Come 28 October 2021, and for one trailblazing day only, some of South Africa’s brightest young design talents will gather at Johannesburg’s historic Constitution Hill for the Nando’s Design Conference. The conference forms part of the programme for Day One of the three-day Basha Uhuru Creative Uprising Festival, and will feature a combination of workshops, talks, and an exhibition of selected furniture and lighting pieces.
Joburg audiences will be privy to stunning new prototypes of pieces designed by the Nando’s Hot Young Designer Talent Search(HYD) 2020 finalists. These pieces have come to Gauteng after having been exhibited for the very first time as part of Right Here, Right Now!. This South African art and design exhibition was held in June 2021 in Cape Town, and marked the public launch of Clout/SA.
Among the inspiring pieces on show at Constitution Hill will be benches by HYD winner Katlego Tshuma, and fellow finalists Christian Botha, Siviwe Jali, Anele Vezi, as well as a server design by Sipho Twala. Twala’s innovative Gimba server was “inspired by the Swati tradition. When I was designing it, I didn’t want to go for the regular rectangular shape, like a cabinet with four legs and all that, I wanted something more organic, something that flows,” he says.
In addition, HYD finalists Thando Nxelewa and Darren Myburgh will debut brand new pieces that have never been exhibited before. Visitors will also get to see beaded panels created by Qaqambile Studio set into a screen by Dokter and Misses, featuring pattern designs from 2018’s HYD finalists; and award-winning Wiid Studio and Renaissance Studio will be exhibiting two side tables with Glorinah Mabaso’s patterns expressed in mosaic by the artisans of Spier Arts Trust.
The Nando’s Design Conference will also feature opportunities for robust discussion and exchange of ideas and skills through talks. The team from Our Workshop, an innovative programme based at Guga S’thebe in Langa, Cape Town, whose practice is rooted in the understanding of design as a tool for social impact, will run a hands-on workshop on block-printing.
Founded by designer Heath Nash in 2016, Our Workshop is a community-run NPO that puts sustainability at its centre, using methods that leave a light footprint on the environment, as well as upcycling waste materials, as seen from some of their pieces exhibited at Right Here, Right Now!
Nash and one member of the team will be on-site at Constitution Hill to host the workshop. “We’ll introduce the participants to the basics of block printing with a little demonstration. Then, we’ll have a short design session for each person to design a custom stamp/shape which they will later use to make a repeat pattern. Thereafter, they will use their own design to cut foam rubber into a stamp. Finally, we will guide them through the printmaking process and they will each print their own pattern onto their own bag which they will collect once the print ink has dried, this will be theirs to keep,” explains Nash.
All in all, the Nando’s Design Conference offers a sterling opportunity for young designers to expand, grow and shine, and for members of the public to bask in the reflected glow of their brilliance! Don’t miss this upsurge of creativity! Click here for details and the programme.