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Talented Design Students Heading for Design Indaba Expo

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Turning generated ideas into reality by means of an artistic approach comes naturally to the four DUT students who were selected to showcase their work at the Design Indaba Expo that will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from Friday, 27 February 2015.

Two students were chosen from the University’s 2014 Graphic Design Programme which enables students to develop creative approaches to solving graphic communication problems. The other two students are from the Interior Design programme which relates to the world of changing trends.

These students were hand-picked from more than 270 entries this year (2015) to be part of the prestigious design indaba. They are Thulisizwe Sizwe Mamba, first year student in the Graphic Design Graphic Programme; Camilla Kruger, fourth year student in the Graphic Design Graphic Programme; Buzwe Nxasana, fourth year student in the Interior Design Programme and Megan Parker, a fourth year student in the Interior Design Programme. All four are excited to be given the opportunity to showcase their work at the 2015 Design Indaba Expo.

The Design Indaba Expo is a showcase that features some of the nation’s top local exhibitors. The three-day long expo gives candidates from the emerging creatives programme, an initiative that provides exceptionally talented young individuals the opportunity to break into the industry, a platform to introduce their work to international buyers.

Parker was ecstatic upon hearing the news of her selection. “I'm really excited about being selected. This is both a new achievement and adventure for me,” she said. Parker will be given a space allocation of 2m2 at the design indaba. “My stand design will follow my BTech research theme on Sensory Design: Encouraging student-centered learning in university libraries. I will be showcasing my work on my project and how important it is to design with the full spectrum of human senses in mind,” she added.

Parker is no stranger to competitions, having also been given the platform to participate in the 2014 Falling Walls Lab held in Johannesburg. “Falling Walls is part of an international conference held in Berlin (Germany) based on future break-throughs in science and society. I was thrilled to be one of 20 researchers selected in Africa to discuss my research breakthrough,” she said, adding that the support she had received from both her supervisor and colleagues at DUT contributed immensely toward shaping her as a designer and person. “The learning environment was stimulating and I always felt motivated to push my boundaries and standards to the limit,” she said.

She advises future students embarking on such a course at DUT to love what they do. "You must have passion, pour it into everything. If you're truly passionate about what you do or what you study, no matter how tough things get you will always be motivated to get through it,” she said.

Nxasana, who is also over the moon about his selection said the indaba would be of great value for his resume. “I will be exhibiting my furniture called the F-Table. This design is categorised by simple clean lines, raw timber meets refined metal. My stand is very much inspired by the natural scenery and the industrial theme,” he said. Nxasana also emphasised that DUT sets very high standards in terms of designers and would not be who he is without role models such as his lecturer Michelle Hankinson and uncle, Simphiwe Mbhele, for their words of encouragement. His advice to future interior design students is to take advantage of the opportunities available to them. “Be brave, focus and enjoy. It’s just a matter of focus, drive and consistency,” he said.

Head of Department: Visual Communication Design, Ernest van der Merwe, said he was excited when the four students were chosen to be part of the design indaba, adding that the students were selected through their hard work and talent, and with the support of dedicated DUT staff.

- Waheeda Peters

Pictured: Buzwe Nxasana and Megan Parker are ecstatic to showcase their work at the Design Indaba Expo in Cape Town later this month. Also pictured are their design projects. The F-Table furniture range was designed by Nxasana while Parker designed the plan for proposed refurbishment of the DUT City Campus Library.