Plascon Colour Design Awards 2017: The Winner

Plascon Colour Design Awards 2017 required entrants to demonstrate how they would use colour in a specific work environment to brighten the space and promote productivity. Herewith the colourful, innovative entries that stood out.


Research shows that colour can have a noticeable effect on our mood and productivity, which is why the fourth annual Plascon Colour Design Awards centred on the impact of colour in the workplace. “Colours don’t just change your employees’ feelings, but they also have a profound impact on their productivity,” agrees Awards Coordinator Sam van den Berg.

An impressive 180 entries from promising young local talent serve as reassurance that the local design industry is in good hands. “This competition allows us to see what the future thought leaders intend to bring to the industry,” says Claire Bond, Colour Specialist at Kansai Plascon and one of this year’s judges. The competition called for proposals from students of interior design and architecture to show how they would revamp a workplace of their choice using colour as the main tool, turning it into a space that is “healthier, happier and more productive”. Their palettes were to be chosen from the Plascon colour range. The way Nokia rejuvenated its workspace by using the colour green was held up as a model.

Plascon Colour Design Awards 2017: The Winner

The top 20 entries will be showcased at 100% Design South Africa at Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg in August. “Many of the students are in touch with global trends, using bright hues and geometries, and are unafraid to experiment,” says interior designer Donald Nxumalo, who was a judge alongside Awards Coordinator Sam; Colour Specialist Claire; Platform Creative Agency MD Laurence Brick; Sian Cullingworth, Portfolio Director of Decorex SA; and Leana Schoeman, Décor Editor for the Sunday Times Lifestyle Magazine.

Claire agrees with Donald. “There were some great ideas, and blue-sky thinking is always refreshing. I expect we will be seeing a few of these candidates pop up in the design arena in the next few years.


Paula, who is 23 years old and a second-year student at the Design Time School of Interior Design, rose to the challenge of transforming an unimaginative workspace with colour in her meticulous project titled Thinking Out The Box, which she certainly did.

“The UCOOK office is based in an old warehouse in Cape Town’s Maitland, and the space is bland and in desperate need of Plascon Colour Design Awards 2017: The WinnerPlascon-inspired colours,” says Paula. Her aim was for the building to reflect the dinner-kit delivery service’s fun modern concept by using quirky and unpredictable colours. Her colour scheme included dark hues such as Plascon Tribecca Corner (EC-48) and Grassy Knoll (Y5-C1-1), accentuated by Morning Clay (R7-C2-1) and the bright and uplifting shade Metallic Gold (DRM 3).

“Yellow is associated with happiness and positive energy, whereas pink is playful and fun. Green was used for the corrugated iron doors, as it’s the colour of life, renewal and freshness, all qualities associated with the UCOOK brand. The dark-grey base colour of the building is sophisticated, practical and timeless,” she says.

The sizeable painted vegetables on the side and front of the building represent and celebrate the brand, while adding a sense of quirkiness.

For Donald, Paula’s proposed intervention stood out because the exterior clearly communicates what the brand is about. “It’s also trendy, and I love the use of contrasting colours,” he says. Similarly, Claire felt that the exterior was “a precursor for the deliciousness that you’d find inside.” Paula evidently understands the impact of colour on a brand, and would do really well exploring the holistic impact colour has on an individual, human level.” Fellow judge Sian agrees, saying he loved Paula’s project. “The brief was perfectly interpreted; the design sophisticated and inviting.”


A trip to London Design Week 2017, worth R40 000, plus R5 000 for Paula’s educational institution, Design Time School of Interior Design.



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