Author Archives: JanHendrikHarmse

About JanHendrikHarmse

I am a freelance Industrial and Interface designer who creates unique, quality designs unbound by current mindsets with the goal of improving the world. I am a competitive and highly motivated worker with a peerless work ethic and a unique perspective. I supply my client with a reliable service which produces well considered creations which promote clarity.

Why is sleep sometimes so scary?

I know I’m alive at this very moment because I am conscious of me living. I know I’m in a room because my brain knows that a room should contain enclosing barriers, so it uses my senses to identify the tall, flat, long and thin structures surrounding me as walls, which were placed there to serve as an enclosure. I know this room is mine because my brain understands the concept of property, and it remembers that I’ve spent a lot of time here, and that my mother told me that it is my property. I identify my current actions as typing because my brain is comparing the similarity of my actions to those I’ve assigned to what can be considered ‘typing’. Therefore, you know where you are and what you are doing because you recognize the fundamentals of it.

If however I am not conscious, I am not aware of my actions nor of my surroundings. When asleep, I am not conscious of the fact that I’m busy sleeping, nor am I aware that I’m not awake. I only know I’m sleeping when I become conscious of it inside a dream, and I only know I’ve been asleep once I regain consciousness and my brain recalls the sensation of awakening. I’m only aware of  my existence once my brain has proven that I am indeed existing.

I consider death to be when you no longer have the ability to prove your existence to yourself. I therefore don’t know I’m not dead unless I prove it to myself.

That is why sleep can be so scary. You step into this void of non-existence until you awaken on the other side. Up until that point you have no way of checking if you’re still a part of the living.


The Anti Poster Project Exhibition at TOW

On the 15th of August 2013, my friends and I attended the opening of “The Anti Poster Project” at The Open Window School of Visual Communication. The idea behind the project is to celebrate talented artists from all around Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town by exhibiting their work, and to “build a network of innovative work among like-minded individuals.” Don’t ask me what “like minded individuals” is supposed to mean, since the posters don’t have common themes: they are as diverse as the places they originated from.

Now to the money: WetINK Design is responsible for the campaign, and is funding all the printing and packaging of the exhibition. When you buy a poster (R200 for an unsigned poster, R300 for a signed poster) the money goes three ways: The artist will get a cut, since, you know, they did all the work; WetINK Design will also get a slice, since they organized the event, and they don’t really sponsor the whole thing. Just because it’s a charity campaign doesn’t mean you can’t cover your costs… right? Lastly, your money will go to a selected and probably very deserving charity organisation. This “phase” of the project, since there are to be many more “phases”, I guess, will donate to the KYP (Kliptown Youth Program) in Soweto.

About KYP: On their website, KYP says their goal is to “eradicate the poverty of mind, body, and soul”, whatever that means. They provide educational support and after school activities to the young-folk of Kliptown, developing the poorness of their minds and bodies, and souls, I guess. “After school activities” contribute to the betterment of the Kliptown community, which I support wholeheartedly, and it keeps them out of trouble.

Also on KYP’s website is the KYP News: “CNN Heroes Computer Lab Opens…” The article below states that in 2012, the organisation received a $50’000 – yes, dollars, translating to R500’000 at the time of writing – grant due to a CNN Heroes award – explaining that silly name – they received in December that same year. The money was thus spent on what I’m guessing is a building with computers in it, and maybe an internet connection. Obviously this charity is in dire need of income, and there isn’t another charity who needs the money more. They do deserve getting rewarded more for their efforts.

Now let’s talk about the night: I was early, as usual, and therefore got the great opportunity to view each piece of art for as long as I pleased without needing to worry about making space for less interested viewers. Not all of the works fit within my poster tastes, but they were all (mostly) exceptional. My two favorite posters, Coffee and Demon, were from the same artist: Joshua Jason Corbett. Later that same night, whilst drawing a skinny winged man with a skull attached to his face (for the “Night of a 1000 Drawings“) I actually met this Joshua Jason Corbett character. He is a white male with curly brown hair (I think), and he was wearing art stained (if you see it you’ll understand) jacket and pants. As far as I could gather from our short conversation he’s a nice, good looking guy, who liked my art.

