Josie Hardy is an up-and-coming furniture designer from Durban. She is pursuing product design while studying branding at Vega, School of Brand Leadership.

BANC Handcrafted is a furniture and homeware brand that focuses on modern, functional design and honest craftsmanship.

My approach to product design can be described as a commitment to function, with an experimental side. I try to find ways of representing my personal style, which I am still refining and always hope to be developing, while insuring the pieces fulfil a specific role in a space.

My journey into product design began with an interest in craft from a young age, and materialised more recently into furniture design through experimenting with DIY furniture and lighting for myself and friends.

My furniture and lighting products can be described as modern, functional pieces, with a leaning towards mid-century, European aesthetics.

My favourite BANC Handcrafted product is the garden shelf. The design came about very naturally and it appeals to my functional side the most.

A unique home is a home that tells a story about the owner before words are used.

I am inspired by people who find unusual and creative ways of solving problems.

My favourite South African designers include Dokter and Missus, Renee Rossouw, Mia Melange, and Pedersen and Lennard.

South African design is extremely hard to describe, but highly enthralling to experience. It is a culmination of history and culture that connects elements which have experienced division in the past and present. It is an education.

My top three tips for young designers are:

  1.  Don’t do design work to make money.
  2. Don’t be afraid to fake it until you make it.
  3. Take very opportunity to learn from the people who have done what you are doing.

Design Indaba’s Emerging Creatives Programme allowed me to connect with other creatives in South Africa, educated me on the design climate of the country, and allowed me to get input and exposure for my brand.

My future plans include creating an online store, launching a new furniture range, and making my products available in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

See more of my work at www.facebook.com/banc.handcrafted/.