Media Alert: The Designer Behind the 2013/2014 Cultural Affairs Award
6 February 2014
Talented Capetonian industrial designer Burghen Siebert (24) found working on the 2014 Cultural Affairs Award to be a very inspiring experience. The design brief required him to find a way of depicting the scope of the Cultural Affairs Awards in the diverse fields of language, arts and culture, heritage, museums, geographical names, libraries and archives. The product of his work will be handed out to the winners of the annual Cultural Affairs Awards to be announced in Cape Town on Monday, 10 February 2014.
Burghen is one of the artists currently benefitting from the partnership between the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) and Cape Craft Design Institute (CCDI) to identify talent and create opportunities for emerging designers. Born in Transkei, his family lived on a farm in the Eastern Cape for two years before moving to Cape Town. He attended Grove Primary School in Claremont and went on to matriculate at Rondebosch Boys' High School in 2008. Burghen heard about the CCDI from a mentor.
From 2007 to 2009, he was involved with CCDI’s “fab lab” for a few projects, including building perspex guitars for the 2008 Design Indaba. “From a young age, I have been fascinated with the physical world and the objects we use for work. This interest started as a desire to be an inventor and eventually led me to study product design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).”
The Cultural Affairs Awards
Designing these awards has been great fun, says Burghen. “With such a short manufacturing time over the Christmas period, there were enough challenges to keep me on my feet.” He is currently working as a freelance product designer, collaborating with others on a variety of diverse projects. “I'm developing my own range of products focusing on local manufacturing and quality craftsmanship with the goal of grasping the sentimentality of objects. With the Mother City being designated as the World Design Capital Cape Town 2014 comes many design opportunities. I intend making the most of them.
“I strived to represent the natural beauty and cultural diversity of our past, present and future in the Cultural Affairs Award. Coming together through our various achievements can bring us great strength and unity. Our national flag inspired the flowing forms of the perspex dome and polished aluminium, reflecting each individual’s achievements and contribution to the whole. These elements enshroud and protect an ostrich egg nestled in the centre, a symbol of the Western Cape and of the potential of future generations.”
This partnership between DCAS and CCDI creates opportunities for emerging artists by identifying talent, providing training and supporting job creation, better together.
Tom Rucker (Visual Arts), Roger Titley (Performing and Visual Arts), Theresa Denton (Library Services), Prof. Adam Small (Literature) and the South African Navy Band (Performing Arts: Music) will receive Ministerial Awards on Monday. Other nominees are expected to be available on the day of the ceremony.