I guess to answer this one has to ask about the inspirations behind original design. The subject of inspirations is a constant thread that runs through all my commentary; this is because for us this is the link between motivation and implementation. All of us have 100’s of inspirations, but originality is the function of original thought, and to accomplish uniqueness the design needs to be informed from a strong design ethic.
The design can be motivated by an authentic look, a unique material- that dictates design limitations- or even an evolution of an existing original design success. The collaboration of thoughts between two designers pushing the boundaries of compatibility, and challenging the motivations behind the design is also an excellent way to promote originality one step further.
IS THERE A PLACE FOR REAL ORIGINALITY?
Do you want original ideas, or do you just want copies of the latest styles, re-imagined in different colours, materials or sizes? You could get a close approximation of what the latest designers are making, just with different handles and findings if you wanted. In a society consumed with visual stimulation advertising sees us wanting products we just cannot afford, so why not the buy a knock off of something that looks similar? Knowing your purchasing motivations will inform your style choices, And let’s face it who does not want a great design shown in all the top magazines.
SOUTH AFRICAN ORIGINALITY.
But do South Africans with such a unique design perspective, and such a strong social voice just want to copy the latest international designs? I say NO, look at fantastic design views like Pichulick for authentic and brave jewellery, The Wren for creating materials unique the design world, Indigi for home ware with a strong indigenous voice, and Design Africa where a human voice and an amazing designer collaborate to raise the profile of traditional materials to a contemporary masterpiece. All of us design uniquely South African products that fit into international trends, because right now the African voice is a trend and we are shouting loud from its most southern point