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MCI is an interior design company, specialising in the co-educational and nondenominational private/ independent education sector. MCI was established by Meryl Crawford in 1997, following Meryl’s 7 year partnership with the renowned Stephen Rich of Stephen Rich Interiors.
In 1993 the first Crawford college opened in South Africa, heralding a new approach to education in South Africa, which nurtured the individuality of the child and sought to unlock each child’s unique potential. Deeply cognisant of the enormous role that environment and aesthetic play in nurture, Meryl aligned with Graeme Crawford, sharing his belief that much more could be done to improve education and the institutionalisation of learning.
This alignment was a natural one, given that Meryl comes from a family of teachers and given her reverence for children - with their tenderness, beauty, creativity and curiosity, replete with potential and ambitious desires. This alignment shifted the application of Meryl’s expertise in luxury residential and commercial interiors to innovative, beautiful and nurturing educational interiors: a progression to purpose.
By 1998, Meryl/ MCI had designed the interior of the first 4 Crawford schools from their inception, and over the next 20 years, 8 Reddam schools (Reddam House Bondi, Australia, Reddam House Constantia, Cape Town, South Africa, Reddam House Bedfordview, South Africa, Atlantic Seaboard, Cape Town, South Africa, Reddam House Woollahra, Sydney, Australia, Reddam House Waterfall Estate College, Johannesburg, Reddam House Somerset West, South Africa), 3 Reddford schools (Reddford House The Hills, Pretoria, South Africa, Reddford House, Blue Hills, South Africa, Reddford House 14th Avenue Northcliff, South Africa), each from theirinception, as well as 2 Reddam head/ executive offices (Woollhara and Waterfall Gate).
While designing the interior of Reddam House Waterfall Early Learning School, MCI was exposed to the Reggio Emilia educational philosophy by Virginia Aghan, head of Reddam Woollahra’s Early Learning Centre. Fundamental to this approach is the organisation of the child’s physical environment: the “Third Teacher”.
MCI recognises the power that each space has,
to provoke and develop each child. With reverential placing of objects, the introduction of “objects of beauty’ and the juxtaposition of everyday, regular items, MCI’s designs provide children with different avenues for thinking, revising, constructing, negotiating, developing, and symbolise easy expression of their thoughts and feelings.
MCI’s bespoke educational equipment which is
integrated into all MCI designs reflects the key
tenet of the Reggio Emilia philosophy: that people form their own personality during the early years of development and that children are endowed with “a hundred languages” through which they can express their ideas. The symbolic languages of, for example, painting, sculpture, drama, dance
and colour have influenced the design of MCI’s
bespoke educational equipment and
Over the course of Meryl’s/ MCI’s 23 year exclusive partnership with Graeme Crawford and the Crawford, Reddam and Reddford schools, Meryl has developed a close rapport with the architects, builders and landscapers for the Crawford/ Reddam/ Reddford projects, as well as a local and international network of dedicated, reliable and passionate service providers and suppliers, enabling on time, seamless and efficient delivery and project completion.
This longstanding partnership has sensitised
MCI to potential risks, challenges and obstacles
with projects similar to the Project and MCI is
uniquely positioned to provide support in
mitigating these obstacles.
Crawford Killarney, South Africa
Crawford Benmore, South Africa
Crawford Pretoria, South Africa
Crawford Durban, South Africa
Reddam House Bondi, Australia
Reddam House BCC
Reddam House Constantia, Cape Town, South Africa
Reddam House Bedfordview, South Africa
Atlantic Seaboard Cape Town, South Africa
Reddam House Woollahra, Sydney, Australia
Maintenance of look & feel for all Reddam schools
Reddam House Waterfall Estate, South Africa
Reddam House Somerset West, South Africa
Reddam House Berkshire, Wokingham, United Kingdom
Reddam head/ executive offices (Woollahra and Waterfall Gate)
Reddford House The Hills, Pretoria, South Africa
Reddford House Blue Hills, South Africa
Reddford House 14th Avenue Northcliff, South Africa
luxury residential interiors
Two executive town houses, Midrand,
Johannesburg, South Africa
Executive offices, Sandton
Luxury holiday home, Umdhloti, Kwa-Zulu Natal
Luxury house, Sandhurst, South Africa
Luxury sub-penthouse, Sydney, Australia
Luxury apartment, Sydney, Australia
Luxury house, Sydney, Australia
“I am very flexible and intuitive in any space that I am placed in. Each building and set of social requirements
are different – I experience the space…
...the place and the position of the building… everything is different – it is a certain intuitiveness.
In hindsight, I chose an industry that was unheard of, in my skill set. It was fabulous to see teachers
and pupils respond through my dedication, sensitivity, intuition and hard work.”
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