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The Nando’s Hot Young Designer Talent Search is Back in 2024 and Open for Entries

Are you Nando’s next Hot Young Designer? Here’s how to enter this year’s design challenge

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By Kimberley Schoeman  | May 21, 2024 | Design

The Nando’s Hot Young Designer (HYD) talent search is back and invites young creatives to chase their dreams – their ‘Screen Dreams’! Each iteration of the biennial talent search seeks relevant new product designs for Nando’s restaurants around the world; for 2024, entrants have been challenged to design their own sensational screens.

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.

Lasercut powder-coated screens by Sifiso Shange (Afri Modern) at Constitution Hill.Photographed by Malibongwe Tyilo.

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.

Woven ceiling panels by John Vogel, ceramic beaded screen by Studio Kalki, Terra-cottacentral planter by Plantr, green planter by TheUrbanative, woven benches by John Vogel, woven lights by Ashanti Design at Nando’s Central Kitchen, Johannesburg. Photographed by Elsa Young

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.

Wall-mounted steel woven screen by TheUrbanative at Nando’s Central Kitchen, Johannesburg. Photographed by Elsa Young.

With this new structure, HYD 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.

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 PatternHunt. Showcased as part of the Right Here Right Now exhibition by Clout/SA. Photographed by Justin Patrick.

Nando’s HYD is establishing innovative ways to link young designers to creative and commercial income-generating opportunities in an effort to foster a more inclusive design sector. The Nando’s HYD talent search is managed on behalf of Nando’s by Clout/SA, a creative agency and business-to-business market-maker for South African design, and sponsored by Nando’s.

Emerging young creatives are encouraged to chase their own ‘Screen Dreams’ and submit decorative-yet-functional screen designs that capture a uniquely South African aesthetic.

Ready to Enter?

Click here for the online entry form and entry details. Entries close on 18 June 2024.

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