Jasmin Brijlal, a Grade 11 learner at Durban Girls School took top provincial honours in the annual ‘Making the Difference Through Design’ competition. This is the first year that the competition has been run outside of the Western Cape. Sponsored jointly by Sappi and Woolworths, this annual competition is run in conjunction with the Woolworths ‘Making the Difference Through Design’ education initiative which is currently supporting the design curriculum at some 400 schools in the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. The purpose of the competition is to inspire learners to use their creative abilities and demonstrate them practically, as well as to develop their awareness of the environment. The theme for this year’s competition was “design cul-cha”. Learners were asked to develop a new design or product inspired by a fusion of two or more South African “cul-chas”, and to investigate current trends and the industry for which they were designing. As Penny Luthi, who manages the ‘Making the Difference’ programme at Woolworths, explains, “South Africa’s rich diversity of cultures offers virtually limitless inspiration for the designer. Our goal this year was to encourage learners to look beyond their own cultures and explore how they could blend their own heritage with the heritage and culture of other groups to create something new and exciting.” “As part of our Good business journey, Woolworths is committed not only to driving social development by supporting education, but also to protecting the environment by reducing waste and encouraging others to do so. “Limiting students to recycled materials helps them understand the amount of waste material that ends up in landfill every day and challenges their creativity in finding new uses for it,” adds Luthi. “We are continually amazed at the depth and range of creative solutions these youngsters are able not only to imagine, but to actually demonstrate.” Art and Design learners in Grades 10, 11 and 12 in all 400 schools were invited to enter in one of the following categories: visual communications, product design, surface design or environmental design. As in previous years, learners were permitted to use only waste materials in creating their design. Brijlal’s project, a signature waistcoat (or more precisely, a “waste coat”) for café or restaurant staff, was made from materials she found in and around her own house and combines Ndebele and Indian cultures. The fact that Brijlal had to teach herself a number of new skills in order to&nbspute her design impressed the judges almost as much as the design itself. Kaz Le Bihan, a Grade 11 learner at Crawford College, Lonehill, won the Gauteng leg of the competition, while Meghan Lombard, a Grade 12 learner at Fish Hoek High School in Cape Town, took first prize in the Western Cape and walked away with the top national prize. Other category winners in KZN were: Israel Maduray, Phoenix Secondary (Product Design), Tanita van Niekerk, Durban Girls School (Environmental Design), and Vincent Maphumulo, Ogwini Comprehensive High (Visual Communication), ENDS