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How will design continue to shape our world in 2023 and beyond?

The State of the Industry 2022 report, released by Decorex is a snapshot of the current state of the contemporary South African decor, design and interiors world

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By House & Garden South Africa | December 9, 2022 | Design

“Design is a response to change and a creator of change. This is the industry that is most able to influence its own future.”

The State of the Industry 2022 report, released by Decorex is a snapshot of the current state of the contemporary South African decor, design and interiors world. The report also reveals 15 key trends in thinking, materiality, aesthetics and the relevance of our African context and is an informative showcase of where we’re at, where things are going and what opportunities and challenges lie ahead.

“Decorex is a proud partner to the decor industry in South Africa and as the leading showcase of related products and suppliers and of course - interior trends, we knew it was imperative to commission a state of the industry exploration, especially given the global turmoil of the past two years. We know that consumers and our industry colleagues alike will find the report an invaluable and insightful companion in their professional endeavours,” says Sandra Barrow, Portfolio Director: Lifestyle, Design & Retail at which conceptualises and produces Decorex Cape Town, Decorex Joburg, 100% Design Africa and Design Joburg.

Independent brand strategist, writer and trend researcher Chris Reid, who was tasked with compiling the report, says that he was struck by the sense of responsibility among respondents - to the planet, clients and African design itself. “People in the industry have a strong sense of agency and influence and want to do good at a very micro level,” he says. “In tandem with this, we found a strong call for support.”

Key future findings

Of the 15 trends revealed, some include:

Cocooning 2.0

Relevant for virtually every player in the decor industry is the rebirth of Cocooning. The term, famously coined in the 1990’s has taken on an entirely new context in a post Covid-19 world and influence of 21st century interpretations of ‘home’ promise to have far reaching and long-term effects, says the report. “Our homes have to work harder than they have ever worked before. And workspaces have taken their cue from hospitality; they can no longer be soulless”, says Bielle Bellingham, Executive Creative Director Decorex Africa, 100% Design Africa and Design Joburg.

Authentic African voices

The responses were clear: South African creativity is better appreciated outside the country than at home. There is a push for the local design industry to take back its agency and reclaim its narratives, rather than letting others interpret them.

Real sustainability

Sustainability is pushing the entire industry towards more responsible design. There is a sense that cost-effective local solutions are becoming easier to find, with the broader public on the cusp of adopting principles of sustainability.

Resilient design

Uniquely South African challenges such as load shedding look set to drive design considerations for product innovators, many of whom are tackling the challenge and need for resilient design solutions that embrace both function and form.

The report promises to reinforce existing sentiments in the South African design and interiors context and provide valuable direction for professionals. “Our mandate is to put all the people in the same room, so that we can connect and accelerate change. The intention behind this report is to empower decision making, by filling an information gap”, says Bellingham.

Produced by RX Africa, Decorex Cape Town, Design Cape Town and 100% Design Africa will all take place under one roof at the CTICC from 22 - 25 June 2023. Decorex Joburg, Design Joburg and 100% Design Africa will then be held at Sandton Convention Centre from 3 - 6 August 2023.

The State of the Industry 2022 report, which is free for everyone can be downloaded via