South African product designers can compete with the best in the world. This was evident when 16 top product designs were showcased at the disa South African Design Excellence Award ceremony held at Gallagher Estate on 9 September.
The Design Institute, a division of the SABS is the driving force behind design excellence in the country and has been presenting these awards since 1969. The award scheme, formerly known as the SABS Design Awards, has evolved and enlarged and is now called the disa South African Design Excellence Awards.
Since inception, this award scheme has aimed to recognise the achievements of South African industrial and engineering designers. It has also encouraged local product design and manufacture and has promoted international competitiveness of local products. This award scheme has established a proud tradition of promoting indigenous design.
The product designs awarded were:
* The EAO1 Railway Wagon Mounted on Thread Steer Bogies, a plate steel, laser-processed railway wagon kit that can be shipped in various stages of completeness to end-users.
* The Body Glove Blue Sport, a Bluetooth mobile phone headset that can be used either in the car or the office.
* The Ford J97 Centre Console for the 4.0 l Ford Ranger.
* The Hydrabolt, designed to support rock in mining, tunnelling or civil engineering operations.
* The Long-Hole Rig, an entirely water-powered drilling system designed to drill large holes accurately and quickly in the mining environment.
* The Maptrix which is learner support material for geography, designed to improve competence in map reading.
* ProAim, a golf training aid that instantly reveals the hidden flaws in the golfer's stroke and helps to correct them within seconds.
* The Pro-Alpha 2000, a garage door operator for domestic garage doors and the Pro-Rola system, an adaptor kit for the automation of steel roll-up type garage doors.
* The Rediflo, an integrated multifunctional valve.
* The Rova 4 which is a fully adjustable, rigid-frame wheelchair.
* The SolarAid Charger that recharges hearing aid batteries through solar power.
* TableMAX, a multiplayer video table gaming machine that is the video equivalent of a live casino table.
* The Care Chair, a baby feeding chair that folds up to the size of a file and fits into a convenient nappy bag.
* The Eduan Float Valve that controls the water level in a container and is mainly used in agricultural applications.
* The Vesto stove, a highly innovative, low-cost, biomass burning stove that uses about one third of the wood or dung normally used to cook a meal.