In an exciting initiative led by Clout/SA and supported by Nando’s, three rising local designers have creatively reimagined the Old Fort Meeting Rooms and Coffee Shop at the historic Constitution Hill in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. This recently completed interior design project introduces a vibrant local-led aesthetic to the heritage precinct, thereby enriching its many-layered past and priming it for the future.
From the 27th of October to the 1st of November, Clout/SA took a capsule collection from the Right Here, Right Now! exhibition which debuted in Cape Town in June 2021, to Johannesburg audiences during the Basha Uhuru Creative Uprising youth festival. Alongside the exhibition, we hosted a panel discussion during the festival’s Ideation Nation design conference. Tracy Lee Lynch, the creative director of Clout/SA and the Nando’s Design Programme, as well as Clout/SA’s content editor Malibongwe Tyilo, sat in conversation with three of the Nando’s HYD finalists, Katlego Tshuma, Sipho Twala and Thando Nxelewa. They discussed among other things, the thinking behind their designs, the value of collaboration, lessons from working with more established designers through the Nando’s Design Programme, as well as challenges that face the manufacturing sector. We’ve put together some highlights from the 80 minute long discussion. Watch below for some insights from Lynch and the emerging designers.
June 2021 marked yet another milestone for Clout/SA. In partnership with House Union Block in Cape Town, Clout/SA hosted Right Here Right Now, an expansive exhibition that served as window to some of the best contemporary South African design, curated by Tracy Lynch, creative director of both Clout/SA and the Nando’s Design Programme.
“There’s what we imagine, there’s what we understand, and there’s what we execute,” says Katlego Tshuma, the 2020 winner of the Nando’s Hot Young Designer talent search. His Sangu Bench concept which won him the top spot was inspired by the ubiquity of the grass mat among several traditional African cultures, where it is used to sit, sleep, and even as a screen. “I realised that I’d have to take grass mats into 2020, in a contemporary way. So I was like…how do I take this concept of grass and put it into a bench, and that is what the Sangu Bench is about,” he explains.
Since winning the competition, he has expanded on the initial Sangu concept to design several pieces that make up the collection. The first of piece has been brought to life in collaboration with Adriaan Hugo, the designer and co-founder of the award-winning design studio, Dokter and Misses. Watch the video above to see the process, the final bench, and to hear Tshuma share some lessons from his experience.
We interviewed the top ten finalists of the Nando’s Hot Young Designer Talent Search Competition (Nando’s HYD 2020) ‘The Benchmark’. Here are their views on design, social distancing and the impact of the career-launching competition.
Towards Milan Design Week 2021: In August 2019, at the 100% Design South Africa showcase, we hosted our inaugural Clout Industry Days powered by Nando’s, where both emerging and established designers across several disciplines, textile, lighting and furniture, were invited to pitch their ideas to a panel of industry experts and the Nando’s design team. Emerging designer Khosi Leteba’s Bodulo collection was one of the winning pitches. And now, through a collaboration with the award winning Wiid Design studio, his designs have been brought to life in preparation for Milan Design Week 2021. Included in the showcase are other collaborations between the other winning ideas from Clout Industry Days pitch session, as well as collaborations to bring winning patterns from Nando’s Hot Young Designer Talent Search 2018 to life.
Ahead of the announcement of the winner of the Nando’s Hot Young Designer Talent Search 2018, we caught up with Nando’s co-founder Robbie Brozin, to find out what motivated Nando’s, a global chicken restaurant chain, to become champions of South African design through initiatives like the Nando’s Hot Young Designer Talent Search.
When South African designer Thabiso Mjo received an invitation to exhibit in Milan during Milan Design Week in 2019, she reached out to Nando’s Design Programme creative director Tracy Lee Lynch. With Lynch’s guidance, sponsorship from Nando’s, and collaboration with fellow South African designers, she curated a one-of-a-kind installation showcasing some of the best design South Africa has to offer. We caught up with her before she headed off to Milan to chat about the installation, as well as the power of collaboration.
Based in Cape Town, Naturalis is much more than a chair manufacture factory, it has grown to become a family of nearly 40 people, some of whom come from challenging backgrounds, including those who have done prison time. We chat to Naturalis founder Sandalene Dale-Roberts and her team about how creating and manufacturing chairs has given the Naturalis team purpose, and had a transformative effect on their lives and families.