Young UP designer comes out tops in Design Achievers award

Braam de Klerk, a fourth year Information Design student from the University of Pretoria received top honours at the annual Design Achievers award function held on June 16 in Kyalami.

Braam proposed an innovative concept fitting busses with a garbage removal trailer, effectively merging a bus service with a garbage removal system. This Trans Trash initiative uses a bag of garbage as currency for using public transport, thereby motivating rural communities to clean up their living spaces. He was awarded the Martha Bateman Award for Entrepreneurial Spirit and Design Achievement.


As part of his prize, Braam will attend a student workshop in Stuttgart, Germany, sponsored by the SABS Design Institute. The adjudicators of the programme said they were impressed by Braam’s complete willingness to engage in dialogue with everyone around him. He is aware of his context as a South African designer and fully embraces the challenges while maintaining a highly professional standard.

This year is the 20th anniversary of the SABS Design Institute’s Design Achievers youth leadership initiative and it is celebrated throughout the country with 19 exhibitions in all nine provinces and a commemorative publication that was launched at the awards function.

Braam is the fifth winner of the Design Achievers award from the UP Department of Visual Arts. The previous winners were Jacques Lange (1988), Monty Filter (1992), Robert Braune (1996) and Emma van Niekerk (2000) and runners up were Gustav Greffrath (2002) and Nick Hlozek (2003). Jacques Lange is currently president of the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (Icograda) and co-chair of the International Design Alliance (IDA). Icograda is the world body for professional communication design representing around 190 associations and institutions in 57 countries.

“We are very proud of Braam for receiving this prestigious award and we believe that he has a great career ahead of him, “says Prof Jeanne van Eeden, Head of the Department of Visual Arts at UP.

braam de klerk

Mr Martin Kuscus Chief Executive Officer of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) hands Braam his Design Achiever certificate.

braam with award

Kurt Cambell (chairman of the Design Achievers adjudication panel), Sandile Nkosi (Design Achiever winner 2006) , Braam de Klerk (Design Achiever winner 2007), Mr Martin Kuscus (Chief Executive Officer of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).

Braam with winners

Braam in the presence of some of the previous Design Achiever winners, runners up and nominees. Hilton Tennant (Design Achievers Nominee 1998), Fatima Cassim (Design Achievers Nominee 2004), Jaques Lange (Design Achiever winner 1988), Braam de Klerk (Design Achiever winner 2007), Nick Hlozek (Design Achiever runner-up 2003).

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