The possibilities of where a career in design could take them were brought home to some 300 learners from high schools around the Western Cape, when they took part in a special event organised just for them at the Design Indaba 11 Expo as part of Woolworths’ ‘Making the Difference Through Design’ educational programme. Grades 10-12 learners and their teachers, all from schools participating in this innovative educational initiative introduced by Woolworths and the Western Cape Education Department in 2006, were given the opportunity to hear from some of South Africa’s top young designers, including well-known fashion designer Themba Mngomezulu of Darkie and Harry Ravelomanantsoa from animation specialists Toon Boom. Held in conjunction with the Design Indaba Conference, the Design Indaba Expo showcases the best of local design and features advertising, architecture, craft, décor, film, fashion, graphic design, interior design, jewellery, new media, publishing, product design and visual media. “We’re very pleased to be able to provide this unique opportunity for these learners and their teachers,” says Penny Luthi, who heads the Making the Difference Through Design programme for Woolworths. “Not only has it given them the chance to further investigate the many paths a career in design could lead to, it also gave them the chance to interact first-hand with some of our country’s top design practitioners. This kind of link between the classroom and the ‘real world’ is invaluable.” The event also provided the ideal opportunity for Woolworths to announce the latest recipient of a Making the Difference Through Design Bursary. Sergio Samuels, a past learner from Oaklands High in Lansdowne, is now studying Graphic Design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He says his dream is to one day pursue a career as an illustrator. The Making the Difference Through Design Bursary Programme is part of Woolworths’ commitment to furthering design education in South Africa. Woolworths’ Penny Luthi also took the opportunity to announce the third annual Making the Difference Through Design competition, which for the first time will be open to all Grade 10-12 Design and Art learners throughout South Africa who are currently part of the Making the Difference Through Design programme. Sponsored by Sappi, in conjunction with Woolworths, this competition is designed to inspire learners to use their creative abilities, demonstrate them practically, and develop their awareness of the environment. Says Woolworths’ Penny Luthi: “Having successfully run this competition in the Western Cape for the past two years, we are really looking forward to receiving entries by design learners from other areas of the country. We think that this year’s theme, ‘Design Cul-cha’, will challenge youngsters to explore other cultures and gain a better understanding of how other people in our multi-cultural society live, as well as giving them the opportunity to explore and demonstrate their own creativity.”