Lust for dreamers

Museum piece: The Credence 'shines like a racing car.' (Supplied)

Museum piece: The Credence 'shines like a racing car.' (Supplied)

Thing of beauty Credence by xavier lust

Designed in 2002, it occupies its space with a sense of importance, and a sense of humour.

In form it hovers somewhere between a racing car – the official description – and a giant pillow. If you don't want to ride it, you may wish to hug it.

At present, a red edition of this remarkable object (there are only 150, signed and numbered, in circulation) sits in the window of the Generation Furniture store at Hyde Park Corner in Jo'burg.

The Credence comes in various colours including red, green and white. It's interesting to see how it changes personality.
You can see this on how much it looks like industrial packaging in white, and how retro it looks in blue and bottle green.

Internationally, Lust's fine design is distributed by De Padova, that Milanese brand started in the late 1950s as a result of Maddalena Corti De Padova's love of all things smooth and Scandinavian. In that year, together with her husband Fernando, she began to import Scandinavian furniture and objects to Milan from where she would embark on distribution throughout Italy, and then the world.

The De Padova brand was an Italian family's response to the dominance of the heavy classical lines of antique European furniture. Today, the Generation store distributes De Padova in South Africa and thus the presence of Lust's design in Hyde Park Corner.

Back to Credence. The official description tells us “it shines like a racing car, it has curved lines, to caress. A pure aesthetic pleasure, tactile and visual together. A mobile-sculpture created by the ability to shape the metal, handmade. It is the belief of the future … a work of art, hovering between industrial design and [something] handmade."

Lust was born in Bruges, Brussels, in 1969. He studied interior design at the Saint-Luc Institute, which was founded in the late 19th century, before opening his own studio in Brussels. Today he is a multiaward-winner who turns out designs for Driade, Baleri Italia, Extremis and of course De Padova.

The object has also found its way into the permanent collections of two noteworthy museums. In 2006 it was acquired by the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

The Credence doesn't come cheap. At a price of R390 000, you will have to find a way of stashing more than just worldly goods in it. It's an object for dreamers.


Generation Furniture, Shop 9, Middle Mall, Hyde Park Shopping Centre, Jo'burg. Tel: 011 325 5383

Matthew Krouse

Matthew Krouse

Matthew Krouse is the arts editor of the Mail & Guardian, a position he has held since 1999. He has edited two anthologies: Positions (Steidl, Jacana Media 2010) about artists engaging with politics in South Africa today, and The Invisible Ghetto (GMP, 1994) a compilation of creative writing about gender. His essays have appeared in collected works about arts and culture here and abroad. He has worked in the theatre for over a decade as an actor, writer and senior publicist at the Market Theatre. Read more from Matthew Krouse

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