What a feeling it is to actively press refresh… and to get that zip of fresh energy that comes with a new season. Revitalise yourself, take stock and importantly, get your home and lifestyle into tip-top condition in preparation for the glory of summer. It’s all about looking forward, about change and about recharging so that you can be at your best.

Design expert Esther Mahlangu puts it well on p43: ‘I realise that the old must change, otherwise it dies.’ As you’ll find out, Esther’s iconic style balances the old and new: venerating the designs of her ancestors, while at the same time trailblazing with exciting new ideas and media.

The future is fresh, and it is waiting for us to grab it with both hands.

In order to truly look forward, one has to consider our past and the trajectory that it has lead us on. I am busy reading B is for Bauhaus by Deyan Sudjic – I can HIGHLY recommend it. One of the chapters ‘C is for Chair’ has inspired our mini-retrospective 
of the importance of chair design throughout history. Deyan explains: ‘It’s not hard to see why designing a successful chair would appeal to a designer. To have a chair with your name attached to it confers a certain professional longevity, in a way that so few categories of design make possible.

To work on the design of a smart phone or a laptop is to see your efforts fade into irrelevance heartbreakingly quickly.

There is just so much in that simple statement that I am dying to chat to you about… but in the interest of brevity (one of my most favourite qualities in the world), 
I ask you to take a gander at the feature, and we can then chat about it at length on Twitter.

A little later on in the same book, the far-sighted and lucid critic Victor Papanek is quoted as saying that ‘by creating whole species of permanent garbage to clutter up the landscape, and by choosing materials and processes that pollute the air we breath, designers have become a dangerous breed’. I repeat: ‘Designers have become a dangerous breed.’ Yes, perhaps a slightly overzealous statement, but this time last year we presented our guide to sustainable design and green living, and I have to tell you, there sadly isn’t a significant number of new designs and solutions to report on locally.

If I am to have a parting shot, I’ll leave you with this: think carefully about the kind of designer and/or homeowner you want to be. Yes, we advocate a stylish lifestyle, but this is never going to be as important as living sustainably. And this is the reason that environmentally conscious design is at the core of the SOLVE 2017 competition. See p42 for the full brief.

And with that, sayonara friends, I’m sure we’ll meet again soon.


Read our C is for Chair story and update your wash room with our exclusive bathroom feature

 elle-deco_ofc_spring_rThe Spring Issue all about looking forward and recharging. Revitalise yourself, take stock, and get your home and lifestyle in tip-top condition. We explore progressive gardening ideas, show you how to turn your bathroom into a rejuvenation haven, and take you on a tour of homes that capture the essence of the season. Pick up your copy today and tell us what you think on Twitter @Elle_Deco using #SpringIssue.