Most Beautiful Object In SA 2012 Finalists

By Marica

So, while Rose is off attending the first day of the Design Indaba conference (she just phoned saying that the conference is, in one word, “AWESOME” ), I thought to share the finalists of the 2012 MBOISA award with you.

Nominated for the Design Indaba Expo’s 2012 Most Beautiful Object in South Africa (MBOISA for short) award, Design Indaba unveiled the 10 most beautiful and beguiling designs made over the past year earlier this month. Find the finalists below as listed on the Design Indaba website…

“Every year, the country engages with the question of what constitutes beauty through the MBOISA award. While some may consider beauty an aspect of taste and others know it on sight, beauty becomes far more profound than a visual sensation when design attributes such as social significance, economic impact, usability, sustainability and even humour are thrown into the mix.”  –

The Most Beautiful Objects in South Africa for 2012 are:

1. //hapo Museum

//Hapo Museum by Office of Collaborative Architects – GAPP Architects + Urban Designers, Mashabane Rose Associates and MMA Architects

“The //hapo Museum (or just “//hapo“), which takes its name from the San word for “dream”, forms the primary entrance to Freedom Park in Pretoria. The concept evolved into the creation of large boulder-like volumes that contain the interior storytelling spaces. The boulders are planted at the base of the Salvokop hill like a rock outcrop. The copper-clad walls and roof will eventually rust to green and merge with the natural landscape. The interior spaces of the museum are designed with a cave-like quality, with natural light dramatising the large volumes and ‘outcrop’ forms of the buildings. Designed by Office of Collaborative Architects – GAPP Architects + Urban Designers, Mashabane Rose Associates and MMA Architects.”

2. Bird Neckpiece by Eric Loubser

Bird Neckpiece by Eric Loubser

“Johannesburg-based jeweller Eric Loubser’s design conveys the idea of a flock of birds around the neck, as if they are actually carrying the necklace and hovering around the wearer. It is inspired by a Victorian aesthetic, and made out of 9ct gold, silver, rose quartz, haematite and rubies. It is as light as air but also substantial; pretty and feminine but with a dark edge; precisely engineered with a messy, thrown-together look.”

3. Consol Solar Jar by Ockert van Heerden and John Bexley

“Housed in a one-litre Consol Classic preserve jar, which provides a practical and attractive casing, this alternative light source is literally bottled sunshine. Solar-powered LED lights are powered by sunlight, which is harnessed through a solar panel fitted on the lid. The Consol Solar Jar received the Special Recognition Award at the 2011 Institute of Packaging SA Gold Pack Awards. Although not strictly packaging, the judges decided that this clever use of a packaging material deserved an accolade.”

4. Frail Flower Paper Sculpture by Rebecca Jones

Frail Flower Paper Sculpture by Rebecca Jones

“Artist Rebecca Jones’s work reflects the precariousness of the world. She uses paper because it is an everyday medium that, though fragile, lasts indefinitely. The plants she depicts are not true botanical specimens but her work is so intricately constructed that each sculpture seems alive. The shadows thrown by the plants extend and emphasise their linear quality.”

5. Fish-Scale Dress by Suzaan Heyns

Fish-Scale Dress by Suzaan Heyns

“This dress is an extension of Suzaan Heyns’ Autumn/Winter 2012 show, “True Colours”, which reflects on the dichotomy of human nature and who we really are when no one is looking. Our double-sided nature is symbolised by the different materials in the dress. The fragile nude netting reflects our natural vulnerability. It is juxtaposed with the repetitive pattern of hand-cut metallic leather scales representing the self-important parts of ourselves – our more cold-blooded, reptilian nature.”

6. Curious Couch by Margaret Woermann (Heartworks) and Peta Becker (Projekt)

Curious Couch by Margaret Woermann (Heartworks) and Peta Becker (Projekt)

“Margaret Woermann and Peta Becker have transformed an old ball-and-claw couch into a functional work of art literally bursting at the seams with life and creativity. The couch is the product of a new collaborative project between Woermann and Becker called The Curious Room, an experimental design lab where the pair focus on one-off pieces. The Curious Couch has been worked on by more than 25 people who designed, recaned, embroidered, crocheted and upholstered it. A reaction to standardised mass-produced design, the couch was inspired by the idea of metamorphosis.”

7. Ridge Forrester Hanging Planters by Joe Paine

Ridge Forrester Hanging Planters by Joe Paine

“This amusingly named planter was born from the designer’s observation that television directors use plants as a key device in soap operas. “Through the bougainvillea and amaryllis we are privy to the most sordid capitalist lives,” says Joe Paine. The planter, manufactured from bent tube and handmade mild steel spinnings, reflects the bold jaw line of Ridge Forrester from the American soap opera The Bold and The Beautiful.”

8. A Travel Journal, Volume 1 and 2″ by Mornè Visagie

"A Travel Journal, Volume 1 and 2" by Mornè Visagie

“This hand-stitched lithograph on paper was part of a body of work for Mornè Visagie’s exhibition at the 2011 UCT Michaelis Graduate Art Show, which took Robben Island as a site of personal, social and aesthetic exploration. Visagie spent the first five years of his life – from 1990, when his father was posted to the island by the Department of Correctional Services, to 1995 – living among its small community of mostly prison employees. This piece distills the hues of the scrub-filled landscape and its surrounding sea into a slowly changing spectrum of pure colour.”

