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A finalist in the Industrial Design category from the 2015/2014 PPC Imaginarium, Fayaaz Mahomed wowed judges with his Oolite Floor Lamp. We caught up with him to find out more about his design journey.


Why do you find the medium of cement inspirational?

Before I qualified as an Industrial Designer I worked for a construction company and have always admired the concrete work that was done for culverts and bridgeworks etc. I used that admiration, together with my design style and training, to create the Oolite Floor Lamp – something which you wouldn’t normally equate with a material as raw and hard as concrete. I had also been following the concrete trend for a while prior to the competition, which also helped in inspiring me.

What challenges did you encounter whilst working on your submission and can you offer any tips to aspiring finalists?

This experience was a huge learning curve as I had never physically worked with concrete before. I never attended the workshops either, so I literally learnt through trial and error. With help from friends, I went through two concrete moulds before casting the final one. The first casting broke because the mould didn’t allow for contraction once the concrete cured and the second casting broke because I had no reinforcement.

The best advice I can give aspiring finalists is to research concrete thoroughly to gain a better understanding of its properties and question people that work with concrete daily.


What have you been up to since you were selected as a PPC Imaginarium finalist?

I have been pretty busy focusing on growing my brand, Unfayzdesign, and expanding the products that I currently offer. I am also experimenting more with concrete, but so far everything regarding that is still in concept phase – especially now that I have a store space in The Watershed at the V and A Waterfront, which is taking up a lot of my time.

How has being involved with the competition benefited your career?

It has given my brand a lot of exposure not only locally, but also nationally which is exactly what I hoped it would do.

Can you fill us in on your future plans?

Long term, I would like to have my own design studio that caters to the interior design field, but for now I am working hard at making Unfayzdesign a viable and recognizable brand.

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