Editor at FLOORS in Africa Magazine, Liezel van der Merwe, attended the launch of the Belgotex Design Centre in Cape Town. The space, which is set up to be an inspiration hub for industry professionals as well as the public, includes everything from meeting spaces and an elevated textile concept gallery to a contemporary showroom area and coffee bar.

“What you’re seeing here today is a breath-taking space, but the true value for us was the process and the journey of bringing this space to life,” says Edward Colle, Executive Director of Belgotex Floors.

Edward spoke about the future of Belgotex and said that for him, the Design Centre is much more than simply a space for innovation and inspiration.

“Some of the common themes that I find Belgotex dealing with on a daily basis are the issues of choice, change and transformation. These concepts sound similar and a colleague recently asked me what the difference between the concepts is. For me, transformation symbolises drastic change within an industry – it’s a marked change. Change would be a tadpole turning into a frog, but transformation would be a caterpillar changing into a butterfly because essentially, the caterpillar dies and a butterfly emerges. It’s a marked change,” explains Edward.

Life seems more hectic because of all of the change and disruption that people are experiencing in their personal and professional lives. Edward questioned, however, whether life really is more chaotic.

“There are still the same number of hours in a day and we make choices to engage in the disruption that we are presented with. We choose to use the technology that is being developed to make our lives more efficient, for example. I believe that we are often struggling to deal with all the changes that technology and disruption brings. Life appears more hectic because we have chosen to accept these changes,” said Edward.

“Change is also harder to accept when you aren’t the person initiating and leading the changes. If someone else or an industry in particular, is forcing changes or a new technology upon you, the changes can be less comfortable to embrace and adopt. But you still have a choice to accept and adopt a change or you can choose to reject it,” says Edward.

The new Belgotex Design Centre is an example of change in the industry because it’s not a process that clients and professionals would typically follow during the concept phase of a project. It is an example of how Belgotex has since inception refused to accept the status quo.

“Since the 1960s, Belgotex has been striving to conceptualise more than just products and has rather focused on driving and changing the design experience in the industry. Companies in our industry can’t just focus on developing products anymore. We need to add value in new ways to the markets that we serve,” concludes Edward.

The Belgotex Design Centre can be found in the Matrix at Century City, adjacent to the Century City Conference Centre and Hotel. It is open from 08h00 to 17h00, Monday to Friday. Design professionals can book the boardroom by contacting Renee at the Design Centre on 021 763 6900.

For more information, contact Belgotex Floors on +27 (33) 897 7500 or via www.belgotexfloors.co.za.