9. Lily Pad Ring by Kirsten Goss

Lily Pad Ring by Kirsten Goss

“The Lily Pad Ring exemplifies Kirsten Goss’s contemporary design style, combining intriguing organic lines with a playful edge. Goss returned to South Africa after launching her eponymous design label in London in 2002. A qualified jewellery designer and Stellenbosch University alumni, she has a passion for experimenting with metal-smithing techniques, stone cutting and inspirational combinations of the two. All her pieces are handmade.”

10. PASTE mural by Linsey Levendall

PASTE mural by Linsey Levendall

“This mural appeared as part of PASTE, a street art exhibition curated by Shani Judes that took art out of the gallery space and into the streets of both city and township. Linsey Levendall was one of 15 local artists selected to design, illustrate or photograph work around the theme of Khayelitsha culture. The work was turned into a large-scale print that was pasted in Khayelitsha and the inner city of Cape Town.”

All of the MBOISA finalists will be on display at the Design Indaba Expo, open to the public from Friday 2 March to Sunday 4 March at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The award will be determined by public vote via SMS or online vote, and the result will be announced on Sunday afternoon in the DStv Events Arena.

SMS the word “MBOISA” and the number of your entry, followed by your name and contact number to 43431 (SMSs cost R2)


Vote on the DESIGN INDABA website: HERE

All MBOISA images and info sourced via the Design Indaba website: here

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It’s A Goal!

It was only a few years ago that I discovered that January is the international goal setting month of the year.  Or so it seemed then and still seems this year.  Almost all types of business blogs and others seem to focus on getting your goals for the years sorted, and then chunking it down to smaller bite size pieces.  I even got introduced to the South Africa’s Fairy Godmother”, Donna McCallum, last year when listening to our local talk radio show.  And this year was no exception for the re-appearance of the Fairy Godmother and her magic wand that she waves over you to motivate you into reaching your goals.

South Africa's own Fairy Godmother, Donna McCallum.

So, I am not exactly the Fairy Godmother, but I rather fancy the idea of waving my magic wand in your direction, to inspire you to re-visit your interior spaces, with a view to setting some goals that will usher in some fresh elements to office or home.


Marica and I so often have these awesomely interesting discussions around interiors and I have wished that it could be more public so that many others could draw the benefit of these as well.  One of the topics that we touched on in length last year was the fact that we get so accustomed to living with stuff, that we don’t even begin to notice that the curtains are fading, or that the clutter is growing on the desk, or that our décor is beginning to date, developing a rather stale appearance.

So, let’s join that “IT’S A GOAL” mob and set a few goals re: the interior design and décor of your space right now – it is January after all.

Goals should apparently be SMART: (My response to that is: of course they are smart – they originate from me and that makes them smart).

Seriously though, that acronym looks like this:






Here goes:

1.  The “research” phase: – get into the décor mags and those online décor blogs, just so that you can see what is out there in terms of trends, colour, style and what the retailers have to offer. Remember – the objective is to keep your décor fresh and vibrant.

Décor books, mags and blogs are an excellent source of style inspiration and to point you in the right décor direction. Image via The Paper Pony

2.  Grab hold of a pen and a notebook. Then take a slow stroll through your house or office. Do it room by room – slowly.

3.  Stop and take a long look around the room. Remember to view the room through new and creative “lens” and particularly with a view to bringing in “freshness”.

4.  Note all the things that have bugged you terribly in the past and which have become the things that are put off being done. That then becomes the “priority list” items on the “TO DO LIST“. Then note all the things that would be on your “wish list”.

Organize your inspirational décor images & create a concept board. Image via House Beautiful

5.  Don’t make it an unattainable and unrealistic wish list – rather focus on that which you know could be easy to do and that which would not break the bank to buy.

6.  After you have covered each room, chunk it down even further (this I have discovered is a well worn cliché in the “goal setting” scenario).

As an example:  After having been through my house, I instinctively know that my bedroom is the one room that needs the most refreshing work done in it.

7.  Next step after chunking down do a short list of “TO DO GOALS” – set out a list of no more than four actions that need to be achieved. E.g. – “paint 2 walls a contrasting colour. And – freshen scatters with new fabrics.”

8.  Thereafter; chunk those actions down into the real “stuff to get” list. E.g. – select paint colour, – chunk it down further, asking questions like, WHO (will paint) WHERE (to buy paint) and WHAT (colour paint). In terms of say scatters; WHAT (fabrics & patterns) WHERE (will I buy); etc. STICK WITH THE LISTS – IT HOLDS YOU ACCOUNTABLE AND RE-INFORCES THE ACTIONS.

The mighty "To Do List". This funky printable To-Do list can be downloaded for free from A Pair of Pears. (Image link 7)

9.  Now that you know exactly what it is you need to do and also to buy, SET YOURSELF A BUDGET. Put a figure next to each line item and try to stay within those confines. This alleviates emotional and impulse spending

10.  LASTLY – set yourself a realistic time frame in which to perform and complete this task. I would recommend no longer than three months. Just to circumvent boredom. Long term goals are different animals, but that does not exclude them.

These tips are not foolproof by any means, but I reckon that it is a step in the SMART direction.


Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7