South African design elicits an emotional response as
much as it invites you to think.

Trevyn and Julian McGowan

Some of this experiential quality derives from the handmade nature of the work and from the context and loci of its origin. All products are made by skilled hands in limited runs, and sometimes only one of an item will ever be made. In the case of the very best work by our leading designers, this may raise the work to collectible or limited-edition status.

Through our company Source, we have been exporting South African design to the international market for 10 years.

In 2008 we saw the need for a platform to provoke new work at the very top end, and to showcase it collectively on the national and international design stage.

We established Southern Guild as a forum for South African designers to challenge and support each other, unified by national origin, but with diverse views and voices, and the collection now has a reputation for innovation, excellence and a truly fresh perspective.

On an annual basis, we invite a selection of the very best local designers, artists, architects and upcoming talents to produce and premier original pieces for the Southern Guild collection that year.

We often pair designers together, with extremely dynamic results. We consistently choose people whose work engages the viewer, breaks new ground, shakes things up a bit. As the sole gallery representing South African limited-edition design, we find that many international curators and critics hear the unique voice South Africa brings to the world. We offer something grounded in social and political realities, narrative, a true bond with nature and a sense of human connectedness. We have far less interest in trends or in the highly polished, technologically driven visions of design prevalent elsewhere.

In fact, dancing to our own design tune, really valuing and exercising our uniqueness, has become our prime directive. It’s where our future lies. Through collaboration, cooperation, alliance and refining our unique perspective we can build and mature this arena in relevant and fascinating ways.