Vega and MMT issue annual design challenge

South African students apply their theoretical knowledge to real-world design challenges as they create bespoke lighting solutions to brief

 The 2017 edition of the MMT by Design competition is well underway, with students at Vega, an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE), preparing to showcase their final entries to the public. The competition has challenged students to delve deep into their creativity and design a functional and sustainable piece.

Second and third year design students at Vega were challenged to conceptualise and build a working prototype of a light for this year’s competition, showcasing a unique approach to lighting design. They could choose to create any type of lighting solution, whether ceiling fixtures, wall fixtures, indirect lighting, floor fixtures or even table fixtures. They had to keep various factors in mind, including cost efficiency, sustainability and environmental friendliness, market appeal, and ease of manufacture.

The brief also specified that only natural materials be used, and that the design should align with current trends.

The competition is a continued collaboration between master craftsman Mike Mason, the director and founder of Mike Made This (MMT), and Vega. Mike launched MMT in 2011 to introduce both the commercial and private market to new talent and unique products.

The first round of judging was completed by Mason and Maretha Olivier, program navigator of interior design at Vega, and saw the duo shortlisting finalists. The finalist pieces will then be crafted by Mason and his team to bring to life the students’ conceptual designs.

In line with previous competitions the public will have the opportunity to have their say in which designer wins the overall competition. An online voting platform will open in September with votes closing at the end of October. Anyone with a love for design and a commitment to nurturing the growth of tomorrow’s talent today can vote, with voters standing the chance to win spot prizes sponsored by Vega School, MMT and other sponsors.

The finalists and their designs will also be profiled on a range of print and digital media, creating a platform to share their design story.

The winner of the 2017 MMT by Design competition will be announced at a celebration to take place at the Vega Design School in November 2017, with the winner and runner up walking away with prizes to the value of R15,000.

This is the third year that MMT by Design has invited students to submit their ideas and show the public a collaboration where design meets manufacture.

In 2016, Chanel King and Tumelo Lekhu were the two finalists, and each had their furniture pieces manufactured by MMT, for exhibition and public voting at the 100% Design JHB expo held in August last year. With both designs challenging the way that functional storage is designed, manufactured, and built, Tumelo Lekhu was voted the winner by the discerning visitors.


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