The third edition of Nando’s Hot Young Designer Talent Search is underway, this year focused on a design element that has become strikingly relevant in the time of COVID-19 – restaurant waiting benches. Nando’s Hot Young Designer Talent Search initiative that opens doors for undiscovered young South African design talent to join the Nando’s heartfelt celebration of local design. Entrants respond to a design brief and submit designs that are potentially included on the Nando’s Portal to Africa – the global Nando’s design procurement platform.
“Our first two competitions focused on pendant light fittings and pattern designs. The designs submitted by winners and even finalists are used in Nando’s restaurants around the world,” says Tracy Lynch, Creative Director of the Nando’s Design Programme. “This year, as Nando’s looks at how restaurant design will change in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, we’re asking designers to examine the waiting benches that you’ll find at every Nando’s restaurant. These are provided for guests to sit on while they wait for their takeaway orders. We’re asking what these benches should look like in the age of social distancing, and whether they can be easily adapted once we can safely sit together once again. We’re calling on all aspiring furniture designers to design a show-stopping bench, a reminder of the resilience of the African spirit, and a celebration of Southern Africa’s ever-evolving and eclectic design aesthetic.”
Michael Spinks, Property, Design and Development Director of Nando’s SA, explains that Nando’s Hot Young Designer is part of the Nando’s Clout initiative. “Our aim is to nurture emerging design talent from South Africa – not just to identify potential, but to help young designers with mentorship and business development opportunities, so we’re contributing towards building sustainable design industry,” he says. “We also proudly showcase this design talent globally.”
Entrants submit their bench designs and details online. Designers are competing for a dedicated year-long mentorship and inclusion on the Nando’s Portal to Africa (which enables exposure to a global market).
“The winners and finalists from previous editions of Nando’s Hot Young Designer have gone on to enjoy great success,” says Lynch. “For example, Thabisa Mjo of Mash.T Design Studio, who won the lighting challenge in 2015, was awarded the 2019 South African Designer of the Year Award from 100% Design South Africa, along with Mpho Vackier of TheUrbanative. Thabisa’s work is on display in Nando’s restaurants around the world, and she’s had local and international opportunities, like showcasing her work in the Clout exhibition during Milan Design Week.”
Entry requirements for the 2020 edition of Nando’s Hot Young Designer include one or more visual representations of the design being submitted, a description of the concept, contact details, a production and cost analysis, and a copy of the required identification document. More detail is available on the website entry portal. Applications close at midnight on 31 July 2020 and shortlisted candidates will be contacted by 15 August.