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Gorgeous views, beautiful decor and social media printing were ready to welcome guests of The Venue in Sandton.
Gorgeous views, beautiful decor and a social media instant photo printing machine were ready to welcome guests of The Venue in Sandton.

 

The ‘Oscars’ of the student design world, the Caesarstone Student Designer 2016 awards saw Douw De Kock of Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s interior design department take the coveted title last week.

Douw De Kock was the winning student who took the title of Caesarstone Student Designer of 2016 and the prize of a trip to an overseas design fair of his choice, to share with his lecturer, Colleen Cocotos, valued at R100,000.
Douw De Kock was the winning student who took the title of Caesarstone Student Designer of 2016 and the prize of a trip to an overseas design fair of his choice, to share with his lecturer, Colleen Cocotos, valued at R100,000.

 

The 27-year-old has been studying part-time, while working for an exhibitions company in Cape Town.  In his acceptance speech, Douw said he was thankful to his lecturer, Colleen Cocotos, for her oversight and for encouraging him to enter the competition.

Caesarstone marketing director, Trevor King, CPUT lecturer, Colleen Cocotos, winning student, Douw De Kock and competition judge and brief conceptualiser, Dorothy van't Riet
Caesarstone marketing director, Trevor King, CPUT lecturer, Colleen Cocotos, winning student, Douw De Kock and competition judge and brief conceptualiser, Dorothy van’t Riet.

 

Dorothy van't Riet congratulates CPUT lecturer, Colleen Cocotos, on her student's win.
Dorothy van’t Riet congratulates CPUT lecturer, Colleen Cocotos, on her student’s win.

 

“The talent displayed at this year’s competition was exceptional and I am so humbled to be associated with these incredible designers. Thank you to Caesarstone for hosting this initiative and giving us the chance to showcase our talents. To the incredible judges: thank you for all your effort and recognising the potential that we have within us. This competition has granted me the opportunity to see the world and I cannot be more grateful,” adds Douw.

Douw and Colleen will be sent on an all-expenses-paid trip to an international design fair of their choice worth R100,000, courtesy of Caesarstone.  Caesarstone awards the prize to both the student and the lecturer in recognition of the mentoring that takes place to help students develop their design skills.

All 9 finalists, Dorothy van't Riet and her husband and MC Danilo Acquisto pose for official photographs on front of the Caesarstone photo wall.
Some of the finalists (some with their lecturers), and VIPs pose for official photographs in front of the Caesarstone photo wall.

 

Colleen played mentor to 5 of the 9 finalists and particularly enjoyed the substantial brief (conceptualised by long-time competition judge, Dorothy van’t Riet).  “Global climate change will adversely affect agricultural production in the future, it is therefore crucial that education and incubation is addressed within this sector. The brief challenged our students, yet allowed them to engage in meaningful research. I am incredibly proud of their achievements,” says Colleen.

The finalists' designs were on display at the awards evening, where guests could interact with each student and find out more about the thinking behind each concept.
The finalists’ designs were on display at the awards evening, where guests could interact with each student and find out more about the thinking behind each concept.

 

Judge, Jonathan Anstey, interacts with 3rd place winner, Kasha Botha before the awards to find out more about her concept.
Competition judge, Jonathan Anstey, interacts with 3rd place winner, Kasha Botha before the awards to find out more about her concept.
Jeandre Touwa explains to one of the guests about his design concept.
Student finalist, Jeandre Toua, explains to one of the guests about his design concept.

 

Dorothy van't Riet explains the background of her brief to guests, Derick Terblanche and Andrew Dua.
Dorothy van’t Riet explains the background of her brief concept to guests, Derick Terblanche and Andrew Dua.

 

The brief required students to incorporate Caesarstone surfaces into their design concepts.  “We’re so conscious of investing in design students’ development and growth, because we truly believe that excellence in design is what shapes cultures, individuals’ lives and even economies.  We feel privileged to be working with such a high calibre of designer-judges and South Africa’s top design institutions, who are helping to shape South Africa’s future,” says Caesarstone’s marketing director, Trevor King.

Second place winner, Erik van Renssen greets Dorothy van't Riet as he accepts his award on stage.
Second place winner, Erik van Renssen greets Dorothy van’t Riet as he accepts his award on stage.

 

Kasha Botha took 3rd place in the competition.
Kasha Botha took 3rd place in the competition.

 

The judges’ choice for second place went to Erik van Renssen, also from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology under Colleen Cocotos, who won a R10,000 cash prize.  Third place, and the R5,000 cash prize, was awarded to Kasha Botha – an interior design student from Tshwane University of Technology, lectured by Jolene Kotze.

The Caesarstone team poses for a photograph with MC Danilo Acquisto and Media Village director, Bianca Schmitz.
The Caesarstone team poses for a photograph as the festivities begin with MC, Danilo Acquisto, and Media Village producer-director, Bianca Schmitz.

 

Architecture and interior design departments from universities, colleges and design institutions around South Africa are invited to submit their top 5 entries for adjudication in the competition, leaving the judges to evaluate only the cream of the crop.  The Caesarstone Student Designer competition has become renowned for creating job offers for the winners and finalists before they have even graduated.

Marketing director for Easylife Kitchens, John Dammerman, CEO of International Slab Sales, Rudi Eggers, TV personality and MC, Danilo Acquisto and Caesarstone Marketing Director, Trevor King.
Marketing Director for Easylife Kitchens, John Dammermann, CEO of International Slab Sales, Rudi Eggers, TV personality and MC, Danilo Acquisto and Caesarstone Marketing Director, Trevor King.

 

“Thank you to Caesarstone for investing in students like this,” says Dorothy van’t Riet.  “After many years of being involved in the competition, I’ve seen it become a gateway to the ‘real world’ of design and a springboard to establishing a flourishing career for many finalists,” she adds.

Kasha Botha (3rd place), Douw De Kock (1st place) and Erik van Renssen (2nd place) pose for the winners' photo.
Kasha Botha (3rd place), Douw De Kock (1st place) and Erik van Renssen (2nd place) pose for the winners’ photo.

 

View the official competition highlights video now!

To download the Caesarstone Student Designer 2017 brief, conceptualised by Mphethi Morojele, click here.

To view the full photo album of the Caesarstone Student Designer 2016 Awards and party, visit the Caesarstone South Africa Facebook page.

Contact the competition administrator at marketing(at)interslab.co.za for more information.

 

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