Revealed: the winner of the 2016 Plascon Colour Design Awards

Sep 15, 2016

Using colour as the primary instrument, entrants of the 2016 Plascon Colour Design Awards were tasked with transforming an educational institution from insipid to inspiring. We reveal the winning entry.



It was ultimately the 21-year-old student’s careful consideration of the culture of the school earmarked for a colourful intervention, which won the judges over. In keeping with the predominant Xhosa culture of the little learners of Oranjekloof Moravian Primary School in Hout Bay, Shani, a first-year interior design student at Design Time School of Interior Design, selected colours from Plascon that not only echoed those used in Xhosa culture – but that would also have a positive psychological impact on the kids and help improve their performance at school.

“In my research I found that orange is a traditional colour in the Xhosa culture and I then chose its complementary colour, blue,” explains Shani. One of the blues she chose to offset the bright orange was Plascon’s 2016 colour of the year, Atlantic Beach (B5-B1-1). Bearing the psychology of colour in mind was an ingenious way of creating an inspiring atmosphere, with each of the six hues playing on the mood in a different manner. Plascon’s bright orange Day Lily Dream (02-A1-1), for example, is said to exude optimism while turquoise Luna Moona (B1-B1-4) aids in mental and physical relaxation. Shani also introduced an interactive element to the proposed revamp by suggesting Plascon chalkboard paint for the exterior, which would encourage students and teachers to draw, jot down inspirations and important information, and then some.

2016 Plascon Colour Design Awards: The Winner

Oranjekloof Moravian Primary School before.

It is clear from the judges' comments that they were uniformly impressed by the fact that Shani’s design intervention reflects the local community and preserves its culture. “I love that Shani referenced patterns inspired by Xhosa culture – and stuck to the existing colours of the school’s emblem–orange and blue,”says Sumien Brink, editor-in-chief of Plascon SPACES.

2016 Plascon Colour Design Awards: The Winner

Oranjekloof Moravian Primary School after.


A trip to London Design Week 2016, worth R40 000, plus R5 000 for Shani’s educational institution, Design Time School of Interior Design.