AMPLIFY: SDC 2023 Awards Ceremony

The Caesarstone Student Designer Competition (SDC) 2023 culminated in the highly-anticipated awards ceremony held at Battery Park, V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. From skateboarders and DJs playing fresh beats to experiential eating and an amplified sense of fun with Lazola Gola as our MC, guests were treated to an incredible day out. Of course, Cape Town was showing off with its majestic landscape and 360-degree views! 

From left to right: Second place winner, Marlet van Zijl from Design Time; first place winner, Theo Magwira from NMU; third place winner, Nakedi Phefadu from Wits.

SDC 2023 brought an amplified sense of fun to the Mother City!

Bringing the top student designers in South Africa to the forefront of the industry

Attended by our country’s leading industry experts, guests were treated to a beautiful day out in the sun with DJ Kixi and DJ Ready-D keeping the vibe festive and fun. The brief’s theme of ‘Amplify’ was sewn through every detail of the day from oversized spoons to dish up the food to the quintessential Cape Town Gatsby strutting its stuff with an abundance of exciting flavours. The dynamic team at Studio H created a fun, interactive, and fresh event that left everyone wanting more!

Guests were treated to incredible food courtesy of Seven Colours Eatery – and stayed hydrated on a hot day with drinks from Tolokazi Beer, Lady Bloom Gin, and HER Wines.

SDC 2023 Brief: Amplify

The SDC 2023 brief, titled Amplify, was created by Rashiq Fataar, an urban practitioner and founding director of Our Future Cities, an urbanism organisation and consultancy based in Cape Town. At its core, Amplify set out to build a sustainable, inclusive legacy for future generations. While bearing this in mind, students also needed to design a space to strengthen the bid for hosting the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2040.

In essence, Cape Town 2040 and Our Future Cities invited the entrants to create a conceptual and functional design for a sports centre in Nantes Park, Athlone. Our illustrious judging panel came together again for this year’s SDC: Rashiq Fataar or Our Future Cities, Stefan Antoni of SAOTA, Dorothy van’t Riet of Dorothy van’t Riet Design & Décor Consultants, Juliet Kavishe of ICoD, Jonathan Anstey of Anstey Architects, and Michele Rhoda of ARRCC.

From left to right: Rashiq Fataar (Our Future Cities), Dorothy van’t Riet (DVR Design & Decor Consultants), Jonathan Anstey (Anstey Architects); Stefan Antoni (SAOTA), Michele Rhoda (ARRCC), and Juliet Kavishe (ICoD).

Our judges definitely know how to enjoy themselves at these events – bringing a revived sense of energy every year!

And the award goes to…

In its 15th year, the Caesarstone Student Designer Competition has become renowned for identifying South Africa’s most courageous young designers – and this year was no different. Design and architecture institutions from across the country entered, leaving the judges to evaluate the cream of the crop.

Best Presentation: Zac Setzkorn (NMU)

The ‘best presentation’ award goes to the student who the judges feel best presented their idea in a way that clearly reflected their journey with the brief. Zac Setzkorn from Nelson Mandela University in Gqeberha took home this award, along with a R7.5K cash prize. His lecturers are Clayton Johnson-Goddard and Barry Bradley.

LEFT: Megan Noel (Head of Marketing at Caesarstone), Zac Setzkorn (NMU), and Rashiq Fataar (Our Future Cities). RIGHT: Zac celebrates his win with fellow classmate, Theo Magwira.

3rd Place: Nakedi Phefadu (Wits)

Starting off the top 3 was Nakedi Phefadu from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Nakedi was the winner of a R5K cash prize as his striking presentation was one to be remembered. His lecturer, Sandra Felix accompanied him and couldn’t be prouder of this achievement.

LEFT: Wits Lecturer, Sandra Felix, celebrates with third-place winner, Nakedi Phefadu. RIGHT: Megan Noel (Head of Marketing at Caesarstone), Nakedi Phefadu (Wits), and Rashiq Fataar (Our Future Cities).

Second Place: Marlet van Zijl (Design Time)

Coming in 2nd place, and winning herself a cash prize of R15K, was Marlet van Zijl from Design Time School of Interior Design in Cape Town. Her lecturer is Anel Joubert who helped her develop the presentation into a worthy second-place spot.

LEFT: Megan Noel (Head of Marketing at Caesarstone), Marlet van Zijl (Design Time), and Rashiq Fataar (Our Future Cities). RIGHT: Marlet is all smiles when she was announced as the second-place winner.

And the winner is…Theo Magwira (NMU)!

The first-place prize for the SDC 2023 was awarded to Theo Magwira. His lecturers are Clayton Johnson-Goddard and Barry Bradley at Nelson Mandela University in Gqeberha. He wins the opportunity for himself and his chosen lecturer to travel to an international design fair of their choice, worth R100K!

Theo Magwira has won himself and his lecturer the chance to go to an international design fair of their choice – where in the world will they go? Only time will tell!

Watch more about how the judges chose the top 9 finalists on Judging Day:



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