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

Founders

Trevyn & Julian McGowan

Southern Guild has spearheaded the high-end design category in Africa, propelling its artist-designers to make spirited, challenging and complex work. Its highly curated exhibitions have redefined global perceptions of African design and escalated its value on the international market.

Since being founded in 2008 as the sole gallery representing locally made limited-edition design, Southern Guild has birthed a new category for artists and designers in South Africa. In 2011 it became the first African gallery to present at Design Miami, and in 2015 it was the first to be featured at Christie’s London’s annual design auction. The gallery shows regularly at Design Miami in Basel and the US, at Design Days Dubai and the Collective Design Fair in New York, resulting in sales to leading architects, top collectors and respected museums. It has had work from its collections included in Vitra Design Museum’s “Making Africa” exhibition and “Beauty–Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial” at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Against the backdrop of a design industry that is still fairly young, Southern Guild gives designers a platform to reimagine what is possible. Founders Trevyn and Julian McGowan are embedded in the South African cultural landscape and play integral roles in guiding, advising and mentoring designers.