From Ashes We Rise: 2022 SDC Awards Ceremony

The ‘Oscars’ of the student design world, the 2022 Caesarstone Student Designer Competition (SDC) culminated in the exclusive awards ceremony held recently, which saw Wian van der Merwe from BHC School of Design achieve ‘winner’ status – earning himself and his lecturer a trip to an international design fair of their choice, worth R100K.

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With live artists in action, the awards evening treated guests to an out-of-this-world experiential event. The team at Studio H brought the ‘From Ashes We Rise’ theme to life with ash-dusted starters, smoked mains, and an interactive dessert. Guest speaker Chris Reid brought to light the latest trends to look out for. Not to forget, we spent the rest of the evening celebrating the 2022 finalists and winners!

This year’s brief was conceptualised by Mokena Mokeka, multi-award-winning architect, and founder of Designworks, and is titled ‘From Ashes We Rise’. It’s based around the re-imagining and rebuilding of the home of South African Democracy, the National Assembly. “The focus of this year’s brief was not only to rebuild that space – but also to regenerate it. The National Assembly is where democracy can thrive and there’s an avenue for change to happen,” says Megan Noel, Head of Marketing at Caesarstone.

Students were encouraged to be bold in their designs and re-imagine a new National Assembly in its entirety. They needed to decide on the exterior and interior design language – considering what this meant for the future of South Africa design. Their entries needed to reflect the traditions and symbolism of South Africa’s heritage – while showing off their unique design aesthetics and talents.

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With a well-known reputation of being passionate about furthering young design talent, Caesarstone South Africa announced the top 9 finalists in October, after receiving an incredible calibre of entries from design institutions and universities around the country. Our illustrious judging panel came together again for this year’s SDC, and we loved having them at the awards ceremony, they are Stefan Antoni of SAOTA, Dorothy van’t Riet of Dorothy van’t Riet Design & Décor Consultants, Juliet Kavishe of IID, Jonathan Anstey of Anstey Architects, and Michele Rhoda of ARRCC.

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The final set of entries showcased in the 14th annual awards once again highlight the amazing talent we have in our student designers who will light the way in South African design. 1st place and ‘Best Presentation’ was awarded to Wian van der Merwe (BHC School of Design); 2nd place to Anine Naudé (CAD4ALL Institute of Applied Architecture); and 3rd place went to Nielle Crafford (BHC School of Design).

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“The future of South African design is a growing collaboration of the creative minds across various industries. All fields of design breeds unique ideologies and interpretations of the creative journey. Small, emerging, and well-known designers offering their brilliant minds in a shared space will result in a unified nation, strengthened by design,” says Wian on the future of SA design.

Watch the Video from the Judging Day:

Some Highlights from the Awards Ceremony:

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