Award-Winning Excellence With Tuami Zulu


His unique name means extraordinary, so it’s no surprise that Tuami Zulu won an extraordinary award in Germany. The Design School of Southern Africa graduate represented South Africa when he scooped an award from the prestigious Parkett Dietrich International Benchmark competition. We talked to him to found out how it feels to be globally recognized at such a young age.tuamis-picture

Tell us about your design?

My design is simply an outdoor sitting bench, but calling it a bench takes away from the art piece. It was inspired by African culture because just like it, I deconstructed design so it doesn’t look diluted.

What inspired you in your designing?

I am inspired by the human form. I like to study human anatomy; that’s when I realized that we all need each other to survive. My design is a connection of entities that connect and form one single form.

How did you enter the competition?

We received a brief at school, from that I decided to study gestures and movement – that’s how the design developed itself in my head. After that, it was just a question of finding someone to bring my design to life by actually building it. I entered the competition when the building was complete.

How was your trip to Germany?

Unfortunately, I missed the event because I didn’t get my visa on time.Tuami-Zulu

What was your reaction when you found out about your win?

I sent them an email regarding my entry. I could tell from their reply that I had won because they congratulated me. I was so excited, I called my mother!

What advice do you have for aspiring interior designers?

I would tell them to have 3D vision. I see geometry in nature, once you do this you can design anything. Be self-driven, don’t be influenced by people because that will change you and affect your designing negatively.

What are your future plans?

I want to work for a couple of years to get industry experience, but I’m not sure which branch of interior design I want to be in. After that, I can stand as an individual. My ultimate goal is to be internationally recognized further than with this award.

Are there any companies you are aiming to work with?

There is one locally and abroad, but I see myself competing against the international one, instead of working with them.