SETS DRAPES SCREENS - EXPANDING ITS HORIZONS IN 2017
Concretizing the ethos of Sets Drapes Screens(SDS) in 2017, is the fast growing set building company’s new look and revamped 160sqm work space. “It is extremely important that our employees work in a safe and inspiring environment but it is also vital that our building reflects what we are about as a company. We are active in various arenas - corporate, film, exhibition and experiential events and the building needed to reflect that versatility as well” says SDS Managing Director, Pieter Joubert.
The company’s new look is fun, fresh and funky with a strong local influence and was designed with input from the staff who works in it. “Almost everyone got involved, poring over colour swatches and contributing ideas” explains Pieter, “Our team is now completely invested in our work environment, both in terms of the building and our immediate surroundings. Not only is the look clean and new but our light fittings are all LED, the materials used for the build were sourced from sustainable resources, we have recycling bins in all the offices and we have made the most of our natural light - so we feel that we are respecting our environment more as well.”
An eye-catching abstracted map design in the reception area demarcates the location of Sets Drapes Screens and the Gearhouse Group within Bezuidenhout Valley. While the notion of incorporating the map was Pieter’s, the idea was adopted and transformed into an abstract iteration of the company’s philosophy by Andre Matthysen, SDS Operations Manager. “Andre did an amazing presentation to our staff which tied the map design to the company’s paradigm shift – redrawing the SDS ‘road map’ so to speak, with a new and open mind-set” says Pieter. “ Now every time we come into our building we are reminded that we are on the road to creativity, innovation and personal development and that we need to check in with a positive mind-set every day. Businesses these days are no longer just about the money – people spend long hours at work and are still expected to be creative, so we might as well be comfortable and have an invigorating environment that motivates our team.”
The Main boardroom’s glass walls continue the celebration of ‘local’ with a large-scale sand-blasted Jozi skyline. The room is dominated by a triangular 16-seater boardroom table; designed in such a way that everyone at the table can see each other at all times and that all participants have a clear view of the large plasma wall screen surface. Communication is fundamental at SDS and you can see that this too was an integral element of the planning throughout. In the workspaces, brightly coloured thought bubbles and cloud cut-outs are used to jot down notes, thoughts, reminders or inspirations. “We have also consciously reduced table and storage space as part of our move to a paperless environment and our people are encouraged to move around rather than settle in a cluttered and stagnant work area” says Pieter.
The company, too, is moving and spreading and will open its new branch in Durban in March. According to SDS Durban’s new General Manager, Karien Eigner, the Durban Market has grown to the extent that it now warrants its own local operation. “There are more and more requests from clients and venues in the region and our existing clients want the same benefits of local SDS manufacture for their tours that they enjoy in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Karien rejoins the Gearhouse Group after 10 years of working in Botswana in the safari industry and as a wildlife photographer. “I have years of experience working at Gearhouse’s Cape Town Branch which I will be able to bring to bear on the new branch in Durban. We will start with the basic set rental and grow the set building side in accordance with the demands of the region” she says. “I am looking forward to a brand new challenge and being a part of the branch from the outset. Our team is young and eager and we hope to service the new generation of clients that we are seeing emerge particularly in the exhibition, broadcast and corporate activation sectors.”
The branch will also be used as an additional resource when the Cape Town and Johannesburg facilities are working to capacity.
Sets Drapes Screens Durban branch will be located in Mahogany Ridge not far from the Gearhouse Group Offices in Westmead and will managed by Pieter Brink, who has been integral to the Johannesburg operation for the past few years.
Story and Photographs by Robyn D’Alessandro
Feb 23, 2017