South Africa’s most creative young design project has just been revealed: the overall winner of the inaugural PPC Imaginarium Awards was announced on 05 March 2015 in Cape Town. The competition announcement took place at the Youngblood Foundation Gallery on Bree St, and the event formed part of the popular First Thursdays initiative.
In its inaugural year, the PPC Imaginarium has sought to establish and unearth unknown creatives across six disciplines (film, industrial design, fashion, jewellery, architecture and sculpture). The competition received a staggering 477 entries from South Africa’s best and brightest designers and artists, who all used concrete as a medium of expression. Winners in six categories were carefully selected and their work showcased at the UJ Gallery in Johannesburg. Thereafter the exhibition, which was curated by Stephen Hobbs, travelled to the Design Indaba Expo in Cape Town where it was put on display for the duration of the event from 27 February 01 March, before opening at Youngblood until 28 March 2015.
The overall winning design – a concrete speaker – comes from the industrial design category. Designers Martin Bolton and Craig Tyndall used acrylic and leather to transform concrete from “being an everyday construction material into a highly aesthetic, functional product with superior audibility.” Their design, named Concrete T L Speaker, has a shape reminiscent of an indigenous African trumpet made from a Kudu horn, which carries the sound toward its audience.
PPC Imaginarium director and architect Daniel van der Merwe commented: “The winning piece is not only an original approach to the functional dictates of a speaker design, but executes it in an uniquely sculptural way. This is a demonstration of the versatility of concrete as product design.”
The awards were judged by a super jury of leading industry lights including architects Mokena Makeka and Profesor Ora Joubert; industrial designers Adriaan Hugo and Katy Taplin of Dokter and Misses; fashion designers David Tlale and Tiaan Nagel; jewellers Verna Jooste and Cari-Mari Wilsenach; artists Dianne Victor, Kay Potts and Ledelle Moe; and filmmakers Wessel van Huysteen and Beathur Mgoza Baker. In the end, the Concrete T L Speaker won the judges over for its elegantly minimal reinterpretation of an African tradition into a contemporary design solution.
Bolton and Tyndall will share the grand prize of R100 000. Furthermore, each category winner received R50 000 while all the runner–ups walked away with R15 000 each. In addition to the monetary prizes, category winners are profiled through maximising exposure of their work and they are supported through mentorship from various thought leaders in their respective industries, such as trend forecaster Dion Chang. These prizes mark the PPC Imaginarium as not only the most rewarding design competition but also, one of the most supportive platforms of emerging design talent in South Africa. PPC Ltd has long been recognised for its ongoing support of South African creativity and is a previous recipient of several BASA awards.
The PPC Imaginarium exhibition will be open to the public from 06 – 28 March 2015 at Youngblood Foundation Gallery, Bree St, Cape Town.
For more information about the PPC Imaginarium Awards visit: www.ppcimaginarium.co.za