Meet the inspirational creative duo behind 'Tonic Design'

Greg Gamble and Philippe van der Merwe are the creative duo behind Joburg interior-architectural design studio, Tonic Design.

They first met at design school and started working together not long after graduation. This culminated in starting their own business 20 years ago and bringing out their first furniture range nearly fifteen years ago.

Since then, they've gone from strength to strength.

Gamble and van der Merwe join Refiloe Mpakanyane on Weekend Breakfast to talk about their design journey and how they've faced the "daunting challenges" of the industry.

Although they say furniture design is at the core of what they do, _Tonic Design _takes on project design from start to finish. This involves a range of different elements, for example acoustics when working on a restaurant.

There's a tactile thing; you're dealing with a huge amount of glass [in a restaurant]; lighting makes a space warm but sound makes a space warm as well.

Philippe van der Merwe, Tonic Design

You've got to get all the different elements right to make a space feel really good.

Philippe van der Merwe, Tonic Design

The two talk about what their design role encompasses and the difference traditionally perceived between interior decorators and designers.

In our world we find that both are very important. We do both because we feel the success of a space actually also relies on decoration because as much as you design a space, very often that final touch becomes the very personal aspects of those spaces.

Philippe van der Merwe, Tonic Design

We wear both hats essentially... Often [we're given] an empty space, a raw shell... We'll design the interior architecture of the space... Everything from the lighting, the infrastructure and everything down to - we're furniture designers as well - the product.

Greg Gamble, Tonic Design

For us it's taking it literally from something as functional as the lighting, the air conditioning all the way to the final selection of a vase or very specific artwork, which is very much about the decoration.

Philippe van der Merwe, Tonic Design

For more on the Tonic duo's design journey, take a listen:

Image from Tonic Design on Facebook


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