Caesarstone SDC 2023 ‘AMPLIFY’: Top 9 finalists

For 15 years, Caesarstone has been at the forefront of bringing the young design talent of South Africa into the spotlight with the Student Designer Competition (SDC). 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, South Africa.

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SDC 2023 Brief: Amplify

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.

The objective was for the design to be a permanent, shared services structure that acts as a unifying, youth-oriented gathering space and a central welcoming point. As the heartbeat for the new urban sports park, it needs to link the sports facilities in the short term and the potential Olympic Games in 2040.

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SDC 2023 Judging Day: The Winchester Boutique Hotel Cape Town

Judging happened at the beautiful Winchester Boutique Hotel – overlooking the infamous Sea Point promenade and Atlantic Ocean. The incredible panel anonymously judged the high-quality entries from the top South African design institutions and universities. The judges decided on the top 9 finalists for answering the brief and showcasing incredible insight. The final set of entries highlights the talent we have in our student designers – and we are excited to see how they will light the way in South African design.

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SDC 2023 Judging Day Highlights

SDC 2023 top 9 finalists: Insight into the future of SA design

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Cameron Glennistor (University of the Witwatersrand)

“I hope we find an identity by creating spatial quality using moments and thresholds. To strive to design spaces that evoke emotion, fantasy, and memory in connection with that space. To appreciate land quality while still allowing the landscape to thrive. To aim for the architecture to be bold in its pursuit to shape and revolutionise special exploration for the user.”

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Elke Du Toit (BHC School of Design)

“Designers from different industries will come together to create unique styles and compositions. Through these partnerships, an exchange of knowledge will take place that will lead to the growth of not only the design industry but of the designers as well.”

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Jonty Danby (BHC School of Design)

“With trends in traditional, sustainable, and technological design, we have lifted the bar for what was thought possible. These factors are coming together to create a new generation of designers that create innovative and beautiful products to design a better future for South Africa.”

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Marlet van Zijl (Design Time School of Interior Design)

“We will see an increase in innovation and growth. I expect an influx of unique, diverse, and high-quality designs at international standards. I hope we embrace our rich cultures, heritage, and resources even more.”

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Michaela Johnston Forbes (Design Time School of Interior Design)

“South Africa, a diverse nation with vibrant metropolitan cities, thrives as a melting pot of cultures and people. These differences define our identity. I am confident that younger generations will drive positive change, embracing our rich heritage to lead the nation forward.”

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Nakedi Phefadu (University of the Witwatersrand)

“It promises a vibrant fusion of tradition and innovation. Embracing sustainable practices, diverse cultural influences, and cutting-edge technologies, architects are poised to create iconic structures that reflect a rich heritage while addressing contemporary challenges and shaping a dynamic and inclusive built environment.”

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Shaun-Anthony McPhail (BHC School of Design)

“Designers should focus on social impact, amongst other things, addressing local challenges and fostering inclusivity, making South Africa a hub for innovative and socially conscious design. We have a wealth of resources, including traditional craftsmanship. We must support local economies by blending the old with the new to create unique and globally relevant products.”

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Theo Magwira (Nelson Mandela University)

“South Africa’s design journey lies in the essence of harmony and humility. Humility in the future of design is respecting the environment. Harmony is implementing the environment in design. We should regenerate South Africa’s indigenous heirloom for sustainable lifestyles. The essence shall eliminate social and economic barriers in our space.”

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Zac Setzkorn (Nelson Mandela University)

“The delicate tale of South Africa’s rich history lies in the communities built and the changes enforced by nothing other than the future of South African architecture. Architecture which innovatively acknowledges the beauty of the surrounding context and prioritises the hearts of its people is architecture that will be the future of South Africa.”

SDC 2023: The Awards Ceremony

The winner and their lecturer will be sent on an all-expenses-paid trip to an international design fair of their choice, courtesy of Caesarstone to the value of R100 000. The runner-up will receive R15 000, while the second runner-up will receive R5 000. Additionaly, the ‘Best Presentation Award’ is worth R7 500.

Once again, we want to thank every student, lecturer, and institution who understands the importance of such a competition and pushes their students to achieve greatness in design. We eagerly await the announcement of the top 3 in November, and then we eagerly await the 2024 brief.

SDC 2023: The Judges

At Caesarstone, we aspire to design excellence, and we are proud that these design industry heavyweights came together to judge the 2023 Caesarstone SDC entries.

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Rashiq Fataar

Rashiq Fataar is an urban practitioner and Our Future Cities founding director. For over a decade Rashiq Fataar has worked collaboratively with government, businesses, and citizens on projects to shape cities, communities, and spaces to become more future-focused, innovative, and inclusive. OFC is a leading platform for cities, urban sustainability and planning in Africa.

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Stefan Antoni

Stefan Antoni is a director of the multi-award-winning architectural practice called SAOTA, carving a niche for itself locally and internationally with designs that respond dynamically to context and brief.

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Dorothy van’t Riet:

Dorothy van’t Riet is the current CEO of The African Institute of Interior Design Professions (IID) and a former co-opted Executive Board Member of The International Federation of Interior Designers/Architects (IFI), now a Regional Leader.

She is also the founder & creative director of the multi-award-winning Dorothy van’t Riet Design & Décor Consultants, operating locally & internationally. Dorothy has a heartbeat for the continent of Africa. For over 20 years, she has shared her knowledge within interior design education. Besides running her interior design business & projects, Dorothy also offers masterclasses & online lectures in interior design & décor.

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Juliet Kavishe

Juliet Kavishe is the vice president of the International Council of Design (ICoD), a professional interior architect and design educator with a wealth of experience locally and abroad. She is also a board member of the Pan Afrikan Design Institute (PADI), which strives for design excellence and social design responsibility across the African continent.

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Jonathan Anstey

Managing director of Anstey Architects, Jonathan Anstey, has been in the architectural industry for over two decades – designing numerous projects throughout his career, from schools, hospitals and airports to convention centres, housing estates, and game lodges.

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Michele Rhoda

As one of the directors of the award-winning international design firm ARRCC, Michele believes that a strong work ethic and the ability to earn trust with clients is paramount to the company succeeding.



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