at their field office …

The young designer/maker team of Luke Pedersen (standing left) and James Lennard have been making their mark internationally with their iconic “bucket” stools and flatpack furniture that melds “cool” with integrity in their clean lines and celebration of the features of the materials they use. 

No disguising of the woodgrain of utilitarian woods like local pine, here!

Their designs grace the  venture they started late last year. Field Office  is a coffee shop cum showroom which features Pedersen+Lennard furniture and homewares as shop fittings and stock on display.

On a recent visit I made the mistake of arriving at lunch time. The place was pumping as young designers gathered there over great Deluxe coffee – very more-ish and at R10 a cup great value for money too. Many are there taking advantage of their free wi-fi. But the fabulous food created by the wily Will is a drawcard too.

So I returned on another day to take photographs of the place and promptly fell in love with this runner  from 2 Birds Landing in Port Elizabeth.

Bicycles are a central feature in the design duo’s lives.  It’s how they commute between homes in Woodstock, a workshop in Salt River and their office extension at Field Office. But they’ve also been known to have a range of vintage models on sale here.  Their Bikeshelf is a practical storage solution for small spaces.

Here Luke Peddersen, graduate of  the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and Malmo University, Sweden,

chats to hoolie-hah about design.

DESIGN IS … Design means a certain way of thinking that is more specific than general. A consideration of more factors and influences on a particular problem orneed that arises. It’s not a buzz-word ,but a way of seeing things.

I LIVE … I live in Woodstock with my best friend and wife Jen, an artist and art teacher. This is our eigth year in the area and we’ve enjoyed seeing a lot of change. We live in a victorian semi and are planning a renovation for our new house across the road, we’re not moving far! We love the people of Woodstock, our daily conversations with Boet & Sina two of the most interesting and thoughtful people on earth, who share our front stoep.

OUR HOUSE … is a mix of antiques and my own work, mostly furniture I built while renovating it so there is a raw feeling to it. This is another way of saying ‘budget’ and we love it. Our new home is planned around a very long dining table that is an essential part of our home.

I GET AROUND … I use my 1955 Swiss Army Bicycle to get between home, work and the Field Office – the rainy days are like a sweet memory of our time living in Sweden so I don’t mind them too much!

I WORK … Our workshop is in Salt River. It’s where we work, though it feels more like play. I enjoy the area and its many small factories and we have made a lot of good friends with some artisans who still know how to work with their hands!

My other office is our cafe/showroom the Field Office where we meet clients and have lunch, hanging out with Will (the manager) is like combining a meal of your favorite food with comedy!

I PLAY … I enjoy a lot of rituals. They are a good way of celebrating the richness of life. An early weekly coffee at Espresso Lab with my mates. Exploring by bicycle. Planning trips. Street banter with familiar faces in Woodstock. Kirstenbosch. My favorite people to watch are the bergie’s outside Field Office, I like imagining what their lives were before.

I LOVE … I enjoy seeing new craft that has been considered a bit more in terms of materials and proportion. I’m always inspired by the street art around Woodstock, it is really developing in terms of location and style. I like that the awareness and support for local designers is growing and hope that there can be more togetherness in this. The city is a great place to work as we have our own way of living and a wide range of influences, but especially the natural beauty.