The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) gave recognition to local design excellence at the 5th annual Furniture Design Competition that was held at the Johannesburg Homemakers Expo, which took place at the Ticketpro Dome from 22-25 February 2018.
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Bulelani Magwanishe outlines that the rationale behind the Furniture Design Competition falls within one of the various directives of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) that strives to elevate South Africa’s furniture manufacturing capabilities and enhancing its competitiveness both locally and abroad.
Mr Bulelani Magwanishe says: “We have realised that furniture design is one area that is still very much in need of development and believe that once the concept of design is embraced in the industry, it will reinvent the way business is done. This competition will also ensure that we are able to identify and nurture new talent which we will introduce into this sector,”.
This year’s competition theme, revolved around “Storage”. It required that competitors tap into their innovative reserves to create designs that will not only respond to people’s ever changing space needs, but also to ways that they live their lives and make use of space for residence. The brief included that designs were to promote innovation, be significantly made out of wood, movable, appeal to the export market and have a specific consumer target in mind.
MECAD Systems had the great pleasure of being apart of this awards ceremony by supplying the first place winners with a free weeks training course in SOLIDWORKS.
The winner for the Student Category, Mr Lwazi Mshibe studied Bachelor of Technology Interior Design Degree at the Durban University of Technology. Speaking on his award-winning design concept, Mshibe said that the Songa (meaning to fold in Isixhosa) came as an inspiration during his study years when he had to leave home and stay in a residential flat. “It was during this period when I was introduced to the struggles many students encounter living in very limited space that often required flexible pieces of furniture. That is when I designed this multi-purpose concept that comes as one and can be stored for a variety of uses. The concept can be put together and tucked away when space is required,” said Mshibe.
The winner for the Established Category, Mr Beaunard Jansen from Desseign PTY LTD said that the concept of his Snooze Cot, bed-side tables was inspired from the experience and knowledge gained when he was involved with baby and children products.
“My concept is a baby cot that transforms into a junior bed with two bedside tables. The baby cot has the two bedside tables sitting on top of it that creates the internal space of the cot. When the baby grows to two-years and older the Snoose can then be transformed into a baby bed that has two bedside tables. The bedside tables have the support system for a young child and are safe because they do not roll off the bed,” said Jansen.