Design industry heavyweights will come together in September to adjudicate the Caesarstone Student Designer competition. Stefan Antoni of SAOTA, Jonathan Anstey of Anstey Steynberg, Dorothy van’t Riet of DVR Design & Décor Consultants, Mphethi Morojele of MMA Architects and Stephen Falcke of Stephen Falcke Interior Design will be headlining this year’s competition.
Caesarstone’s marketing director, Trevor King, says the quality and diversity of the judging panel is what gives the competition legitimacy. “We look for the industry’s top professionals to join the judging panel, because they’re perfectly positioned to identify the raw talent they are looking for in future employees and business partners,” he says. “In the words of actor-producer Kevin Spacey, the competition is also a great way for these top industry professionals to ‘send the elevator back down’”.
Drawing from South Africa’s top universities and design colleges, the competition identifies the country’s up-and-coming architecture and interior design talent. Students are given a brief conceptualized by one of the judges, but each lecturer submits only the top five entries from their institution. This allows the judges to adjudicate designs from the country’s cream of the crop.
The 2016 brief conceptualizer, Dorothy van’t Riet, says she believes that this year’s brief will take students to another level of design, “The brief addresses agriculture and unemployment in South Africa, taking students to a place where their thinking will be challenged. The brief also looks at real solutions to real problems: students can be part of the solution by thinking and creating!”.
One of the competition’s original founding judges, Jonathan Anstey, encourages students to participate, “If you’re an architecture or interior design student, this is certainly the premier event to be taking part in, and the reason is, this is the best of the best in South Africa”.
His third year on the panel, Stefan Antoni recognises the opportunities that the competition provides. “As a student, this is a great way to get your work out there, to get exposed and the make waves in the architectural world,” he says.
According to King, “The Caesarstone Student Designer competition has a reputation for creating near-immediate job offers for winning students, as industry professionals recognise the competition as the ideal talent pool from which to pick new designers”.
Entries to the competition close on 15 September 2016, with the awards ceremony in Johannesburg taking place on 6 October.