Dorothy van't Riet - Caesarstone Student Designer Competition Judge

Dorothy van't Riet joins the team as a Judge for the Caesarstone Student Designer Competition 2014

What do you think WDC2014 is going to do for Cape Town?
I believe that the World Design Capital Cape Town 2014 is a dynamic, interactive forum for the diverse, colourful people of Cape Town. The WDC2014 will position Cape Town as the design and creative hub of the continent by showcasing the city’s creative skills and local design capability.

This will contribute towards a greater understanding of the many facets of design. Cape Town has always been known for its natural beauty, sporting and parliamentary events.

The focus now is on creativity and design. The official 450 WDC 2014 projects give Cape Town the opportunity to be transformed into a sustainable, productive African city, which will bridge the historic divides and build social and economic inclusion through design.

The WDC 2014 through its 450 official exciting and innovative projects will address social, cultural and economic issues. I believe that this in turn will improve the everyday lives of people in Cape Town and the rest of South Africa. From my understanding, all these projects are united by their use of design and design led thinking to design the change people want to see in their city. This I think, is one of the core aims of the WDC 2014.

“Live design. Transform Life” will improve the lives of the many people challenged everyday in their communities.

The DVR Team wishes the teams behind the WDC 2014 an amazing, fruitful and blessed 2014.

Where do you see South African architecture and design in 10 years' time?
South African architects and designers have already established themselves as creative and innovative professionals. With our contemporary uniqueness I believe that we will have an even greater impact than ever before on the continent of Africa, by bringing both education, skills and good design into the capital cities across Africa.
-In your opinion, what are the biggest issues architects and designers graduating this year will face?

Architects and designers graduating will face several important issues such as economic realities, technological developments and environmental sustainability. Research-based and evidence-based design is very important to be embraced as new graduates. Design decisions can not only be innovative and creative, but must also be scientifically rationalized.

Which of your peers do you admire?
Dame Zaha Hadid, an Iraqi/British architect. She is an architect who consistently pushes the boundaries of architecture.

If you hadn't ended up in the career you are in, what would you be doing with your life right now?
I would be a Medical Doctor.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self, knowing what you know now?
To be aware my talents are and to pursue my God given talent in a more focused direction.

If you had to choose between losing your sight or hearing, which one would you pick and why?
I would choose to loose my hearing but to keep my sight. I never want to loose sight of God’s creation, the splendour of colour, the visual impact of dance and the incredible artworks of the world.
As an Interior Designer I am constantly inspired by what I see in nature and built environments – the beauty of colours, visual textures, intriguing shapes and forms. I can therefore say that I truly treasure my sense of sight.

Describe your dream vacation?
Six carefree weeks with my husband Bernard Deeb in Rome and Florence, having fun exploring the architecture and beauty of my two favourite cities.

If you had to pick an actor / actress to play you in a biopic of your life, who would you choose?
Catherine Zeta-Jones

What advice would you offer a final year student in your field?
To be professional and to develop a character of responsibility and accountability. To combine their expertise, passion and talent with the ability to deliver measurable and meaningful results. To deliver consistent work of excellence. To deliver on time and within budget. This will set the platform for them to be successful interior designers and architects.

Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga?
Lady Gaga is very creative.

Your favourite band at university? Your favourite band now?
Rhodes band at Grahamstown University. They serenaded to us on many occasions, much to the delight of all the girls.
Now, U2

It's 100 years from now and you are an inventor - what have you invented?
The patent on chocolates without calories will probably make me more famous and richer than Bill Gates...

Which musical instrument is a good representation of who you are?
The trombone. I wish it was the harp.

Which animal, bird, fish or insect would you choose as your personal logo?
The Cheetah. I love the fact that it inhabits most of Africa, a continent I also love doing work in. It is the fastest animal in the world. It looks calm and wise and scans the grasslands before pouncing on its prey.
Its slender long-legged body built for speed, is focused and definite in its approach to the task at hand!

Imagine we lived in a world where time travel was possible - "when" would you go to and why?
I would go to the Renaissance era. Michelangelo in particular. He was a great man who achieved individual triumphs and greatness. I admire his brilliance and the legacy that he left behind.