Rado was proud to announce Monica Monsanto and her project, Mbari Dolls, as the winner of the first Rado Star Prize South Africa. Hers is an inspiring social design project which is innovative in both its design and concept.
The design consist of two moulds which can be used to create dolls, and is aimed at children from low-income households. Research showed that these children often experience a lack of toys, which presumably can cause a lack in literacy, as well as affect their early childhood development. The aim therefore was to design a product that would solve these issues, whilst still being ‘low cost’ and affordable.

Award Ceremony Breakfast2

 This is an excellent example of context-responsive and socially conscious design aimed at social upliftment that authentically references African aesthetic sensibilities coupled with an infectious element of fun… Additionally, the dolls have the potential to truly bridge the socio-economic divide as play is a central human activity the world over.

– International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) President-Elect and Rado Star Prize South Africa Jury member Dr. Mugendi K. M’Rithaa

Rado and the Rado Star Prize
The Rado Star Prize is an established competition that has run in seven different countries around the world, and which supports young and unestablished designers by giving them a platform to show their work.

Designers’ Choice Award: AfriDesk
As part of the Rado Star Prize South Africa 2014, the 10 finalists were given the opportunity to vote for their favourite project. This award goes to Christopher Louw for her project AfriDesk.

Millions of South African children still do not have a desk to work on at school and at home, and yet are still required to maintain a level of education equal to that of the more privileged children.

Christopher created a portable desk allowing children to have an assured workspace, regardless of the classroom and home conditions. It will be made of inexpensive, easy to source, local South African materials, including polyester, sponge and recycled tyre rubber.

Text and images supplied.