Surrounded by the beauty of nature, Dean grew up on a farm just outside Philladelphia. He began building and creating at an early age, whether it be helping his dad with a go cart, or repairing his Honda Chappie. Inspired by nature, particularly birdlife, he took an interest in the weaver's nest - a parametric design that seemed 2D, yet created a unique concave shape.
Growing up with a creative mind and spirit, he expressed his talent with street art. Struggling with direction, Dean went into Tourism and learnt about different the cultures and the world. This is when he made discoveries of different designs in each culture.
After completing his Diploma in Tourism, he began working for his family business in steel manufacturing and design. He learnt fabrication skills and taught himself all the drawing programs, while simultaneously dealing with the business side of things. He then decided to further things and studied a BCom part time.
After three years Dean wanted to explore even more, and after seeing his brothers work he enrolled at AIDT (Academy of Inventive Design and Technology) for Multidisciplinary draughting. Dean received the highest accolades in graduation and realised that he had found his niche in life.
Quinton J Damstra, founder of Wildetecture as well as Dean's mentor, approached both Dean and his brother Warren Hoffman to join him on his journey with Wildetecture. At the time, the company was still a concept. They worked a further three years part time.
During this period, Dean worked at a mining engineering firm, learning about structural design and engineering, processes and the harsh African climate. But his devotion was relentless, and he split his 16 hour day down the middle - engineer by day, and Wildetect by night.
Dean followed his passion in design and architecture and quit his job in engineering. He's never looked back. His work includes furniture design, interiors, product design, art and illustration, shoes, offshore diving equipment, large mine infrastructures and sculptural lighting. Although architecture is his main focus, with such a passion for design, anything can happen!
Early in 2016 Dean designed an art gallery and event space in Bree Street and later became a partner with the space. Lets take a look at some of Deans highlights of the past three years:
- Viking Norse boat collection - A wild concept that got refined into a unique office furniture layout.
- Whale Chandelier - A lighting design for a winery on Garden Route
- Art Gallery on Bree Street (Upstairs on Bree) - Design and Execution
- Scorpion Lamp - Featured in various publications worldwide. Unique crossover from nature to functional design.
- House Bain - House Schutte - Two new architectural homes currently under construction
Dean will be traveling to Berlin to find a crossover, develop the brand and infuse African with European. He plans to learn from their construction techniques too. He will be attending courses in Europe to develop a skill for parametric design and plans to create a strong African presence and pattern into this unique facade design.