Laurie Wiid van Heerden established his studio, Wiid Design, in Cape Town in 2013. His product range spans furniture, lighting and collectible objects that combine specialized manufacturing with handcrafting.
The studio is particularly known for its innovative use of cork in high-end product design and architecture. Laurie has pushed the design boundaries of this natural and sustainable material to achieve a number of world “firsts” – including the world’s largest cork pendant light and cork cabinet.
In this video, Laurie talks more about why he enjoys working with cork:
A CREATIVE SPIRIT AND A HANDS-ON APPROACH TO STUDYING DESIGN
Born in Cape Town in 1987, Laurie opted for a hands-on approach to studying design. He apprenticed with renowned designers, sculptors and carpenters, before he started designing and manufacturing his own ceramics and furniture, and collaborating with fellow artists. To date he has won many accolades and has exhibited at the Southern Guild, 100% Design, Design Days Dubai, Design Miami and Design Basel.
A DESIGN ETHOS THAT IS BOTH CONTEMPORARY AND TRADITIONAL
Wiid creates products and objects that can be seen as the interface between art and design; where materials are transformed into life enriching and durable products. Laurie’s work has an angle on various topics of contemporary culture, and a focus on traditional handcrafting, in combination with avant-garde techniques.
He says: “All my products incorporate handmade elements, pieces that are part of the production which I oversee personally, this is veryimportant to me and I believe it brings out the value of my products, similar to investing in a piece of art.”
AN EYE-CATCHING COLLABORATION WITH INDIGENUS PLANTERS
One of Laurie’s best-loved collaborations within the Sarza family is his work with Indigenus to create the Soma planters. This design is inspired by the ‘anchoring presence’ of trees, and Laurie combined this with his own distinctive, rounded sculptural style. The Soma design also celebrates the stone-like appearance of reinforced concrete and Laurie contrasts the concrete with organic elements such as wood and cork.
WHY WE LOVE WIID DESIGN
We love to support Africa’s up-and-coming young designers like Laurie Wiid Van Heerden, and we especially love his use of cork – a material that is natural, tactile, warm and sustainable. Laurie’s pieces are created with a spirit of innovation and a fusion of contemporary design with traditional craft. We are particularly excited that Laurie collaborated with another brand in the Sarza family, Indigenus. Those Soma planters are simply stunning - the result of two amazing creative forces coming together.