The National Furniture Design Competition is an annual event that promotes local design capabilities and encourages new product design and differentiation in the furniture industry. The Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition (DTIC) organized this year’s competition with the theme “Local is Lekker.” The competition is open to all students studying industrial design.
Tshepiso Motau Wins National Furniture Design Competition
Tshepiso Motau, a final-year Industrial Design student at the University of Johannesburg, won the National Furniture Design Competition. Her winning design was a multifunctional room divider with Ndebele patterns inspired by artist Dr. Esther Mahlangu. Judges chose her design for its unique combination of form and function.
Motau’s Design: Beauty and Flexibility
Motau’s winning design is not only beautiful but also practical. The room divider has shelves that can be assembled and disassembled depending on available space. This feature makes it adaptable to different living spaces, a crucial factor for consumers who value flexibility in their furniture.
Inspiration Behind Motau’s Winning Design
Motau’s inspiration came from her love for Ndebele patterns and her desire to learn about different cultures. Dr. Esther Mahlangu, an internationally acclaimed artist conferred an honorary doctorate by the University of Johannesburg in 2018, inspired her. Motau aimed to create a piece of furniture that tells a story and has meaning to the Ndebele community.
Education and Future Plans
Motau’s success is a testament to the education and training she received at the University of Johannesburg. She plans to complete her Honours Degree in Industrial Design before pursuing a full-time career in furniture design and manufacturing.
Opportunities for Motau
As the furniture design competition winner, Motau will have the opportunity to develop her furniture design skills further. She will join the Furntech Furniture Business Technology Incubator Programme for six months and receive an internship with Homewood Furniture and a laptop from the Lewis Furniture store.
Inspiration for Future Designers
Motau’s success in the competition inspires other students to reach for their dreams and take advantage of the opportunities provided by the University of Johannesburg. She proudly represents UJ and hopes her achievement will encourage others to realize their potential.