News Ticker

Q & A with Clout Designer’s Industry Day Winner, Rene Forbay

Tell us a little about yourself?

I am a Durban-based interior designer with a love for travel and diverse cultures. Growing up in Durban, I was fortunate enough to be constantly exposed to different cultures and people. I also have a passion for history and architecture; I feel that there is so much to be learnt from the past when proceeding into the future.


What are your plans and aspirations for the future?

In the future, I hope to continue to represent South African interior design and inspire people through my work. I particularly enjoy working on hospitality projects and hope to get to a point in my career where I get the opportunity to design interiors and manufacture furniture more frequently within this sector. I also hope to continue designing furniture, create fresh conceptual ideas, and find creative ways for material usage.

Rene Forbay Idea (1)


What impact do you hope to have in the world of design?

I hope to show other young women that this industry can drive women’s success and recognition on a local and international level. I also hope to educate people on what our industry is actually about because there is a misconception that interior designers are responsible for wall colour schemes and rearranging furniture. This is not the case as a large amount of effort is put into each project, from structural, electrical and elevational drawings to three- dimensional renders. Then all of the above must be implemented, with the site project managed to completion.


What was it like to enter the Nando’s Clout designer SA competition?

The presentation was overwhelming; to stand in front of other professionals in the industry and speak on my design concept was nerve-wracking, especially on a platform where Nando’s judges were critiquing my conceptual work. There were so many amazing presentations – I was blown away by the level of creativity we have here in South Africa.

Coming up with a concept and designing according to the scope was something I enjoyed. There are so many design aspects and elements that are associated with the Ndebele culture. I found that this concept in particular was used quite frequently but I still decided to work with it, challenging myself to use aspects of the concept that were not so commonly used (Ndebele jewellery and partners). I was inspired by the jewellery worn by Ndebele women. Using this as my inspiration I was able to design something fresh for my furniture.

Being one of the four finalists has made me aware that my design work can be appreciated on a professional level. It encourages me to keep pushing to the next frontier. I am truly grateful for the opportunity – thank you, Nando’s S.A.

Rene Forbay (1)

Rene’ Forbay