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Nando’s invites South African creatives to be their new Hot Young Designer

Nando’s has invited South Africa’s young creatives to enter the Hot Young Designer talent search for 2024. They’re are encouraged to chase their own ‘Screen Dreams’ and submit decorative-yet-functional screen designs that capture a uniquely South African aesthetic. 

Since 2014, the best young creative talents in South Africa have shared their designs for lights, patterns, benches and servers which Nando’s interior designers across the world have gone on to utilise in hundreds of casas (as Nando’s calls its restaurants) – linking young designers with commercial opportunities. In 2022 Nikhil Tricam and Nindya Bucktowar of Kalki Ceramics were the winners for their flora-inspired Fynbos Server, while 2020 and 2018 respectively saw Katlego Tshuma and Agrippa Mncedisi Hlophe taking home the title of ‘Hot Young Designer’. The first edition of the talent search was a shared win between Thabisa Mjo and Samantha Foaden.  

Nandos Hot Young Designer
Mild-steel powder-coated screen by Dokter and Misses with beaded panels by Qaqambile Bead Studio, depicting patterns designed by the finalists of Nando’s HYD 2018 ‘The Pattern Hunt. Showcased as part of the Right Here Right Now exhibition.

Mjo of Mash T Design Studio, who described the competition as having ‘changed the trajectory of my entire life’, went on to make history when she became the first South African designer to have her work placed in the permanent collection of the Louvre’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, France, in 2020. Mjo most recently participated in Dolce & Gabbana’s ‘Gen D’ exhibition at Milan Design Week 2024. 

The fifth edition of the talent search returns with a new commitment to the future of young South African designers. HYD 2024 will not only serve as a platform for stand-out design and creativity, but as an opportunity to unlock mentorship and business acceleration. As such, the 2024 search is looking for designers and makers who are also entrepreneurs with a desire to understand the business of design. As both creatives and entrepreneurs, candidates will be assessed by their readiness to face the challenges of the commercial design sector. 

Nandos Hot Young Designer
Woven ceiling panels by John Vogel, ceramic beaded screen by Studio Kalki, Terra-cotta central planter by Plantr, green planter by TheUrbanative, woven benches by John Vogel, woven lights by Ashanti Design.

Ten finalists, who will be chosen by a carefully curated panel of judges against the application criteria, will go on to participate in a design immersion followed by a pitch session. Thereafter, five designers will be shortlisted to take part in ‘The Laboratory of Learning’ – a focused mentorship and business programme linked to prototyping their design. A finalist will be chosen based on the quality of their participation in the Lab and will go on to access more in-depth one-on-one business mentorship.

Nandos Hot Young Designer
Screen by TheUrbanative, beaded lights by Mash T, planters by Naturalis, ceramic mural by Studio Kalki.

With this new structure, Nando’s Hot Young Designer 2024 will present a winner who is not only an exceptional creative talent, but an enthusiastic entrepreneur, and an ambassador for South African design. The winning screen will also be listed on The Portal to Africa – the Nando’s online marketplace where interior designers working on Nando’s restaurants around the world can shop for original pieces of furniture and lighting designed and manufactured in South Africa.

Visit for the online entry form and entry details. Entries close on 28 June 2024. 

Nandos Hot Young Designer
Wall-mounted steel woven screen by TheUrbanative at Nando’s Central Kitchen, Johannesburg.

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