Art, interior design and visual branding merge at this Cape Town studio

With a formal background in interior design, Dylan Thomaz’s left one of South Africa’s biggest homeware retailers to open Studio Dylan Thomaz, his adjoined studio and gallery space in Cape Town’s city centre. Here his creative flair and skills have extended beyond interior design into visual branding and art curation, and to giving emerging artists and designers a platform to showcase their work. He tells us more about the concept.

As an interior designer based in Cape Town I service both residential and commercial clients, bringing to life what inspires them. But as a curator, my gallery space in Cape Town’s city centre is where I get to work with emerging artists and designers to help them become brands that are sustainable in the long run. I do this by helping them to develop product that is commercially viable, like textiles and ceramics for example, and every month I showcase a new artist or designer’s work at the monthly First Thursdays events .

Another project that I’m currently busy with is called Platform 8, where local designers will be able to showcase, manufacture and retail their designs while learning business acumen through a business course and coaching sessions to be offered with it.

From an interior design point of view, showcasing a variety of aesthetics has become the norm, with so much to choose from. And it has also started to become more attainable because everyone should have access to good design and design services. This has a lot to do with Cape Town’s year as World Design Capital in 2014 (WDC 2014); the freedom to showcase and see great design in our city and country was inspiring.

The other great after-effect of WDC 2014 is the willingness for more collaborations between designers, which takes design and its execution to the next level, beyond expectation.

The location of my studio and gallery space, Studio Dylan Thomaz, in the heart of Cape Town’s city centre, is ideal as I get to commute on my bicycle. It’s also in a part of the city where one gets to see an array of integrated cultures and communities. Best of all, though, it’s near to some of my favourite buildings and landmarks, such as Cape Town City Hall, which has a powerful and historical presence on the cityscape. Another one is the nearby South African National Gallery, with Table Mountain as its backdrop and with interiors that show off some of the country’s most renowned artistic work throughout our history.

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