Kitchens, Renovations

Kitchen Designer 2013: The Judges


The Caesarstone Kitchen Designer 2013 competition is well on its way (entries close 31 July 2013). It's time to find out what makes the judges tick when it comes to design.

JUDGE #1: Katherine Mann, Course Coordinator and Senior Lecturer at Design Time

Katherine Mann is a course coordinator at Design Time, one of the country's top interior design schools.  She is trained as an architect and supervises students entering the highly acclaimed Caesarstone Student Designer annual competition, making her incredibly familiar with Caesarstone's application potential in both arenas.

What qualities do you think make for a good designer?

Wit, observation, persistence and skill.

What is your vision for local kitchen design in South Africa? 

To create less sterile environments that reflect our informal South African lifestyle, while adhering to a comprehensive style aesthetic.

JUDGE #2: Naomi Larkin - Editor, House and Leisure

What qualities do you think make for a good designer?

Just to say 'creativity' is too simplistic. To succeed, designers need to be clear about who their target audience is – who is the market they are selling to? They need to have an understanding of the materials they work with and need to be open to change if something isn't going according to plan. They have to be passionate about what they do, have integrity, be willing to learn and be willing to take criticism. A strong work ethic and a dose of humility go a long way. A business sense – or the acumen to partner with someone who has these skills – and a great mentor will help any designer.

What is your vision for local kitchen design in South Africa?

As with international design, it's about the relationship between form and function, as well as keeping abreast of trends, new materials and technology.

JUDGE #3: Aidan Bennetts, Founder of Aidan Bennetts Design Studio

Aidan Bennetts is well remembered for his appearances as the DIY and design guru on Top Billing. Now with his own design studio in Cape Town, Aidan returns to judge the Caesarstone Kitchen Designer competition for second time after participating last year.

What qualities do you think make for a good designer?

A designer is curious by nature, explorative, yet practical at all times.

What is your vision for local kitchen design in South Africa? 

South African designers should work on developing their own flavour. I feel that we adopt the European aesthetic all too often.