Nandos designer lights
Nando's is searching for the next South African design talent | Images from CCDI & Candice Lawrence

The proudly South African Nando’s is on the hunt for the next Nando’s Hot Young Designer #HYD2015. Searching for a star designer to create contemporary lighting, DECO’s Candice Lawrence went along to the launch event in Cape Town to get the lowdown.

In this nationwide competition, Nando’s is setting an illuminating challenge to young, talented designers: create a pendant light fitting that is authentic, forward-thinking with a sophisticated, South African aesthetic. There is also one massive prize on offer – the winning light fitting could be seen in Nando’s restaurant interiors locally and internationally.

Just last week, on Tuesday 18 August, the Nando’s Hot Young Designer 2015 competition kicked off with some delicious snacks and wine, hosted at Cape Town’s CCDI Gallery. The evening was filled with excitement and the level of local talent was running high. Six of South Africa’s hottest lighting designers were hand-picked and each given three minutes in the spotlight to share and enthuse the many young creatives that gathered at the event.

Can you see the light?

These dynamic speakers included the celebrated South African creative Tracy Lynch, multiple-award winning designers Megan Hesse and Andrea Kleinloog of Anatomy Design, multi-disciplinary creative Atang Tshikare, talented designer Laurie Wiid Van Heerden, and designer Mara Fleischer.

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SA Interior Decorating icon Tracy Lynch addresses the crowd | Image from the Cape Craft and Design Institute

Light is a huge feature in our Nando’s restaurants and has become a structural element, which is extremely important to the spaces.  – Tracy Lynch

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Nando’s spokesperson, Louise McCann, speaks to a room packed with young design talent

Nando’s spokesperson, Louise McCann said, ‘With this Nando’s #HYD2015 competition, Nando’s hopes to play a role in developing young creative talent in South Africa, providing an opportunity for them to express brave, bold ideas through their lighting designs. We’re hoping that young creatives interested in design will come in their numbers to pour their hearts into the design of a pendant-light fitting for the Nando’s #HYD2015 competition.’

Mara Fleischer spoke about lighting design in conjunction with remarkable isiXhosa craft collective Du Noon Urban weavers.

What Nando’s has started is a fantastic wave of enthusiasm for South African products – have fun in the process. – Mara Fleischer

The winner of this amazing competition will, firstly, be designing 100 pendant-light fittings to be used in Nando’s restaurant interiors locally and internationally. Secondly, they will complete a talent incubation period at Nando’s Central Kitchen provided by the Nando’s Design team. Lastly, the winner will receive a golden ticket to Nando’s Design Indaba 2016 to refuel their inspiration tank after completing production of the Nando’s Hot Young Designer 2015 collection.

Nandos competition

Use what is around you; use a material that is true to your culture. – Atang Tshikare

As a young designer attending the event, the passion with which the speakers spoke, sparked a craving within me. Feeling excited and inspired by the briefing, I started to think about my surrounding milieu and how light continues to influence the world of décor and design.

I realised that this would be a great opportunity to design a light that is bold, hand-crafted using sustainable materials and inspired by our South African culture. It is encouraging to know that, in being inspired by a story, one can create an extraordinary design that could stand and shine with pride.

Enter the Nando’s Hot Young Designer here – entries close at midnight sharp on the 14 September 2015.


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Candice Lawrence ELLE DecorationDECO intern Candice Lawrence is a part-time photographer and small business owner at Modern Gesture, always challenging assumptions and exploring worthwhile avenues through design. When not learning about new materials and craft techniques, you can find Candice bodyboarding at Muizenburg Beach, catching up with friends or planning her next travel adventure. Find Candice @modern_gesture on Instagram.