Top 10 most beautiful objects in SA nominated at Design Indaba 2020

The three-day creativity festival takes place in Cape Town from February 26 to 28 2020

10 February 2020 - 12:52 By Andrea Nagel
The Dawning installation by fashion designer Thebe Magugu.
The Dawning installation by fashion designer Thebe Magugu.
Image: Supplied/Design Indaba

There are many things that come into play when we consider what characteristics define our notions of beauty.

Aesthetic appeal, social significance, sustainability, economic impact, a momentary relief from our busy lives, entertainment, cultural flavour and even humour are all things that the design fundis and cultural commentators who recently nominated their Most Beautiful Object for 2020 took into account.

This year a wide range of designs were elected to be in the top 10.

These are the nominations:

  • Delicate Bracelet by Izandla Zethu: made from corrugated iron, commonly used to build shelters in informal settlements, it symbolises the transformation of poverty into beauty through creativity. Nominated by artist Blessing Ngobeni.

  • Robinson the raffia dog by Chommies: this figurine of a wire-haired fox terrier is comical and playful and yet realistic and useful. Nominated by Charl Edwards, editor of House and Leisure magazine.

  • Open (2019) by William Kentridge: the plaster sculpture is part of Kentridge’s exhibition, “Why Should I Hesitate: Sculpture” at the Norval Foundation. Nominated by Elana Brundyn, Norval Foundation CEO.

  • Nwa-Mulamula Chaise by Rich Mnisi: the work marks fashion designer Mnisi’s foray into collectable furniture. Nominated by fashion designer Lukhanyo Mdingi

  • Githan Coopoo’s hand-sculpted earrings handcrafted, fired and sanded by the designer and finished with glazing and silver-plated hardware. Nominated by fashion designer Sindiso Khumalo.
  • Zenande from the Magodi Series by Zizipho Poswa: a monumental ceramic sculpture celebrating the majesty and heritage of traditional African hairstyles. Nominated by influencer Seth Shezi.

  • Trevor Stuurman by Trevor Stuurman: in this self-portrait, Stuurman engages with his own image as a pioneer of modern African aesthetics. Nominated by filmmaker Sunu Gonera.

  • Tiaan Nagel Summer 19/20 Campaign Stills: ‘Remember You Are’ by Travys Owen: “These images are so deeply moving,” says actress Jodi Balfour, who nominated them. “They feel poetic, expansive and calming but also evoke real drama.”

  • Dawning by Thebe Magugu: the image is a celebration of SA’s progress, particularly in the empowerment of women, despite its challenges. Nominated by multidisciplinary artist Manthe Ribane.
  • Soroban installation at Fyn by Tristan du Plessis and Christof Karl: the ceiling installation of world-renowned chef Peter Tempelhoff’s Cape Town restaurant, Fyn. Nominated by urban strategist Rashiq Fataar.

To see images of the objects and vote for your favourite visit The winner will be announced at the event.

This is just a taste of what the Design Indaba will be bringing to Cape Town and via its simulcast service to Potchefstroom, Nairobi, Durban, Johannesburg and Namibia.

The Design Indaba is one of the year’s most exciting highlights and takes place in Cape Town at the Artscape Theatre from February 26 to 28 2020.

This article was paid for by Design Indaba.