Student designer Marcha Naudé and professional designer Dumisani Tshabalala are the winners of the 2016 Cobra Product Design Competition (PDC). Their creative public restroom designs win them a trip to the Salone Milano Trade Fair, in Italy, valued at R50 000.
George Gibbens was the runner-up in the student category and the work of Roxanne Ilbury and Ingrid Jones was placed second in the professional category. The University of Johannesburg was judged Most Promising Institute.
It was the first time in the four-year history of the PDC that public restrooms took centre stage. The entrants had to incorporate aspects like energy and water saving, hygiene, vandalism, product integration and ease of installation into their designs.
The judges were Murray Sharp (Product Designer at Barrows Design and Manufacturing), Greg Scott (Director, Greg Wright Architects and Site Interior Design), Ronelle Badenhorst (Category Director, Grohe Dawn Watertech), Marcia Margolius (Editor, SA Décor & Design) and Megan Hesse (Co-owner, Anatomy Design).
Badenhorst said the judges commended all the entrants for the great innovation they showed in designing within minimal space and for the brilliant mix of materials and finishes used. “It was incredible to see the consideration which went into rethinking the functionality and use of a public restroom. The designs were all of a very high standard.”
Sharp said Naudé presented the judges with a beautiful, timeless and simple copper shower design while Tshabalala’s urinal design, which required a lot of research, was very well executed and presented. “The runner-up designs were also very impressive. Gibbens designed a hands-free tap with a smart mirror which we thought perfectly summed up what a public restroom experience should be – easy, quick and hands-free. The grey water system designed by Roxanne Ilbury and Ingrid Jones impressed us with its beautiful minimal yet trendy design.”
The Salone Milano Trade Fair is one of the world’s best design trade fairs. “There will be great networking opportunities for our winners and, of course, they’re going to see, first-hand, the standard of work being produced on the international stage,” Badenhorst concludes.
The runners-up and the University of Johannesburg each won R10 000.