decor, lighting

Let Young Design Shine


RIGHT Samantha Foaden's 'Buhle Bulb' LEFT Thabiso Mjo's 'Tutu 2.0'

Two young designers share the Nando's Hot Young Designer title this year after revealing their outstanding lighting designs.

The designs of Thabiso Mjo, a 28-year-old interior designer in Joburg, and Samantha Foaden, a 23-year-old interior designer in Durban, were selected from a total of 260 entries and seven finalists.

Finalists were required to create prototypes of their concepts and were each supported by mentors in the design industry. The final light prototypes revealed for the first time at Design Indaba 2016 in Cape Town.

Thabisa Mjo’s design dubbed 'Tutu 2.0' light was inspired by her love of tutus and her own partner who is Tsonga.

'While learning aout his culture I came across the Xibelani skirt, which Tsonga women wear to celebrate their culture. The skirt reminded me of a tutu. If Africans had designed tutus they’d look like Xibelani, hence the name Tutu 2.0,' she explains.

The light's shade is handcrafted and woven by local craftsmen and women.

Samantha Foaden calls her winning lighting design 'proudly South Africa.' Dubbed 'Buhle Bulb', it is a minimalist design inspired by a variety of textural references taken straight from South Africa’s many cultures.

Both winners already have 50 orders for their lights each which will be used in Nando's restaurants worldwide, general support from the brand and a free design and trade mark application for their winning light from top intellectual property law practice Adams and Adams.