Earlier this year we sent a call-out on our social media channels for young South African designers to pitch a design proposal for a festive-themed series of dish covers.
In the end, we chose Mokgadi Masipa's very clean and contemporary design. We felt Mokgadi's concept was universal and it made us smile. Add to that, Mokgadi has worked very hard on developing a very creative Instagram account which we thought deserved some exposure. Check it out here> @mokgadimasipa_
Mokgadi grew up in Soweto, Meadowlands in Gauteng with her three siblings, mom and dad. After completing her matric, she decided to go on to art school to study multimedia design and production.
We asked Mokgadi a few questions about her craft, her life and to conceptualize an app to fix the problems in South Africa.
Why did you become a designer?
My answer may be a bit cliché but design chose me. I went to upgrade my marks after matric because I didn’t know what I wanted to study going into tertiary. When registrations opened for the following year, I just collected all the pamphlets I could get, laid them on the table and an art school stood out for me.
Where I went to school, a career in the media/art industry was never an option. So, when I saw that art school, it was like my eyes have been closed and I just opened them in that moment. I did some research then, that’s when I decided to study Multimedia design and production.
You say you take 20 taxis getting to work in a week……what do you like to do while you are travelling?
I always try to find a seat by the window because I’m a bit claustrophobic and I like just looking outside as the taxi passes by. I sometimes listen to music if the taxi is quiet.
I love the way you use the written word with your surface pattern designs on your Instagram feed. What impact would you like to have with this art?
For me, art has always made me smile, be sad and think. I just want my art to evoke emotion from people hopefully, positive emotions. I hope they will fall in love with my art and appreciate it as much as I do.
So we need to fix the problems in South Africa, and someone says, ‘there is an app for that’. What would the app do?
One of the main problems is unemployment and that’s what I would like the app to address. I think the app should provide a list of in-demand skills for at least the next 5 years so that pupils going into tertiary can study courses that will give them a better chance of employment after graduation.
How did you come up with the festive design for Spaza Dish Covers?
A lot of brainstorming was done, and I didn’t want it to be predictable but still make it feel like Christmas. My style in terms of design is simple, modern and linework/geometric shape.
So, the main idea was to feature the Christmas icons but in a design style, I know. I only wanted to use circles and semicircles to highlight my concept which was: “We never want the festive season to end and we wait the whole year for it to come back around. A play on words.”
What is your next life goal?
My next life goal is becoming a brand in the design space and seeing my patterns used on multiple materials/platforms like fashion, textiles and interiors. And maybe opening a fashion line.
What is your best home or beauty eco-friendly swap?
We always try to buy refills of products and keep the original packaging. When we go grocery shopping, we use bags, we don’t use plastics. We have solar lights that we use when we experience load shedding, no candles.
Our festive-themed dish covers will be available online and from our store in The Watershed, V&A Waterfront from the 8th of November.