Now in its third iteration, the much-awaited Nando’s Hot Young Designer Talent Search (HYD) has extended its entry deadline until 17h00 on Tuesday 11 August 2020. The popular competition aims to unearth fresh new designs and launch the careers of local emerging creatives. For the 2020 edition, young designers have been tasked with coming up with a bench concept that responds to the times. Finalists will be contacted by Saturday 15 August 2020 and the winner of this year’s HYD competition will be announced no later than 31 September 2020.
In the pre-COVID-19 era, Nando’s would have promoted its HYD initiative extensively at the annual Basha Uhuru Freedom Festival, which is also Fired Up by Nando’s. Last year, this event ran from 26-29 June 2019 at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg, but this year, due to Coronavirus health and safety regulations, the festival will now launch mid-August 2020 and run during September and October 2020, culminating in the main event, taking place from 07-10 November 2020.
This has had a knock-on effect on the original promotional plans for HYD and as a result the Nando’s Design Programme team has made the decision to extend the entry deadline in order to explore all other available means of letting young creatives know about the competition. “Because our aim is to unearth and support new emerging talent,” says Nando’s Creative Director Tracy Lynch, “we’d really like as many young designers to know about this opportunity as possible.”
Past editions of this supportive competition have called for lighting solutions and pattern designs and have helped propel their respective winners into the spotlight. The inaugural HYD, launched in 2015, was won by both Sam Foaden and Thabisa Mjo of Mash.T Designs. Mjo’s now-iconic Tutu 2.0 pendant fitting, has since made its way into the South African design hall of fame. The Tutu 2.0 was named Most Beautiful Object in South Africa at the 2018 Design Indaba and Mjo was jointly declared Designer of the Year at 100% Design South Africa 2019, alongside Mpho Vackier. Similarly, in 2018, graphic designer and illustrator Agrippa Mncedisi Hlophe scooped first prize at the second edition of the HYD thanks to a vibrant, flowing graphic design treatment that has found its way onto a range of surfaces in the interiors of Nando’s restaurants around the world.
The 2020 edition of the competition sets a new benchmark by asking young creatives to respond sensitively to a seating solution in the time of social distancing. The COVID-19 pandemic has left much of the world with no choice but to maintain self-isolation – a momentous shift which will undoubtedly leave its mark on society. Once global lockdowns have entirely lifted, it is likely that a level of social distancing will remain, even if temporarily…
Which in turn, impacts on how restaurants will cater to customers in terms of spatial design, layout and furniture. Every Nando’s Casa currently has a waiting bench for take-away patrons to sit on while their orders are fulfilled. Nando’s is asking the important question: “Could a bench adapt its current form to allow for social distancing?” The 2020 talent search is calling on aspiring furniture designers to imagine the future by designing a show-stopping bench that is true to the times.
Prospective entrants should consider how this bench could be easily adapted once the pandemic subsides and we can safely sit together once again. Importantly, the proposed bench design should serve as a reminder of the resilience of the African spirit, and a celebration of Southern Africa’s ever-evolving and eclectic design aesthetic.
Up-and-coming talents should not miss this career-launching opportunity to see their vision come alive. The winning entry will be developed into a prototype and then a final piece will be commissioned for a Nando’s restaurant interior. The prototyping and final bench cost will be sponsored by Nando’s, the end goal is to include the new bench design on The Portal to Africa, the Nando’s online buying platform.
To enter, visit https://clout-sadesign.co.za/ for the online entry form and entry details.
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