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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dieneke Ferguson + Hidden Art

Even though Dieneke Ferguson is the mastermind behind Hidden Art, she'd prefer that all the attention go to the designer-makers the organization aims to help. Situated in East London, Hidden Art is the trading name of Mazorca Projects, the organization Dieneke founded 17 years ago with the mission of uncovering untapped creative resources in her local environment. Dieneke lives and works in East London. She treasures the strong 'maker' tradition on which East London was built and feels that the multicultural community is a factor which made it fertile testing ground for the growth of Hidden Art and the many designer-makers who have studios there. Although many of the 'hippest' products in design magazines and floating around the internet today share the Hidden Art affiliation, Dieneke willingly admits she hasn't yet found the perfect formula to take her organization where she'd like for it to go-- global-- she's never deterred from working toward that goal.


A snapshot of your favorite piece of artwork.


The stool is a prototype made by Unto this Last, one of our members. The cupboard you see at the back is specially designed by a local design company called Foundation 33. On one side it stores exhibition plinths to be used at our office or elsewhere, which is the side you see. On the other side it has filing cabinets which were all painted the same colour and recycled, as well as lots of storage space. It is on wheels, so our networking area can be made bigger depending on the number of attendees.

If you could do it all over again, is there anything you would change?
Hidden Art has developed in response to needs of designer-makers in a specific context. Changing it would change Hidden Art's nature.

Best business advice you've received.
How to not grow organically, where you end up working longer hours and can't control your time or the company. Find a structure for growth and then how to deal with growth.

As a mentor, the most important concept you'd want your mentee to take away from your relationship.
Be clear about what you want to achieve and be clear about how you can achieve it

In a design studio, money invested in ___________ is always well spent.
Flexible, versatile, modern and practical furniture

Dieneke's design pick: the Spline Chair by Unto This Last

80 slats individually shaped, framed by 12mm birch ply side.
Creates a 6.4kg chair with a comfortable spring.




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