The five finalists in the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition's (DTIC's) national Furniture Design Competition designed affordable, modular, multipurpose and functional furniture, Deputy Minister Nomalungelo Gina says.
She points out that the competition is aimed at nurturing design capabilities in the country.
It also plays an important role in encouraging participation in the furniture industry, promoting the use of design to respond to changing living space and using locally manufactured inputs, she adds.
“The competition is part of our efforts to raise and nurture design capabilities in the country, raise the image of the furniture manufacturing industry and grow the industry’s competitiveness by encouraging new product design and differentiation.”
The furniture industry is an important sector in the South African economy because it has a potential to contribute to the reduction of unemployment, increased exports and the development of small, medium-sized and microenterprises.
The contestants’ brief was to design furniture for four young newly-employed people renting a modest apartment. With minimal budget, the designers were required to design a range of modular, multipurpose and functional furniture.
The DTIC is presenting the competition in partnership with Proudly South Africa, the South African Furniture Initiative, Coricraft Furniture, Mecad Solidworks, Furntech Centre of Excellence, Lewis Stores, the African Institute of Interior Designers and Tsogo Sun Hotels.
The winners will be announced on March 10, as part of the Buy Local Summit and Exhibition.
Prizes include a one-year internship in the furniture industry and a six-month Furniture Design Incubation Programme by Furntech for the Student, and a one-year Proudly South African membership, one-year Institute of the Interior Design Professions membership and an opportunity to participate and exhibit at selected platforms for the manufacturer.