Haldane Martin: Iconic outdoor furniture designs, full of South African joy and color
May 20, 20204 min read
ONE OF SOUTH AFRICA’S FOREMOST DESIGNERS, BORN WITH A PASSION TO DESIGN
Born in Johannesburg in 1970, Haldane had a passion for design and making things from an early age. As a teenager, he began shaping his own skateboards, sailboards and surfboards. He then pursued his passion, studying industrial design at Cape Technikon in Cape Town. Between 1994 and 2002, Haldane ran his own design firm, Brave New World, alongside another Sarza favorite furniture designer, John Vogel, before he established his own formidable brand Haldane Martin. Over the years, he has earned a reputation as one of South Africa’s foremost designers.
EXPRESSING SOUTH AFRICA’S UNIQUE MULTICULTURAL IDENTITY
Haldane’s early works drew major recognition, exploring contemporary African culture, sustainability and biomimicry. He explains: “Much of my early furniture design work has been about asking the question: Who are we as new South Africans post-1994?”. The beginning of Haldane’s career happened to coincide with this positive turning point in South Africa’s history and some of his iconic furniture pieces were attempts to provide a tangible answer to that question.
ICONIC DESIGNS THAT CREATE A SENSE OF BELONGING FOR ALL
Haldane’s collections reflect the zeitgeist of the times in a timeless fashion. He describes his ethos as “striving to meet the needs of the whole human being by designing furniture that is simultaneously meaningful for the spirit, beautiful for the soul, and nurturing for the body. By striving to meet the needs of the whole human being in an integrated way, my work creates a sense of belonging for all those who come into contact with it.”
THE CHA CHA COLLECTION
The Cha Cha collection makes a statement indoors or outdoors, coming in a full spectrum of joyful colors or modish electro-plated stainless steel. The minimalist Memphis-like plinths create the illusion of movement. They Cha Cha back and forth as the eyes glide around the fluted table base. The Cha Cha collection comprises five tables with varied heights & diameters. As sleek stand-alone pieces, they’re compelling expressions of intense color. Alternatively, when playfully combined, they form contemporary customizable compositions.
The Hula outdoor Collection is both playful and nostalgic, paying homage to the classic Salterini Hoop Chairs of the 1950s. Wire stripes juxtaposed with pure circular rings are playfully reminiscent of a “Hula Hoop”. They’re a stylish seat, whether indoors or outdoors and because of their efficient stacking, you can conveniently bring the Hula Outdoor Collection indoors for storage.
Made from rust-proof stainless-steel solid rod, the chairs are perfect for high traffic use. Private homes as well as hospitality environments like cafes and restaurants can revel in their bold colors, delightful form and solid functionality.
With simplified scooped forms, Haldane’s Papa Sun Collection is a comfortable contemporary take on the papasan chair - the round, cane Malaysian chair popularized in Western culture in post-war 1950s.
With ergonomic structure and functional materiality, this collection is an architectural & simple update on the bohemian classic. Specifically designed for outdoor use, the durable moon-shaped frames are manufactured in rust-proof stainless steel. Whether it’s an accent piece you’re after or an entire lounge set to entertain friends & family, this curvaceous outdoor collection is a summer dream come true.
Perfect for contemporary indoor or lavish outdoor environments, this collection’s name comes from the noun “plateau” meaning an area of level high ground. These sleek, expansive surfaces are supported by the upward gesture of slanted, geometric pedestal bases. Both elegant and functional, the Plat-O collection is available in round or flat oval shapes, with sizes varying from elegant 2-seater cafe tables, up to generous 12-seater dining tables, as well as server tables and a bar tables. Custom finishes are available on request for those looking for something really special.
The fun, feminine Polka collection will drive you dotty! Minimalist round bar and polka dots define this outdoor table collection. Inspired by Cape-Town’s foodie culture and the South African outdoor lifestyle, Polka is the ideal for premium hospitality environments & stylish homes.
The Polka collection features circular tabletops with perforated steel polka dots. This allows rain water to pass through the surface, whilst also creating stunning swirling optical patterns. Visually skinny but functionally strong, the long-legged Polka tables are manufactured in stainless steel solid rod and coated in UV resistant pure polyester. A match for the elements – come rain, wind or sunshine!
Having established himself as a world-class furniture designer, in 2011 Haldane added high-concept interior design to his resume. His first interior project, Truth Coffee (below) in Cape Town was named the best coffee shop in the world by The Telegraph UK and won the Gold Loerie for interior design (2015).
Since then, Haldane has since continued to create award-winning interior designs, that capture and express each client’s unique identity in an iconic way, whilst resolving complex functional design challenges. Here Haldane talks about his design concept for Kunjani Winery, which fused African and European design.
WHY WE LOVE HALDANE MARTIN
We are honored to represent this powerhouse of African design talent in the USA. We love that Haldane’s fun designs are inspired by South Africa’s outdoor living. We also love the new spin that Haldane has put on some design classics. With playful features and vibrant colors, these pieces don’t just look good, they are also practical and made to withstand the elements. We think they are the perfect outdoor setting for a stylish lunch date, cocktails with friends or an informal family dinner.