Winners Of The Furniture Design Competition Announced
The design competition, running annually since 2014, is part of efforts by the department to expedite and support skills development in the furniture industry. It is hosted in partnership with the South African Furniture Initiative (SAFI), Proudly South African (PSA) and industry stakeholders.
According to the Chairperson of SAFI, Penwell Lunga, developing and nurturing of the design skill are key in the ongoing Furniture Industry Master Plan (FIMP) that seeks to improve competitiveness in the sector.
“By contributing to the development of the design skills in the sector and to create a database of designers that the industry can tap into, I can safely say we have built a database of more than 200 designers,” Lunga said during the prize-giving ceremony at the recent Proudly South African Buy Local Summit & Expo.
The winner in the manufacturing category was Laurika Brümmer from Earthworld Architects & Interiors, known for its bespoke and uniquely designed spaces.
According to Brümmer, speaking at the PSA Buy Local Summit after the winners were announced, she is passionate about designing furniture that is easy to manufacture and can be assembled by a low-skilled workforce, thus creating jobs.
“There is so much opportunity for innovation in the furniture industry and we would like to be catalysts,” she said. “We are interested in creating modular, flexible furniture pieces that can adapt to personal preference.”
The Chief Director of Agro-processing at the dtic, Ms Ncumisa Mcata-Mhlauli says the COVID-19 pandemic has been a big influence in this year’s theme, namely “Home.Office.Space”.
“While the pandemic is often viewed in a negative light, its positive influence as a disruptor should not be underestimated. In a matter of months, it has rapidly changed decades of traditional ways of working and thinking, and we thought it fitting that it should inspire designers this year,” she said.
In keeping with this year’s theme, Brümmer said they created an “Office in a Box”. This single furniture piece can be used in many convenient ways, among other things to create storage, use minimal space, and it contains usable critical features to make working from home less complicated.
The second spot in the Manufacturers category went to Sesana-Sesana Studios, while MADIIC Design Studios took third place.A Judges Special Award, which is a new category added this year, went to Ms Tlhologello Sesana of Sesana-Sesana Studios – a company owned by twin sisters.
Ms Sesana said their design ethos is that design has a critical role to play to help communities confront history, shape new narratives, collectively heal and project new possibilities for the future.
“This has been a great opportunity for my sister, Letlhogonolo, and for me to contribute to an exciting brief to showcase our skills outside the normal everyday parameters. It is humbling for us to receive the recognition. We see it as a win for the entire Mabopane community where we come from,” she added.
The student category was won by Sibusiso Mwandla from the UKZN.
Are you a South African designer?
- Do you believe that furniture needs to improve the quality of life, be functional
and complementing the space it is located in?
- Do you want to see your furniture designs promoted and in production?
ENTRIES CLOSE 30 SEPTEMBER 2022
Proudly brought to you by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dtic), the South African Furniture Initiative (SAFI), Proudly South African and their industry partners. All these partners are committed to bringing about change and improving the local furniture industry and quality of the product offering and consumer experiences. Join them on this journey
Theme – “Local is Lekker”
Competition Entry Forms are available here: http://www.thedtic.gov.za/furniture-design-competition/.