Last night the leaders of South African design were recognised at the fourth annual Southern Guild Design Foundation Awards ceremony, held at Southern Guild Gallery in Woodstock, Cape Town. The industry’s top achievers were honoured as trailblazers in local design, manufacture, commerciality and innovation. 

A Design Foundation Board subcommittee judged the awards and nominations were received from past winners and an external jury of industry insiders that included the like of Andile Dyalvane (Imiso Ceramics), Angus Campbell (Department of Industrial Design, University of Johannesburg), Lianne Burton (communications strategist), Tracy Lynch (curator and interior designer) and Zahira Asmal (The City). 

The categories included ‘Icon’, ‘Object that Moves’, ‘Maker to Market’, ‘Manufacture’, ‘Future Found’, ‘Apprentice’ and the newly introduced ‘Design with Purpose’, with a highly successful company or designer entering the industry  awarded each one.

‘A Design Foundation Award is one of the most prestigious accolades a South African design company can receive. It’s not solely about recognising immense success and awarding new talent – the awards are part of the foundation’s greater goal to support the industry and aid in its country-wide growth.’

 – Board member Trevyn McGowan

Future Found Award sponsored by 100% Design South Africa

Winner: Pinda Furniture Design (Siyanda Mbele)

Having achieved excellence with limited resources, the Future Found Award went to Durban local Siyanda Mbele of Pinda Furniture Design. Siyanda will be guided and mentored by relevant Design Foudation board members throughout the coming year and will exhibit at the August trade show, through sponsorship by 100% Design South Africa.

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Object that Moves Award sponsored by House and Leisure

Winner: Wonki Ware (Di Marshall)

This award went to the iconic ceramic company based in George. Wonki Ware has had commercial success both locally and internationally, with record global-retailer sales having been consistently achieved.

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Design with Purpose Award sponsored by Creative Brands

Winner: Repurpose Schoolbags (Thato Kgatlhanye)

Repurpose Schoolbags was the recipient of this award and was honoured for maintaining strong social design values while having a focus on social responsibility. The company positively impacts the lives of communities by producing schoolbags from recycled plastic, with a solar panel that charges up during the day and transforms into a light so that children living in homes without electricity can study at night.

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‘Design is not only an aesthetic ideal – it exists to solve problems and create solutions. Whether it’s a seating option or resolving a social issue, we want to highlight those who are really making an impact in South Africa in order to motivate others to do the same,’

– McGowan

Icon Award sponsored by the American Hardwood Export Council

Winner: Dokter and Misses (Adriaan Hugo and Katy Taplin)

Husband and wife run duo, Dokter and Misses of Johannesburg, scooped the highly revered Icon Award.  Adriaan Hugo and Katy Taplin were recognised for their major trajectory over the pas 18 months. They participated in a focused exhibition of African design at R & Company in New York last year, and continually show at the top design fairs around the world with Southern Guild, with bespoke work being commissioned for some of the best homes and hospitality venues around the world. Not only do Dokter and Misses have work on show at Beauty – Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York, but they are also greatly involved in developing a solar-powered WiFi bench for public areas.

Previous Icon Award winners include Gregor Jenkin, Porky Hefer and Andile Dyalvane, all who have gone on to achieve further success both locally and abroad.

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Manufacture Award sponsored by Bronze Age

Winner: Woodheads (Richard Harris and Geert Schuiling)

Woodheads were the winners of the Manufacture Award which is given in recognition of a manufacturer who has gone beyond expectation to aid designers in realising their products.

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Maker to Market Award sponsored by Adams & Adams

Winner: Pichulik (Katherine-Mary Pichulik)

PICHULIK, a bespoke range of accessories designed by Katherine-Mary Pichulik, took home the Maker to Market Award for being a company understands the value of marketing, consumer interaction, packaging and delivery.

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Apprentice Award sponsored by Wiid Design

Winner: Jason van der Linde 

An industrial design graduate from the University of Johannesburg, Jason van der Linde won the Apprentice Award and has been offered a 12-month internship to work alongside multidisciplinary designer and craftsman, Wiid Design.

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Now a Design Foundation Award tradition, each of the seven winners received a bronze gorilla sculpture sculpted by Otto du Plessis from Bronze Age Foundry. Top industry insiders, designers, local media and VIP guests attended the ceremony and were treated to wine from KWV and Laborie, beer from Striped Horse, and ice tea from BOS.

Creative Brands ensured that all vinyl print work set the scene for a night of celebration and recognition of South Africa’s top designer achievers.

All images courtesy of Southern Guild 


 Southern Guild Design Foundation

The Southern Guild Design Foundation is an impact-focused, professionally led, independent body created to make an immediate difference to the South African design industry. The foundation is non-profit and sponsor funded, and is led by an illustrious think tank board of twelve highly respected industry figures enabled to award funding, recognise achievements and act as a conduit between business and design.

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