Pretoria – Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies will this week address finalists and stakeholders at the second National Furniture Design Competition.
The Minister will address those participating in the second annual competition taking place at the Design Indaba Expo in Cape Town, on Thursday.
“The competition will also benefit the industry and influence products manufactured locally to promote industrial growth and the use of local inputs such as wood and textiles in the furniture manufacturing sector,” said Minister Davies in a statement on Monday.
The expo is part of the Department of Trade and Industry’s initiatives to encourage participation in the furniture industry and to promote design skills in the industry.
The dti established the Furniture Strategy and Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) to address the shortage of high-level skills and modern innovative designs in the furniture industry.
Minister Davies said the competition seeks to provide seating and waiting solutions for public spaces and government institutions such as airports, health institutions, municipalities and other government entities that interact with the public in one way or the other.
“Furniture design can play a significant role in the industry’s development and beneficiation of raw materials. It is thus possible to position the local industry as the producer of high-value niche furniture products that are globally competitive,” he said.
The finalists in the design student category are Natalie Celliers and Julia Mackintosh from Greenside Design Center College, Kasha Botha, Ayasanga Mendu, Desree Lukhele from Tshwane University of Technology, and Ivan Brown from the University of Johannesburg.
Meanwhile, the finalists in the established designer’s category are Modular Seating, Minma, Curiosity, StudioMIC, Creation Alive, Michael Forst and Gradjevinar.
The National Furniture Design Competition is coordinated by the dti in partnership with the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) Design Institute, Industrial Development Co-operation (IDC), Furntech and two companies from the private sector, Bidvest Seating and Mecad.
The competition was opened to both established and student designers.