Furniture designer and maker, David Krynauw, was recently awarded the Design Grand Prix award at the Loeries 2019 for the Kleine Rijke event venue on the historical Pretorius family farm in Hartbeespoort. His simplistic, unique and eye-catching furniture has the design world talking.

For David, wood has been a part of his life, he grew up in the woods in the forestry town Piet Retief and from a young age shared his father’s enormous passion for wood and woodwork. This self-taught furniture maker and designer’s first venture into the architectural world earned him the Loeries award, opening new doors and possibilities for this versatile artist.

His furniture is unlike anything out there, his iconic lighting, the Haywire Chandelier won him the Southern Guild Design Foundation’s Object that Moves Award in 2014, and his ‘toys’ – moving play benches – are intriguing.

How would you describe your furniture and designs?
My current range is a direct result of the journey that I have been on for the last 12 years. The designs are the result of my exploration of my medium and the continued development of my team’s capacity and capabilities. The products and inspiration flows from this process.

All your designs are so unique and unusual. Where do you get your ideas from?
I believe that God is the source of all inspiration. I try to have an internal approach when it comes to ideas and I mostly act on the opportunities that come my way. In the process my faith is tested because I often doubt the intent and thus the result is always a surprise.

Tell us about the ‘toys’ range. How did that happen?
I believe that adults are a bit too serious. Our lifestyles are really stressful most of the time and it tends to consume us. Play Is something that no one has to teach you, it is a part of you, regardless of your age. I wanted to create something for the child inside, to take adults out of their daily routine and back to that place of wonder and creativity where you can let yourself dream.

How big a role does functionality play in your designs?
We are accustomed to rigid shapes and designs, which limits us from exploring the definition of functionality. If a piece of furniture attracts you to engage, it does perform a function and perhaps a more important one than just creating a space to sit.

What are your requirements when you design a piece of furniture or object?
Design is problem-solving. When designing something, it comes with a list of challenges that you have to figure out as you go. Successful design is therefore something that is fully considered, ergonomic, holistically functional, attracts you to engage and is aesthetically pleasing.

What is your favourite wood to work with and what do you use most?
This is like asking me which of my two dogs are my favourite… Every piece of timber, regardless of its origin is unique and a masterpiece, carefully created by God, to supply in so many of our needs.

Are you going to be doing more architectural projects?
Yes. The buildings that we produce are modular, lightweight, efficient and sustainable. They can be erected within a short time frame and they don’t need to follow conventional building regulations as they are classified as movable structures.

What will your build range entail?
This offers a wide range of application. I am currently developing small housing units to cater for the lodge and hospitality industry. I am also considering applications such as classrooms, clinics and even cost-efficient housing, should the economies of scale be reached.

What does the Loeries award mean to you?
We prayed a lot before entering the Loeries and we believe that the outcome was God’s will. Currently it is creating a platform for us to give glory to God, because none of this would be possible if it was not for His provision, guidance and inspiration.

What is next?
We are currently busy planning a market at Kleine Rijke in Hartbeespoort where I will be doing a showcase with some new products. It is happening on the 5th of October, please join us! As for the future, we are taking it one step at a time, God is leading the way so we are very happy to take things as they come.