Winners of the 2017 PPC Imaginarium Awards talk craft, competition and passion

The fourth edition of the PPC Imaginarium Awards has officially opened for entries. Judged by a panel of industry experts, the PPC Imaginarium Awards is an annual competition that showcases the exemplary talents of emerging artists and designers through the medium of cement-based concrete. Categories encompass sculpture, industrial design, architecture, fashion, film and jewellery design.

Among the winners who took home cash prizes for the 2017 awards are jewellery designer and manufacturer Zanele Vilakazi, industrial designer Handre de la Rey and fine artist Mziwoxolo Makalima. We caught up with the three to find out what went into creating their outstanding work and what it felt like to be crowned winner.

The PPC Imaginarium Awards 2018: A call to cutting-edge and pioneering designers.

Overall and Sculpture Category Winner

Mziwoxolo Makalima

Doubt-Queuing (2017)

Award winning piece: Doubt-Queueing is a sculptural artwork articulating a group of community members that have stood for so long and remain concrete.
Inspiration: I aim to address the issues faced by the black community. We have waited in a queue for promises made since the year of democracy, hoping for change. The concrete represents the strength of a hoping community.

What did you learn from the piece? Do you think it will influence your work going forward? Imagining working with a material that shapes multi-story buildings and road bridges presented a lot of adjustment for me. Trial and error rewarded me with the final result. The experience has opened my eyes to the possibilities that different materials can help to enlarge my artistic skills.

Jewellery Design Category Winner

Zanele Vilakazi

Alphga (2017)

Award winning piece: Alphga is a handcrafted metal and concrete necklace.
Inspiration: The passage of time and the unbreakable and inevitable stages of life.
Process: I created the base using brass and silver, then assembled everything before setting the concrete, which I left to dry over four days.
What prompted you to apply for the PPC Imaginarium Awards?
My curiosity and the challenge in using concrete to create a jewellery piece.
What messages do you have for future applicants?
Give it your best while enjoying your craft.

Industrial Design Category Winner

Handre de la Rey

CS Project (2017)

Award winning piece: CS Project is a pair of handcrafted concrete sunglasses.
Inspiration: The work of Japanese architect Tadao Ando, whose use of bold geometry, clean proportions and natural material informed the design process.
Process: CS Project was developed over a five-year period starting with numerous conceptual sketches. The piece was digitally realised through the use of 3D modeling and desktop prototyping. The modelled prototype was then optimised for 3D printing and moulding.

What did you learn from the piece?
Developing CS Project has been a challenge, albeit one that we have thoroughly enjoyed. We’re extremely happy with the finished product and are currently shipping our first batch of sunglasses to Canada. We’re also in the process of developing a Nylon version.

How do you feel having received the award? 
Being announced as the winner has given our design studio incredible exposure. CS Project has been on display at numerous esteemed galleries and has been featured widely in the media –- we’re now receiving an influx of inquiries regarding our work. The awards pushed us to work hard on a design that is unique and out of our comfort zone.

CS Project recently went on sale at the GUILD, located at the Silo District at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. See more about CS Project.


The PPC Imaginarium Awards, will be showcasing its finalists’ works at the KZNSA Gallery in Durban from 26 September to 15 October 2017.

This post was made possible by PPC Imaginarium Awards.

Find out more about the PPC Imaginarium Awards.


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