DTI Winner Tshepiso Motau Interns at Homewood

On 28 March 2023, The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition hosted the 2023 Furniture Design Competition at the Buy Local Summit in Johannesburg, of which Homewood was one of the judging companies. It’s always meaningful for us to witness young, up-and-coming talent in SA in our industry, so we were grateful to be a part of the day.

The five finalists were tasked with creating pieces of furniture aligned with this year’s theme: “Local is Lekker”, and the winner emerged as a final-year Industrial Design student, Ms Tshepiso Motau.

As part of her prize, Tshepiso has spent one month interning here at Homewood at our Kramerville Showroom and has been such an asset to our team.

We chatted with her about her passion for design, dreams for her future and experience with us here at Homewood. Here is some of what she had to share:

1. Why did you choose to study Industrial design?

My passion started in grade 10 in high school with visual arts, and it grew towards design. In my visual art theory classes, we would learn about architecture and different artists and designers and found it fascinating. I continued learning about different creative spaces and would envision how I could fit into those spaces. Although, back in high school, pursuing a creative field wasn’t what I planned till it was time to start applying to university, and that’s when I found out about industrial design through the University of Johannesburg. I ultimately chose to study industrial design because it allows me to learn the process of manufacturing products.

2. What excites you about the furniture manufacturing industry in South Africa?

In this ever-changing industry led by the 4th Industrial Revolution, I am keen to see where the road leads, including the growing trend towards sustainability and eco-friendly practices in the furniture industry worldwide. I see myself making a great contribution to the furniture industry by creating innovative designs that blend contemporary and traditional aesthetics. These opportunities and exciting prospects will help me grow as a designer and establish my own identity as one too.

3. What were some highlights of being involved in the DTI competition? (besides winning, of course!)

The DTIC competition opened my eyes to future possibilities that I could have as a black female designer, and it’s given me the motivation to carry on moving forward.

4. What have you enjoyed most during your Homewood internship experience?

During my internship experience, I found that I defiantly enhanced my learning and passion for the field. From exploring new software and being a part of collaborative brainstorming sessions on what a new showroom could become, to witnessing the realisation of my designs and getting the opportunity to tear down a wall at Homewood’s new showroom location. These experiences further ignited my passion for furniture design, deepened my understanding of the industry, and solidified my desire to pursue a career in this creative field.

5. What are your design dreams?

To embark on a lifelong journey of continuous learning, exploring diverse design disciplines, engaging in collaborative projects, conducting research and innovation, and eventually becoming a mentor in the field. I aim to contribute to the ever-evolving world of design and leave a positive impact on the industry and those around me.

We’re so grateful to have had the privilege of hosting Tshepiso and hope she’ll be back at Homewood for another visit soon.

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