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Moipone Qekisi wins SDC Global Design Competition
Jul '09
Open to thousands of students around the world, this year's design competition from the Society of Dyers and Colourists (SDC) saw finalists from nine countries gather together in Goa at the end of June for the grand final. Moipone Qekisi, a fourth year textile student from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa, was announced as the global winner of the SDC Colour Design Award 2009 at the first ever SDC competition final held outside the UK.

As the leading educational charity dedicated to advancing the science of colour worldwide, the SDC encourages the creative use of colour in fashion and textile design and is a committed sponsor of young designers. This competition captures the imagination of budding designers with a brief encapsulating colour and – new for this year – encouraging sustainable thinking.

With a winning entry entitled 'My perfect world', Moipone outlines her approach, 'My design is inspired by children; their innocence, dreams and playfulness. In the midst of all the unrest in the world, children still have a way of finding happiness, while adults are living in fear of the unknown. The main inspiration for this design came through a drawing workshop that I conducted with the children from the Sinethemba Children's Home. I then carried out research into the psychology of colour and chose colours that matched with what the children envisioned their perfect world to be like. I re-interpreted elements of the childrens' drawings into my designs.'

She continues, 'From a sustainability aspect, I chose organic cotton as the basis of my entry because it is environmentally friendly and grown without the use of synthetic insecticides, herbicides or fertilisers in a way that is not harmful to people and the environment. I took advantage of its natural colour, using screen-printed designs and eco-friendly water-based inks.'

As part of their prize, each of the ten finalists received an all-expenses-paid trip of a lifetime to India. More than 200 guests saw Miss Qekisi take the top prize of £1000, plus the Veronica Bell Trophy. Other winners included Nancy Taplin from Colchester School of Art and Design, UK as the first runner up, and Denise Wong from Hong Kong Design Institute as the second runner up. Angelina Anderson, Nabil Hasan Khan and C S Balajee were also commended by the judging panel, made up of internationally-renowned colour consultants Latika Khosla and Sue Williams and Goa-based fashion designer Savio Jon.

Chair of the judging panel, Latika Khosla of Freedom Tree Design based in Mumbai, commented, 'The quality of entries and their diversity in interpreting the issue of colour and sustainability was a real eye opener. The winners were chosen on the basis of how true they were to their original ideas; how closely they integrated the idea of sustainable design into the project; and, most importantly, the ones that in future would inspire a whole lot of us to be touched by colour design.'

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