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North West Top Women Designers Nominated for Furniture Design Competition

Two North West top women designers are in the running to win this year’s Furniture Design Competition to be held in Durban next week. . The annual Furniture Design Competition is one of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (the dti) Industrial Policy Action Plan furniture programmes aimed at responding to design skills shortage in the furniture industry.

Ms Maria Seruwe (28) and Ms Elizabeth Cilliers (20) who were both shortlisted will showcase their designs during the Durban Decorex Exhibition and will be in the running to win design software training and tools, graphic design tablets, as well as an opportunity to participate and exhibit at an international Expo.

Seruwe, who studied both Civil Engineering and Architectural Draughting says she started drawing, dismantling furniture and making prototypes of dresses at an early age.

“For as long as I can recall, I was the only one in our household who wanted to assist our mother as a dress maker. I would help with her orders and sometimes with drawing some of the garments she was busy with. I guess it was the entrepreneurial spirit that she instilled in us that made me want to start furniture making and designs,” she says.   

Seruwe who hails from Maboloka village just outside Brits, says the competition will give her an opportunity to show her skills and abilities. She adds that meeting other finalists will motivate and inspire her more.

Cilliers, a student who hails from Fochville, just outside Carletonville says Potchefstroom Academy afforded her the opportunity to excel in what she always wanted to do in the field of design.

“My journey started at an early age when I barely knew how to walk. My mother told me that I used to draw on anything and everything when I was toddler. I was later sent to a private Tutor who helped me grow as a designer since our High School did not offer Art as a subject,” says Cilliers.

She adds that as much as she loves design and works very hard at each brief and assignment given at the Academy, being a finalist came as a shock to her.

“The fact that I am a finalist will give me confidence in my work and will make me do more to achieve my goals in life and school. I am also looking forward to networking with other students and other players in the industry. I cannot wait to see what others have produced and designed,” adds Cilliers.

The Furniture Design Competition was piloted in the 2014/15 financial year under the theme Limited Spaces

Elizabeth Cilliers showing off her designs

Maria Seruwe with the arm chair she created for the competition.  

Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Issued by: The Department of Trade and Industry
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