that are more than 100 years old.
There are city walking tours that take in many of Durban's art deco buildings and other interesting architecture. Design showrooms may be found along Stamford Hill Road, off Argyle Road.
The Design Indaba takes place in February every year at the Durban ICC.
What to pack
Durban is warm all year round.
Where to stay
Durban's Berea is an older, established residential area where B&Bs are plentiful and most include a sea view.