The South and MBOISA award winners

The winning entries of the SOUTH and Most Beautiful Object in South Africa awards were announced at the Design Indaba Expo 2009.

The desire to design and share a better future, and empower through technology, reigns supreme in the winning entries of the SOUTH and Most Beautiful Object in South Africa awards.

The R100 000 SOUTH award winner is: Architect Doung Anwar Jahangeer for his Spaza-De-Move-On, a fold-up shop on wheels, conceived to give street hawkers convenience and dignity.

Also sponsored by the SABC, two runners up each received R50 000 and R25 000 respectively. Coming in second was the Cell C Eco Diary by Mariana O’Kelly (creative director), Channel Cartel (designer), Joanne van der Linde (art director), Peet Engelbrecht (copywriter) and Johnny Kotze (illustrator). And third was the Cape Argus “Aids Stats” campaign by Alistair King (executive creative director), Karin Barry and Paige Nick (creative directors), Rachel Brown (art director), and Jabulani Sigege (copywriter).

The three winners of the inaugural SOUTH award were announced on Sunday 1 March in the fashion arena at the Design Indaba Expo. Competition was stiff, with 33 SOUTH award finalists chosen from 163 entries from across the country. This shortlist was compiled by adjudicators Mike Schalit, creative director of Network BBDO; product designer Tsai, known for his multi-award winning Nested Bunkbeds; and Brian Mtongana, known for his “Googlethu” T-shirt and work on the Design Indaba magazine.

However, the final decision was handed over to three external judges: Katsutoshi Ishibashi, editor-in-chief of Axis design magazine in Japan; Keith Helfet, South Africa-born automobile and industrial designer; and Robert Thiemann, co-founder and editor of FRAME and MARK magazines in The Netherlands.

The brainchild of Design Indaba, the SOUTH exhibition, award and documentary is a celebration of the organic emergence of a new creative ethos in South Africa. In recognition of this exciting development, Design Indaba, together with Creative Circle and the Loerie Awards, established the Creative Alliance and founded SOUTH, sponsored by the SABC. The award was open to creatives across all industries.

The votes are in: The Most Beautiful Object in South Africa for 2009 is the Chrysanthemum Centrepiece by Michaella Janse van Vuuren.

“The Chrysanthemum Centrepiece is a reversible design that functions as either a bowl or a candleholder, depending on which side of the design is facing upwards. It reflects my passion for the textures, shapes and patterns found in nature. I especially like to interpret those objects that have a repetitive, mathematically founded pattern,” said Janse van Vuuren.

Made with direct three-dimensional manufacturing methods, such as selective laser sintering (SLS), the intricate Chrysanthemum has certainly challenged South African design to rise to the occasion of technology. Says Janse van Vuuren: “These textures and objects would have been impossible to execute by hand, yet the object still retains the beauty and tactile feel of a natural object.”

The Most Beautiful Object in South Africa (MBOISA) is voted for by the public, via SMS, at the Design Indaba Expo. Throughout the three days of this year’s Design Indaba Expo, people viewed the shortlist of objects on display, and voted for the one they found most beautiful. In a country as diverse as South Africa, choice of this object as winner is significant of the aesthetic milieu of 2009.

Watch the Talk with Keith Helfet