News and Trends, Win

Cobra judge Q+A

The exciting 2013 Cobra Design Competition is now underway, and is open to any interested aspiring bathroomware designers. With some truly amazing prizes up for grabs, as well as a prestigious industry title, and the opportunity of having your creations on show at Cobra outlets across the country, this is a design competition that could instantly boost your career. House and Leisure chatted to one of the judges, Cobra Business Unit Manager, Ronelle Badenhorst, for some first-hand insights into the judging process and the ins and outs of the competition... Firstly, can you tell us more about the theme of the competition? The theme of the Cobra design competition - ‘Taps and mixers: the flagships of many bathrooms’ - is befitting as many bathrooms take shape around the sanitaryware, taps and mixers that are installed within. As bathrooms are predominantly seen as functional areas it is through the use of innovative and stylish taps and mixers that we can quickly change the look and feel of the space as well as add our own personal touch. Who can take part in this competition? South African citizens from all walks of life are welcome to enter the competition. We would indeed welcome entries from anyone with an interest in design or even those who have a splendid idea but can’t necessarily design it (you can enter drawings, sketches and even a handmade model will do!) What are the different categories? We have two distinct categories for entries. The first being the Student category which is for full-time students at all tertiary design institutions (universities, colleges, design centres and schools of design) in South Africa. The second category is the Individual / Professional category which is for any emerging professional designers or aspirant designers working in other fields who wish to break into the design industry. The objective is to design a cutting-edge tap or mixer - what are the main judging criteria?
  • Innovation and uniqueness of design and materials used
  • Fit for purpose (does it meet its basic operating principals by definition?)
  • Marketing potential
  • The extent to which the design is aesthetically pleasing
  • Compliance with the applicable SANS standards
  • Manufacturability of the design
  • Promotion of water efficiency
How much of a role does eco-conscious design play in selecting the winning taps or mixers? As the promotion of water efficiency is a judging criterion we will definitely be on the lookout for designs that support this feature. Other factors when designing an eco-conscious product, such as the choice of materials used and the aesthetics associated, will also play a role in judging. Who else will be on the judging panel this year and what do they each bring to the table? The judges consist of a panel of experts, selected on the basis of their experience and expertise in the plumbing, manufacturing and design fields. Besides myself, the following individuals are dedicating their time to this competition:
  • Marcia Margolius, Editor of SA Décor & Design
  • Naomi Larkin, Editor of House & Leisure
  • Rory MacNamara from Plumbing Africa
  • Greg Scott, owner of Wright Stuff Architects
  • Natie van der Westhuizen, Director of Marketing from Cobra Watertech
Where will the winning designs end up? The winning designs will be incorporated into the next Cobra range. It is our plan to incorporate as much as possible from these new designs into our future ranges. Where can interested creatives go to find out more and to submit their entries? All the relevant information can be found on our website at Alternatively, please send an email to and we will be happy to send you an information pack. Entries close on Friday, 5 July 2013, so you better get designing! Good luck to all entrants...