Meet South Africa’s top young designers of 2022!

In its 14th 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 institutions from across the country enter, leaving the judges to evaluate the cream of the crop. This year’s brief, ‘From Ashes We Rise’, welcomed in an amazing selection of entries. We at Caesarstone are so proud to introduce you to this year’s winners…

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FROM LEFT: Stefan Antoni of SAOTA, Anine Naudé (2nd place winner), Wian van der Merwe (1st place winner), Michele Rhoda of ARRCC, and Nielle Crafford (3rd place winner).

First Place & Best Presentation Award: Wian van der Merwe

The first-place prize for the 2022 SDC was awarded to Wian van der Merwe. He is a student at BHC School of Design, and his lecturers are Jaco Landman and Nica Maree. In the judges’ words, this entry was selected as the winner because it perfectly encapsulated what the brief was about. The award for the best presentation was also given to Wian, who walked away with a R7 500 cash prize.

Stefan Antoni of SAOTA had this to say this about the winning entry: “Overall the graphic is just so clear, and so engaging that you’re drawn to it. You can feel the spaces and magic inside – that’s why it was such a clear winner.”

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Wian van der Merwe is truly a deserving winner of the 2022 SDC. We can say this with the utmost certainty as the judging process is done on an anonymous basis, so Wian bagged first prize and the Best Presentation award completely on merit. Wian and his lecturer will be flown to an international design fair of his choice on an all-expenses paid trip worth R100K where he’ll be exposed to the world’s greatest design minds. 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.

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Wian’s entry: Convergence of a Layered Nation

Second Place: Anine Naudé

A cash prize of R15 000 was awarded to the second-place student, Anine Naudé, from CAD4ALL Institute of Applied Architecture for her outstanding entry that boasted a very strong narrative that was implemented throughout the presentation. “The space was used really well, and we all thought that this is something that’s extremely buildable,” says Michele Rhoda of ARRCC.

Her lecturer is Gené Keet who helped her develop the presentation into a worth second-place spot. This is what Anine had to say about her thoughts on the future of SA design: “A design that is inclusive and which provides the next generation with an opportunity for growth. A design containing contextual awareness, local resources, and the use of local craftsmanship. A design that not only makes use of an alternative knowledge system but a design that creates an opportunity for co- development between nature and mankind.”

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Anine’s Entry: Aequi

Third Place: Nielle Crafford

Third place was awarded to Nielle Crafford from BHC School of Design, who received a R5 000 cash prize. This magnificent entry was selected by the judges because it really summed up the ‘rise from ashes’ theme. “To take something quite disastrous that happened, but then to celebrate it in a beautiful way in the idea of the protea is wonderful,” says Jonathan Anstey of Anstey Architects.

Her lecturers are the multi-talented Jaco Landman and Nica Maree. Nielle had this to say about the future of SA design: “Organic, sustainable, and inclusive to all South Africans. Using strong and raw materials and by bringing nature into design- this also means that design will be authentic and bold. Being energy efficient and mindful with reusable or sustainable materials when designing means that we can design for future generations.”

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Nielle’s entry: Regenerating through Seedlings of Liberty

Watch the video from the Judging Day:

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