One of the winners of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition’s (the dtic) Furniture Design Competition has described the contest as a very important platform for South African designers and manufacturers to market, sell their products and to showcase their design skills.

Ms Laurika Brummer, of Inside Earthworld Interiors – the company that took first prize in the Manufacturers’ category, spoke after receiving the news of victory at the Buy Local Summit session held to announce winners in Sandton, Johannesburg.

“We are 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. We are interested in creating modular, flexible furniture pieces that can adapt to personal preference,” she said.

The Furniture Design Competition is a partnership of the dtic, the South African Furniture Initiative (SAFI), Proudly South African, and industry stakeholders. It is part of the dtic’s strategy to advance skills development, attract designers into the industry, to promote product development and differentiation using design as a critical tool.  This year, the competition was held under the theme “Home Office Space.”

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.

“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, Brummer 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 contain 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 says 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 I, 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.

Laurika Brummer of Inside World Interiors with the piece that earned her company 1st place at the dtic’s Design Furniture Competition

The winning creation in the Manufacturers category; the ‘office in a box.’

Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
Tel: (012) 394 1643
Mobile: 079 5083 457
WhatsApp: 074 2998 512
Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)
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