David Krynauw was born in 1984 in the forestry town of Piet Retief. His dad, Dawie, owned the Town Hotel and decided to make the furniture for it instead of buying it. David and Dawie share an enormous passion for wood and woodwork. David loved helping out and learned a lot from his dad growing up. When he was 13 years old, they sold the hotel and moved to a farm outside of Piet Retief on the Swaziland border where Dawie started a Eucalyptus Saligna Plantation. David continued to experiment with woodwork throughout his high school years.
PERFECTING HIS CRAFT
David went to Stellenbosch to study Agriculture and Winemaking. During his holidays, he made furniture pieces for extra money to get himself through university. Upon completing his studies, he worked as a winemaker for several months, but the idea of making furniture never left his mind. In 2007, He decided to move back to the family farm in order to start his business. He spent months experimenting and perfecting his craft.
EARNING HIS PLACE ON THE MAP
In 2008, David entered his Dome Pendant Cluster (pictured below) into the Eskom Lighting Design Competition, which earned him a first prize and placed him on the map. Following this, he exhibited at Design Indaba and his Dome Pendant Cluster was named a finalist for the Most Beautiful Object. He spent the next few years working from the farm and doing exhibitions in Johannesburg. In 2014, The Southern Guild approached him to design a light for an exhibition. He produced The Haywire, which won the object that moves award. He exhibited this in various countries, including Japan, Miami, Basel, London and Dubai. His Haywire sold at London Christies, which turned it into a collectable and international seller.
CREATING THE JOBURG METHOD
In 2015, David went to Ligna – a woodwork and timber processing expo held biannually in Germany. He was inspired by the 5-axis machine that he saw there, but it was way above his budget. He could, however, afford a 3-axis machine. He came back home and designed a way of working with a 3-axis machine in order to achieve the desired results. This process became the Joburg method. It is a design language, which allows him to design anything – from a chair to a building – using parts and joining them in a certain way. Using his new language he built all the pieces that subsequently won him Designer of the Year at the 100% Design Show.
PAYING IT FORWARD AND DEVELOPING YOUNG TALENT
David’s business has continued to grow steadily. He trains his employees himself, within the different areas of his business which includes joining, assembling, sanding, upholstery, steelwork, finishing, CNC Programming and Designing. He currently has six designers working in-house and regularly offers internships in order to work with and train young talent.
BUILDING BEAUTIFUL ARCHITECTURAL STRUCTURES
With a business ethos of “ontwerp, bou, boer” (design, build, farm), David and his team not only create world-renowned furniture pieces, but also architectural structures. In December 2017, David took on his first major architectural project for Kleine Rijke; an up and coming food market and event venue. He took inspiration from the Cape Dutch style of building. Find out more about the project here:
David and his team are currently also working on designing and developing a ‘Build’ range which will include elements like Green Houses, Housing Pods, Low-Cost Housing Solutions, Doors, Windows and Buildings.
WHY WE LOVE DAVID KRYNAUW
We are delighted to have a 100% Design South Africa Designer of the Year in the Sarza family. We love David’s family story, learning his craft from his dad and using wood from his family farm. David’s designs are beautiful in their simplicity, high quality and attention to detail. He’s a true master of his craft and we were fascinated to learn that he has even developed his own design language, “The Joburg Method”, which joins parts together in an effective and efficient way.