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Voices of the city: Fred Viljoen | FUTURE CAPE TOWN




“What stands out to me is how much people are in harmony with nature and also their ability to appreciate its beauty.”

unnamed (16) This week we meet Fred Viljoen, a Cape Town based designer and the co-owner of Kinsmen Collective.

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Voices of the City is a weekly feature that spotlights the everyday lives of our citizens, living and working in the city. By asking the same five questions to all our interviewees, we discover not only how our experiences of the city differ, but also what we share. It is a daunting task to try and capture the diverse experiences of our city’s inhabitants, but we feel that it is a worthy, and necessary, endeavor, in order to better understand the present and future of our city.
This week we meet Fred Viljoen, a Cape Town based designer and the co-owner of Kinsmen Collective. A multi-disciplinary design studio which he started with his business partner, Gideon van Lill late in 2013.
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What about Cape Town inspires you the most?

I think what stands out to me is how much people are in harmony with nature and also their ability to appreciate its beauty. It’s a very seasonal city where every season is so distinctly defined and it reflects in people’s interactions with their surroundings, the places they go, the food they prepare or eat and even the drinks they drink. I love how Capetonians really make use of every moment to utilise a beautiful day and use the moods and nuances of the seasons and days to guide their interactions. I also love how this appreciation for beauty translates into an entrepreneural realm where we have so many creatives in the city who are really passionate about their work, there’s a contagious innovative energy in Cape Town. 

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Do you have a secret space or place that you enjoy in the city?

I don’t think it’s a secret really, but I do enjoy running on the Pipe Track around Table Mountain, or anywhere around the mountain actually. It’s one of my favourite places where I can go to get some air and perspective, see the world for how small it actually is and just really appreciate the fact that I live 5 minutes away from untouched nature which means that while Cape Town is a hustling and bustling city full of people, I never feel claustrophic…

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What was the last exciting event you attended in the city?
I attended the Museum Night a while ago which was very inspiring. I really love the initiative and the thinking behind it – by changing the format of something otherwise quite ordinary it gives people a fresh perspective and excitement. The Bo-Kaap Museum was a particular highlight to experience a great sense of community.
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What frustrates you about the city?
I think the city has done an incredible job with the MyCiti initiative of making public transport more accessible to everyone in the last few years, and although I want to support the system and be a greener citizen it is a bit frustrating that I can’t necessarily use it all the time, a lot of the routes take extra long because of the fact that you have to take multiple buses to get from point A to point B – time is a luxury, so in the end it’s quicker to go by car or Uber.
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You can have dinner with one person living or dead. Who is it and why?
Wes Anderson – he’s been one of my all time creative idols, I worship anything he’s touched, from typography to colour palettes – I would love to have dinner on one of his movie sets and get some advice on a few things.
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