home grown south africa


Home Grown South Africa is a case study for a furniture system that caters to low-fee independent schools in South Africa.

As a broader concept it is an adaptive local design and production system for classroom furniture in developing countries. The furniture is made from locally available materials and uses common fabrication skills that are specific to each culture and region. It is adaptable and scalable to regions and countries all over the world where there is extreme poverty, high unemployment, income inequality, and lack of educational infrastructure.

Year: 2012+
Materials: Steel, used cardboard, resin, polyester webbing
Accolades: 2012 Deutsche Bank Award for Creative Enterprise, runner up
2012 Helen Hamlyn Design Award, nominee 
Photography: Matthew Booth


Home Grown is about exploring opportunities within different cultural settings and economic environments to find solutions that are sensitive to local needs and circumstances. Not only does it provide well-designed classroom furniture where it is desperately needed, it also provides new local business opportunities.



During the production process, Home Grown South Africa uses a limited kit-of-parts made up of various shapes and sizes of bent rod. These are welded together in different combinations to create a wide variety of applications.


Statement of Line

The furniture range is designed to support both pupils and teachers while providing settings in and out of the classroom including communal spaces. The pieces can be used indoors and outdoors, and are lightweight and stackable so they can be easily moved around the school and transported to remote locations.