Muti's design space is a constantly evolving canvas

At South African studio Muti, soft lighting and lovingly-displayed projects are the backdrop to vicious table tennis tournaments.

The first floor of a salmon-and-white Victorian national monument overlooking Table Mountain is where illustrators Clinton Campbell, Brad Hodgkiss, Miné Jonker and Jay Gordon, aka design studio Muti, spend their working day.

Inside, the space is uncluttered and calm, with high ceilings, dark wood floors and huge windows. "We've got hanging plants to give an organic feel and some great vintage lightbulbs providing a warm and welcoming aura," explains Jonker. "The space itself already comes with a lot of character, so we have an amazing canvas to begin with."

The 'canvas' has been decorated with the team's favourite projects, including one for a cinema house (1) that saw Muti put an unusual spin on iconic movies, such as The Shining, Avatar and King Kong. "The concept was to illustrate locations found in movies and portray them as destinations in a classic, mid-century travel poster style," explains Campbell.

There's also a very distinct flavour of customisation amongst the work on show. On one wall leans a renovated bicycle (2), resprayed, reconditioned and customised with an African-inspired pattern, and a personalised Berlin Boombox (3) takes pride of place on nearby shelves. Created for &Union, the original cardboard sound system has been given a makeover with spray paint and gold foil vinyl.

Muti's "pride and joy", however, is a table tennis table (4), slyly appropriated by Hodgkiss from his own brother. "There are at least five serious games played here every day," says Jonker solemnly. "What started out as a fun distraction has now become more stressful than work itself."

This article originally appeared in Computer Arts issue 219.

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