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5 Books That Inspire Leaders in South Africa’s Creative Industries

The industry’s most creative talent share the books that inspire them and bring beauty into their lives.

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By Edwain Steenkamp | January 1, 2024 | Shopping

Piet Boon I by Studio Piet Boon

“I have been a Piet Boon fan for 24 years. The epitome of elegant classic modern timeless design like just the Dutch can do. All his books over the years has been a great inspiration, the first one was published in 2001, titled Piet Boon 1. After 22 years, time and again I go back not only for inspiration, but also to view timeless elegance, strong lines and symmetry. Despite the style being modern, it’s still homely, warm and layered.” ― Sumari Krige, CEO of La Grange Interiors

Piet Boon I is the first monograph of Studio Piet Boon. With high-profile private residences, the first beach villas and corporate projects, the book serves as an introduction to the work of the studio. Image: Supplied.

Making by Thomas Heatherwick

“This book explores the connectedness of design and function, and it has been a great source of inspiration for me. It assesses the ultimate use of things and how it fulfils its function, but taking aesthetics into account every step of the way.” ― Colin Braye, Ceramicist and Co-Founder of Vorster & Braye Ceramics

Making provides a detailed account of how some of Heatherwick Studio’s most prolific projects came to be. Through beautiful photography, the book is accessible to design lovers and students alike. Image: Supplied.

Various works by Ken Wilber

“It is difficult to narrow it down to one book. Reading itself has been informative throughout my life and design career. As a general topic the theories on evolution and natural selection have been inspiring to me as a designer for example the philosophical world view of Ken Wilbur, because in a way, design is about how we evolve culture. There’s a correlation between the principles of evolution that apply to biology and those that apply to culture. So I’ve been exploring and reading a lot about evolution of life and humans as I see my role as a designer as being part of shaping cultural evolution. We’re constantly trying to improve things and create successful designs that last and get built-upon.” ― Haldane Martin, Designer and founder of HALDANE

With over 20 books behind his name, Ken Wilber is one of the world’s most celebrated thinkers. His works spans several genres, but collectively deal with human knowledge and experience. Image: Supplied.

Wabi Inspirations by Axel Vervoordt

“I love telling the story of a house: the way that people and families live in their homes, the inter-connectivity of the spaces, and how each separate room makes them feel, and I love the way light comes in and informs the mood inside. For these reasons I’ve been a fan of Axel Vervoordt for a long time. Wabi Inspirations is a must-have.” ― Greg Cox, Photographer

With his use of art, antiques and striking design sensibility, Axel Vervoordt is one of the most important figures in the world of interiors. His studio has produced some of the finest homes around the world. Image: Supplied.

Olivier Dwek: In the light of modernity by Philip Jodidio.

“I love how Olivier has developed a culture of discretion over his body of works. His love of combining old and new is at the centre of his design ethos. Which I can relate to. Everything should have a story giving a space a sense of place.” ― Dylan Thomaz, Founder and Creative Director of Curacion Studio

Known for his masterful use of volume and light, Olivier Dwek’s body of work in the world of interior design is legendary. This book explores 20 years of his studio, with projects from around the world.