Talk Design


Janine De Waal

Janine is an internationally experienced architect. Working in remote locations is her forte. After having lived + worked in the UK, Namibia, Australia, Zambia and the Bahamas over the last two decades, she’s now often found in her soul home, Southern Africa.


Sixty-one weeks into her architectural education Janine nearly quit her studies. Thank heavens she was assigned to evaluate the finest architect home in South Africa. Gawie Fagan conceived the design for his family home during a flight and drew it on the back of a cigarette box, thereafter he built it as an owner/builder. On the spot Janine realised that she had to continue with her studies. When she walked up the suspended timber staircase, connecting the public spaces to the private bedrooms, she got butterflies… she had never experienced such a beautiful undulating ceiling moulding space and framing views... From that moment onwards she dedicated her life to creating incredible spaces to touch the soul and take the breath away.


With her mom being an art teacher and her dad an avid part-time woodworker and owner/builder, design and creating was a part of everyday life. At the age of ten, Janine opted for woodwork instead of needlework. In later years she dabbled in jewellery design, ceramics and bronze casting, resulting in her built environment designs being complemented by bespoke, handcrafted components.


She believes that your home symbolizes the life you want to be living. Her designs are shelters for your physical body, mind and soul.

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Aimee Ralfini

Since 2012 Aimée Ralfini has curated arts activation platform Art Ache.Art Ache communicates fine art and creative thought to a wide and varied audience through events, social media, digital billboard campaigns, 100’s of radio podcasts, regular editorial art coverage and other bespoke activations. Through it Ralfini aims to strengthen New Zealand’s creative muscle and make art part of everyday conversation.“Artists are the litmus paper of society” – AM RalfiniConsidered a ‘holy goddess of creative fecundity’ by her peers, Ralfini is credited with paving the way for New Zealand artists on social and in mainstream media, forging a path for a new wave of entry to medium level clientele after the 2009 financial crisis.Born and bred in Auckland, Ralfini gained a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts in intermedia and has spent most of her adult life working at media networks, design studios and advertising agencies.NZ DEAD AHEADnz_dead_ahead is Ralfini’s latest creative offering. Inspired by the interior design of deceased estates being sold in New Zealand.Propelled by rising house prices with cheap upgrades, Aimee felt it was time to document the last of these outstanding monuments to a culture in rapid decline.nz_dead_ahead presents like a view finder of a period of idealism and “quality living” in the nation’s history.The collection of interior and exterior photographs are all for sale at the time of selection, with many of them containing elements that will resonate with anyone who grew up in 19th century New Zealand.To jog memories and manifest her own, Aimee comments about the nature of the contents through several lenses; that of a realtor, a romantic novelist and an interior designer.Ralfini works alongside sometimes collaborator Kate van der Fluit to capture as many of these quintessential relics as she can, and will continue to do so until they are no more.

Sara Kolata

Sara Kolata was always a humanitarian at heart and dreamt of making the world a better place.Sara studied in London submerged in the world of prestigious Architecture. She was inspired by the glorious career paths of celebrity architects and believed for this to be the only path to success within the industry. She did however question the humanitarian, environmental and socio-economic impact of many of their projects and felt uneasy with what she saw.Sara longed to see more meaning and contribution in their work.Sara also began to realise how difficult it is for young architects to get the full experience of project delivery and building, and she didn’t want to be a drafter.She wanted to get my hands dirty, building.At the age of 23, Sara went to a conference at TU Berlin dedicated to architects doing humanitarian aid. They looked different to all the pale, overworked architects she had met before. They looked happy, had tones of travel stories and fascinating career paths. They also were building like crazy. Delivering countless projects around the world, building much more than the architects she studied. They were building projects that were needed and quick to implement, and in this, Sara saw an opportunity of being able to become an architect in the full essence."That’s what I want my life as an architect to look like."- Sara thought.Sara went on a search looking around the world to find where she could make an impact like that.Listen to this episode to hear where Sara's inspiring journey led her to.