By Naretha Pretorius (Campus Principal)
“Design is a way of thinking, a way of solving problems in a creative and innovative way”. Design School of Southern Africa’s Durban campus celebrated the students’ talent and achievements at the Design School Exhibition. Naretha Pretorius, Campus Principal, opened the evening with this statement, followed with a message to the parents and students: “The students are lucky, they have talent, the very talent that got them into Design School. But to achieve excellence, and to position oneself within a tough industry, takes more than talent, it takes hard work, dedication and determination to succeed, and that is completely up to you”.
The work on display was evident that the students are working towards a successful entry into the fashion, interior and graphic design industry. Lizette Carstens, national Academic Programme Manager for the BA in Graphic Design, did a special visit to the exhibition, and was impressed by the drawing skills and standards of the work. Naretha Pretorius celebrated the students’ achievements mentioning the various events and competitions the students participated in. This year a team of 3rd year BA in Graphic Design students participated in the inaugural Facebook Hack for Good at The Loerie Awards. A new initiative by Facebook and The Loerie Awards to support and promote young creative talent that will become an annual fixture. The team faced the challenge of creating a video campaign concept for a local NGO and had two days to conceptualize and shoot. The top four students form the BA in Graphic Design were also selected to represent Design School at the Loeries Student portfolio day. These students set up stands to represent their work and got to mingle with top creatives from across Africa and the Middle East.
In 2016, Suhail Chohan and Megan Bellamy were selected to enter the PG Bison competition. Durban fashion department had two finalist, Catherine Clarke and Cari St. Quentin in the SA fashion week student competition. Hayley Richards won the Warrior Heart competition and on the evening it was announced that she also won the Truworths Bodycon competition with Sarge Dwarika, Display Design Manager, announcing and handing out the award. We are proud of our students.
Naretha closed the event with this message, from a BA in Interior Design alumni student Carleen Conroy: “Never think ‘I can’t do that’, because you can, if you are a true creative, no problem will be too big or unapproachable. If the solution does not exist, create one. I believe that we are never too old to learn something new. Embrace your creativity and your weirdness”.