Laurie Wiid Van Heerden of Wiid Design creates pared-down, perfectly proportioned pieces that are defined by handmade elements and obsessive attention to detail.
Skillfully combining traditional handcrafting and avant-garde techniques, he transforms materials into life-enriching and durable objet d’art – furniture such as stools, benches, side tables and dining tables, as well as lighting, tableware and the striking Soma planter for INDIGENUS.
In approaching the design of the Soma, Laurie researched the proportions, strong lines and ‘anchoring presence’ of tree trunks, combining these aspects with the distinctive curves and profiles evident in his cork products and ceramics. The name Soma is derived from the meaning ‘the body of an organism’, depicting the tree-like form and sculptural simplicity that give this planter its natural appeal.
Laurie sees his work as an interface between art and design. His large-scale, limited edition benches have garnered global attention at Design Days Dubai, Design Miami/Basel in Switzerland and Design Miami in the US, exhibited as part of the prestigious Southern Guild portfolio.
A keen collaborator, Laurie often works with artists and designers, like Wim Botha, Lionel Smit, Bronze Age, Atang Tshikare and Ceramic Matters, on projects aimed at pushing boundaries and experimenting with new materials.
His Soma planter for INDIGENUS beautifully juxtaposes the stone-like appearance of reinforced concrete and the more organic elements of wood or cork. With its clean lines and immaculate finish, the Soma has become an iconic example of Laurie’s unique and captivating contemporary aesthetic.