We caught up with the Caesarstone Student Designer Winner of 2016, Douw de Kock after his successful trip to Milan Design Week. An all-expenses-paid trip to an overseas design fair is just one of the amazing prizes the competition has to offer…
Growing up on a farm in the Overberg, Douw de Kock grew up building houses with boxes in the forest and building cities in the sand. Design has always been part of his life, with an ongoing desire to create.
Quite the contrast to the environment he grew up with, Cape Town has become home and a place that continues to fuel his love of architecture and design. “I studied Interior Design at BHC School of Design and also completed my BTech in Interior Design at CPUT. Exposure to a different kinds of creativity was really stimulating and I could channel my talents to develop a skill of creating.”
“Design is a necessity really,” he explains, “the reason for creating or designing is usually to solve a problem, otherwise what would be the reason for creating anything. A house, a piece of furniture, technology – they are all designed for a purpose.” For Douw, it comes down to identifying a problem, and then solving it in the simplest or most extravagant way you want. This is the challenge and satisfaction that drives him in design – the fact that you don’t immediately know what the outcome will be, but get to watch the process as the final result unfolds.
Utilising the Caesarstone Student Designer Competition as a platform to showcase his design skill, Douw made a strong name for himself and was awarded the official title as first place Winner of 2016. “The competition provides inspiring briefs that encourage you to think about a certain problem, gather research on the subject and develop a design that is intelligent, intricate and beautiful. Being part of a prestigious design competition like this offers the chance to be recognized by some of the biggest names in the industry.”
“Receiving the prize was an honour, and I knew that it was going change my life in some form or another.” As part of the prize, the winner of the Caesarstone Student Designer Competition is awarded a trip overseas to be exposed to the glorious world of international design. Praised as the Capital of Design, Milan was an obvious choice for Douw as he visited the Salone del Mobile during Milan Design Week 2017. “Staying in the heart of the Brera District with well known names in the South African Architecture and Interior Design industry, the atmosphere could only be described as electric!” Douw also explored parts of France while there – you’ve got to love Europe and the ease of transport!
“Exposure to the level of design and innovation we experienced at the show and in the city, have been unmatched to anything I have experienced before in my life. It is something I would recommend to anyone in the design industry.”
As South Africans though, Douw reckons we have a strong creative force delivering outstanding quality of design, be it interior, architecture, graphic design, furniture or even art. Currently working at an Exhibition Design firm, Douw is exposed to a new level of solving design problems in a fast-paced career. Keeping up with the demands of being able to juggle multiple projects and disciplines at the same time is growing his expertise. We’re keeping an eye on Douw and his promising future in design!
Think you have what it takes to be the Caesarstone Student Designer of 2017? Download the brief here and ensure your submissions are in by 14 September 2017. You can also stay in touch on Facebook or our official website. Watch the highlights from last year here.
The 9 finalists and their lecturers will be flown to Johannesburg or Cape Town to attend an esteemed awards evening where the top 3 places will be announced. The winning student and their lecturer WIN an all-expenses-paid trip to an overseas design fair of their choice, worth R100, 000. The runners up receive R20, 000 and R10, 000 cash prizes respectively. We look forward to hearing from you and Good Luck!