There was live music in the form of a band who’s name I can’t remember, and free food and booze (yes, you read that correctly). The food was (mostly) great as was the sherry, I’ve heard. Other drinks were available too. After the band finished doing what they were doing, and we uninterested viewers were allowed to have (far more interesting) audible conversations again, we were rewarded with some great music. Later that night we were treated to rhythmic music by two DJ’s who kept my body moving. There was even face painting!

Overall the night was chilled (metaphorically and otherwise) and the company was splendid. Feel free to pop by The Open Window to see the exhibition yourself, just don’t expect free food, that’s for openings only. Oh, and if you have some cash to spend on art, come spend it buying some art, you’ll probably find something you like.

“Thinking Design” – UJ Industrial Design Alumni Exhibition 2013

On 07 August 2013, my colleagues and I attended the opening of the exhibition “Thinking Design” on the University of Johannesburg’s Bunting Road Campus inside the FADA (Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture) Gallery.

The exhibition showcases the works of UJ’s past students who have each become very successful and established designers. The exhibition includes the designs of Jonathan Fundudis and David Holgreaves of “snapp Design“; Trevor Hollard and Rowan Mardghum of “Maeker Products” and “amoq“; and Peter Harrison of “Harrison Designs.” The exhibition is curated by Angus D Campbell, Senior Lecturer of the Department of Industrial Design.

What makes this specific exhibition great is the fact that, not only are the designs of these individuals on display, but their design process too. Each exhibition is thus a journey into the minds of each designer, seeing how they developed their designs from conceptualization to the solution.

The event is on until the 28th of August 2013, so come down to have a good look at what some of South Africa’s design greats have to offer.

Cool Capital Biennale 2014

Yesterday night my friends and I attended a think-tank at The Open Window School of Visual Communication [] with regards to the Cool Capital Biennale 2014 [] exhibition. This initiative is run by citizens, and the organisation is non-governmental, so you should not mistake it as a political campaign.

The idea behind the Cool Capital Biennale 2014 (or CoolCap’14 for the sake of simplicity,) is to make the city of Pretoria/Tshwane a better place. CoolCap’14 aims to do that by implementing many small interventions and helpful contributions within the city, from a variety of people, in the form of helpful designs and artistic expressions. CoolCap’14 also aims to expose the people of Pretoria/Tshwane to the disciplines of art and design. Personally I think it is a great opportunity for artists and designers alike (or creatives as we prefer) to show the validity of art and design as a means to improve this country for the better. CoolCap’14 wants to include as many creatives as possible to contribute in this great effort, so just about anyone is welcome to do just about anything, as long as it is for the benefit of the city, for non-profit, within the city’s borders, and within the limits of the law.

Not a creative? No sweat! You can submit your great idea on their website [] where someone with the time, money and necessary skill(s) can take the idea forward. If however you are a creative, and you wish to better the world with me, submit your project(s) on their official website [] so it can be part of the campaign.

The problem with a major project like this, where you have so many individuals doing so many different things, is how to keep track of it all, and how to communicate its success when it has passed. CoolCap’14 solves that problem by making the entire campaign web-based. That way, anyone with an internet connection can keep track of CoolCap’14’s progress, and have full access to the locations of each intervention, in case they feel like seeing any of them in action. At some point a great catalogue will be compiled and published to showcase the talents and ambitions of those who participated.

CoolCap’14 is scheduled to run from 23 August 2014 to 29 November 2014, the same time as Cape Town’s “2014 World Design Capital” event and Durban’s “Otherwhere 2014” conference of the International Union of Architects. That means we have a year to execute our ideas, arts and designs in order to participate in this glorious event.

The Open Window School of Visual Communication already has a number of concepts that would make the world of difference to the city if they are implemented.

I think this event will forever change the face of Pretoria/Tshwane for the better, and make it an even greater place for all.

Want more info? Check out these info sources:

Website: []

Facebook: []

Twitter: []

Pinterest: []