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    Lily Pad ring crowned Most Beautiful Object in South Africa 2012

    This year, at the Design Indaba Expo 2012, Kirsten Goss's Lily Pad ring took the title of Most Beautiful Object in South Africa (MBOISA), as voted by the public online and via SMS. The Design Indaba Expo Innovation Award and the Most Creative Stand winners were Andy Cartwright Homeware and Emerging Creative graphic designer Mike van Heerden, respectively.

    Concept of beauty

    The concept of beauty is one that is open to countless definitions and interpretations. Beauty is, after all, in the eye of the beholder. For this reason, Design Indaba's MBOISA does not prescribe what is beautiful, but rather asks "What is beautiful to you?" Last year, the MBOISA was Dreams for Africa Chair by Woza Moya.

    From a solar light in a glass jar to a street mural, a hanging planter and a fish scale-inspired dress - each object beautiful in its own right - the finalists for the MBOISA award were as diverse as the definition of beauty itself. All the finalists were on exhibition at the expo this year, which this year experienced a 5% increase of 40282 visitors.

    The Lily Pad ring was nominated as one of the Most Beautiful Objects in South Africa by Jacquie Myburgh Chemaly, editor of Visi magazine. The Lily Pad Ring exemplifies 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.

    Not only is the Lily Pad ring the bearer of the coveted Most Beautiful Object in South Africa title but Goss also gets 6m2 of floor space at Design Indaba Expo 2013.

    Innovation Award

    The Design Indaba Innovation Award is a new award, presented to an expo exhibitor, to encourage innovation and originality in the local design industry. The R50 000 award recognises one design on show at the expo that presents a significant, new direction for the designer and contributes a fresh perspective to SA design. There were more than 50 applications received

    The judges were Melanie Mahona, acting director, commercial arts and entertainment, Department of Economic Affairs, Western Province; Gerard Back, designer at Mila; and Y Tsai, architect and designer at Tsai Design Studio. They considered criteria such as originality, whether the product demonstrates exceptional skill and workmanship, and the extent to which every component was made by the designer.

    While there were many strong new products on the floor - such as David Krynauw's Lure Lamp, Ronel Jordaan's 3D Screen and Serpentine's Madame-style Mirror - after a lot of deliberation, the award went to Durban-based Andy Cartwright Homeware for the modular Korol system, which is described as epitomizing innovation.

    Cartwright has designed a series of five-and six-sided pieces that fit together in different ways to make various products: lamp shades, bowls, clocks. It's made from recycled polypropylene and can be applied to a wide range of functions. According to the judges, it is cost-effective, versatile and aesthetically pleasing.

    Andy Cartwright Homeware is the new global division of Andy C, established in 2001 and aims to fill people's homes with a sense of joy and fun with two exclusive signature ranges, which arises out of the team of designers putting their passion for innovation at the heart of the creative process.

    Most Creative Stand

    One of the highlights for visitors to the expo every year is to see the stands - not only the products and designs that the exhibitors have so lovingly worked on to bring here, but the way they have laboured over their presentation too. Stands are judged for their innovation, interactivity and overall sexiness. The winner receives 6m2 of exhibition space at Design Indaba 2013.

    There were various stands in the running this year such as the World Design Capital, Elizabeth Galloway and Cape Peninsula University of Technology; however, the 2012 Most Creative Stand was awarded to Durban-based Van Heerden, one of the Emerging Creatives, for melding his products and stand design seamlessly. His stand showed craftsmanship and attention to detail, and spoke volumes about what he does as a 3D graphic designer.

    Judges were Design Indaba curators Roelf Mulder, director of product design firm, and Verna Jooste, who lectures in the jewellery design department at University of Stellenbosch. Both judges have been involved with Design Indaba for many years and are passionate about the standard of design on show.

    Look out for's interview with the awards winners later this week.

    Lily Pad ring crowned Most Beautiful Object in South Africa 2012

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