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Wednesday, 25 October 2006

Design students speak out against abuse

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Six first-year Surface Design students of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology have designed a bench with a strong message on violence against women and children.

The bench was auctioned at the Cape Homemakers Expo at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and all proceeds were donated to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital.

The students decided to take a stand against violence against women and children and designed their bench to convey this message. Twenty designers were asked to design benches. CPUT was the only tertiary education institution.

“The idea of the bench started with a process of fabric manipulation - fabric that grew around the smocked little dress of a five year old girl. “The cacti create the contrast against the beautiful tactile qualities that can be seen in the fabric, colour and texture. This is representative of the contrast between the brutal violence and the innocence of the children.

Our message is not all about negativity. The cacti in our design are beautiful just like the people in our country too are beautiful, regardless of their actions. With this, we want to convey a message of hope and a belief in our country’s future,” says lecturer, Ms Julia Brewis.

One of the students, Inge van der Post, said the process was emotionally draining.

“This is a sensitive topic and it is personal. We used an actual little girl’s dress for our design and we had to think what girls go through and how they grow into women,” said Inge.

For Heseré Gildenhuys the process was an eye-opener. “You get so caught up in your own world, you never think about the problems out there. This made me realise that we have serious problems.”

Weyers Marais was the only male in the group, “We tried to focus on the positive and the negative. It is a message of hope that there is hope for abused children.”

CAPTION: At the back from left: Monita Rademan, Heser’e Gildenhuys, Ms Julia Brewis (lecturer), and Weyers Marais. In front: Chantel Clarijs, Karen Human and Inge van der Post.

Written by CPUT News

Email: news@cput.ac.za