Most Beautiful Object in SA 2016


Design Indaba is just a few weeks away, but the hype has already started – especially with Most Beautiful Object in SA (MBOISA) 2016 well underway.

In 2015 Kirstenbosch’s suspended walkway, affectionately called the Boomslang, was the public choice from the year’s 12 nominations for MBOISA.

And 2016 may well see something even more esoteric walking away with the title of Most Beautiful Object in South Africa (MBOISA) – anything from a Wasabi-spiced vegetarian dish to a simple shaped wooden skateboard.

But what exactly is MBOISA and how does it work? Who gets to decide and have the final say in what is truly beautiful design? None of us and all of us. Let me explain…

Running for just shy of a decade, MBOISA started in 2007 as a way to engage this very conversation on the notion of beauty, and to question what it means in terms of South African culture. The first-ever winner of the title was the Condom Applicator by Roelf Mulder – an interesting choice that brought to light the consideration that beauty doesn’t merely lie in aesthetics but also in function and role within our culture.

For 2016 there are 10 nominated objects ranging from social development initiatives to products and art projects. The nominated objects celebrate beauty by way of their diversity. Anyone in South Africa would be able to relate at least one of the objects to their own individualised notion of what makes something beautiful.

View the video below of the Design Indaba team’s nomination: The Twenty Journey, which showcases the irony and anger of beauty in South Africa.

Inspirational to say the least. Creative South Africans can get involved by visiting the travelling exhibitions, which started at Rosebank Mall in Johannesburg from 12 to 18 January and will be coming to Durban at Gateway Theatre of Shopping from 26 January to 2 February, ending the run at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town from 8 to 21 February. If you like what you see, put your voting power into play through the official website.

So look through this year’s nominations and get voting – we’re so keen to see what’s selected as SA’s most beautiful object for 2016!

Courtesy: Leigh Andrews
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