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.
…There was a metallurgical engineer who followed her heart and became a designer. She formed her own company, TheUrbanative, with the aim of telling African stories through modern furniture and product design, and within three years became SA’s Designer of the Year. Meet the heroine of this story, Mpho Vackier
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.
Currently preparing for its third iteration, the Nando’s Hot Young Designer Talent Search continues to reveal a wealth of fresh local creative talent. The 2018 competition — in which designers were asked to submit a pattern with a forward-thinking South African aesthetic — was flooded with entries.
When Nando’s put out a call for pattern design entries for the 2018 edition of the annual Nando’s Hot Young Designer Talent Search, hundreds of talented young South Africans sent in entries that told amazing stories, inspired by various uniquely African narratives. Meet the 10 finalists in the clip above and hear from the panel of judges.