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Megan Laughton (from the Stellenberg High School) and Sadia Abrahams (Relationship Manager Woolworths Making the Difference Programme)
Megan Laughton (from the Stellenberg High School) and Sadia Abrahams (Relationship Manager Woolworths Making the Difference Programme)
National winner entry
National winner entry

Woolworths presents Making the Difference through Design competition with its partners


Nov 5th, 09:42

Top national competition winners use design to build brighter SA schools

Across the country, the 2013 Making the Difference through Design competition, presented by Woolworths, Sappi, Design Indaba and the Western Cape Department of Education has focused design learners’ attention on the power of design to solve pressing problems and improve the experience and conditions of schools in South Africa.

Supporting design education through the Making the Difference through Design Educational Programme is part of the Woolworths Good Business Journey.

This year’s competition theme, “Building a Better School through Design” highlighted the vital role that design plays in addressing social and environmental issues. The competition inspired Grade 10, 11 and 12 learners from nearly 400 participating high schools to come up with innovative sustainable ideas in surface, product, environmental, and visual communications design categories.

Learners were required to identify an issue at their school, or a neighbouring school, that could be solved by means of design. They had to research this issue thoroughly and reflect their understanding of who the problem affects and how it affects them. Entrants had to then get their creative juices flowing and come up with a great idea to solve this problem by design in an environmentally-friendly- and sustainable way.

To enter the first stage of the competition learners developed pitches for their ideas that articulated the problem and their design solution. In the final stages, learners developed their ideas into products and a campaign which were exhibited at the regional expos.

Top honours in the competition went to Megan Laughton of Stellenberg High School in Belville in the Western Cape who created a prototype of a lightweight, easy to store and use, space-saving desk and chair.

The first runner-up, Sarah Coppings from Redhill High in Gauteng, also addressed the issue of over-crowding in classrooms and lack of infrastructure by building a smart desk out of a recyclable crate.

Tarryn Christie Taylor from Durban Girls’ College in KwaZulu-Natal was the second runner-up and she developed an advocacy campaign to promote tolerance of people with dyslexia in the school environment.

Woolworths Educational Programme Manager, Peter Twine congratulated the winners on behalf of the sponsors and went on to say: “Once again a host of South Africa’s design learners rose to the challenge of using the real power of design to create a better world, and we are seeing them raise the bar in terms of quality ideas each year.

“As a business, Woolworths is passionate about design and we’re committed to raising awareness of design’s potential to improve South African’s lifestyles. That’s why it is part of our Good Business Journey to enrich design education, to mentor aspiring designers at high school level and to give them the opportunity to address real-world design challenges.”

The top entries of the 2013 Making the Difference Through Design competition will be exhibited on the Woolworths stand at the 2014 Design Indaba Expo, creating a bridge for high school learners to interact in the cutting-edge, working world of design.

Megan Laughton’s winning work was praised by competition judge and architect, Tsai of Y Tsai Design as: “Very impressive! The attractive, multi-functional design reflects current thinking. She has produced a custom-built product which can be easily created using recycled material and that facilitates group work and shared learning. It is a design that is perfectly aligned to the modern ‘new-school’ way of thinking about education.”  

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