South Africa’s Top Young Designer Announced!

In its 12th year, the Caesarstone Student Designer Competition announced the 2019 winner this weekend at a prestigious banquet dinner in Cape Town. With entries flowing in from South Africa’s top design institutions and universities we are proud to announce our country’s most promising Interior and Architectural future designer. From Tshwane University of Technology, Kgothatso John Malange and his lecturer Rene van der Merwe have walked away with an all expenses paid trip to the international design fair of their choice, to the value of R100 000!


Hailing from Alexandra township in Johannesburg, Kgothatso John Malange is a design force to be reckoned with. After four attempts at the brief and sleepless nights, his lecturer Rene tells us that she has never met a more determined student. And his win was based purely on merit with the judges adjudicating on a completely anonymous entry basis. Having never left South Africa, Malange will be flown to the international design fair of his choice on an all expenses paid trip and be exposed to world’s greatest design minds. Announced before South Africa’s acclaimed design industry, his life, as him and his lecturer agree, has been changed forever and there is not a more deserving winner.


This year, the judges agreed that the competition has welcomed in the best and most dynamic design entries since its inception. The brief this year was compiled by Interior Architect Michele Rhoda of ARRCC, and was conceptualised around an actual vacant site at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Students were encouraged to engage with an existing client, Tenebris Lab and design their very first concept store to showcase their range of Virtual Reality software and product offering. 


With a reputation of being passionate about design, original quartz surface manufacturer Caesarstone South Africa announced the top 9 finalists in October, after receiving an influx of entries from design institutions and universities across the country. The final set of entries showcased in the 12th annual awards ceremony once again gave incredible insight into where the future of South African design is headed. Students excelled in honing their acquired design skills to create innovatively designed spaces and carefully curated ideas. The esteemed judges came to the final decision after a full day of judging and deliberation. The 2019 judges were: Stefan Antoni of SAOTA, Jonathan Anstey of Anstey Architect, Dorothy van’t Riet of DVR Interiors, Michele Rhoda of ARRCC and Juliet Kavishe of Inkspired Architects.



The Winner of the Caesarstone Student Designer Award of 2019 was awarded to Kgothatso John Malange. He is a student from Tshwane University of Technology Interior Design Department, and the winning lecturer was Rene van der Merwe. They will both be making their way to the international design fair of their choice. The prize, handsomely valued at R100 000, includes all expenses and hopes to open new doors of creativity and opportunity. In the judges words, this entry was selected as the winner due to its incredible connection to the client’s brand values and product offering, and its dynamic execution of the brief. 


A cash prize of R15 000 was awarded to 1st runner up, Frida Saxin Mansson from BHC Design School, with lecturer Donna Wills. The 2nd runner up position was awarded to Katlego Ramaloko also from Tshwane University of Technology, who received a R5 000 cash prize. This entry was selected by the judges due to the way the student engaged with the brief and their ideas of sustainability. The award for the best presentation was also awarded to Kgothatso John Malange, walking away with a R7 500 cash prize.


On witnessing the level of excellence amongst the finalist, Gerard Slee of Tenebris Lab announced a bonus prize, of a one year licencing contract to the top 3 students of their Lux Walker (above) system as well as the development of the winning entry into their 3D software which will get global recognition.


“It is so very encouraging to see this initiative grow and fulfill the purpose it was designed for, which is to contribute to the development of design excellence in our country. For us at Caesarstone, good design is paramount – it solves problems, addresses inadequacies, provides solutions and creates harmonious beauty in the world humans live in and we are not just proud to be playing a part in the creative melting pot of great design in South Africa, but we consider it our duty.” commented Trevor King, Marketing Director of Caesarstone. 


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