De Lange’s booth will be located right next to the PPC Imaginarium travelling exhibition, which will showcase a curated selection of the 2017 finalists’ works, including De Lange’s winning piece. 100% Design South Africa takes place at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg from 9-13 August 2017.
In addition to showcasing at 100% Design South Africa, De Lange has also been commissioned to create trophies out of cement for the Concrete Manufacturers Association annual awards. We chatted to the PPC Imaginarium award-winner about his store and upcoming exhibition.
Tell us about your store, Concrete Jungle.
I live in Melville in Johannesburg. One day on my way home I saw a big billboard erected on the fence of a derelict park about an alternative retail development to be built entirely out of used shipping containers. I knew I had to be part of it and immediately made an appointment with the developer.
They were looking for unique locally manufactured product, and although I had only just started playing with cement, I pitched the idea and got accepted. I started developing products and that really sparked my imagination to move in a new direction.
I had to fill the space, so I approached a few friends in the craft industry to showcase their work. It is a nice mix of my concrete products - everything from homeware items and plant pots to jewellery and quirky novelties - as well as ceramics, metal, glass and wood. I have built a clientele that knows that they can come here to find something unusual, or have custom designs made.
You’ll be exhibiting at 100% Design South Africa 2017. What can we expect from your exhibition?
100% Design is a very focused event and you have the opportunity to network with people who appreciate your product. My exhibition will focus on small decor objects to enhance the modern interior. I will also be launching a new lightweight concrete that incorporates a waste material from the mining industry, making it a greener product as well as being more cost-effective to send via courier.
What’s next for Deon de Lange and Concrete Jungle?
I would like to do more research on the material to develop products that are user-friendly and relevant to trends. I’m in the process of extending my colour palette, and next I want to create concrete that is food-safe, which would open up endless possibilities.
Will you be exhibiting anywhere else locally or internationally?
I am taking part in a gardening show in October and I’m also thinking about a solo exhibition featuring one-of-a-kind pieces. An international exhibition would be great; I will just have to see what opportunities knock on my door.