Anel Joubert shares a lecturer’s perspective

Anel Joubert is a lecturer at Design Time School of Interior Design in Cape Town – the institution that scooped the top three  entries at the 2020 edition of the PG Bison 1.618 Education Initiative..

She loves renovating and building and says she can often be found in Builders Warehouse buying supplies for a project. She also enjoys cooking and is always searching for new recipes and interesting ingredients for new dishes, which her husband, friends and Burmese cats are (mostly) happy to sample. She would love to visit Portugal once travel restrictions are lifted.

We chatted to Anel about the experience of steering her students to a win, and her advice for students and lecturers alike as they tackle competitions and briefs.

What did it mean to you personally to be the winning lecturer of 2020?

I was very excited and enormously proud when I heard we had more than one  student in the top 10 – a first for Design Time. While 2020 definitely had its challenges, as we had to work remotely for large parts of the competition.

I have been lecturing for 10 years and have had a number of finalists throughout the years, but to win was always a goal as a lecturer. I was over the moon when this dream was realised in 2020.

Do you have any advice you can share for other lecturers in your process of helping your students to address a competition brief well?

I think it’s important to give students enough time to conceptualise at the start of a competition project and to ensure that they thoroughly research all the components of the brief. Students should spend enough time exploring by hand before jumping onto their computers, as I believe good designs are done by hand and executed on computers. Clear deadlines and constructive criticism are also key. Lastly, students should be encouraged to enjoy the process.

What about students? What is your advice for them as they tackle a brief?

READ the brief at least 10 times before you start your design process. Make sure you understand the task at hand. Develop a strong CONCEPT, make sure it’s RELEVANT and that it fits into the CONTEXT. Also remember that you won’t win a competition by just answering what is asked, you need a HOOK / WOW factor that will make any judge look twice. Lastly, good design takes TIME: put the hours in, have fun and reap the rewards.

As an educator, why do you think the PG Bison 1.618 Education Initiative is a valuable competition?

I think that the PG Bison 1.618 Education Initiative is a valuable competition as it encourages students to design beyond their comfort zones – the briefs are challenging and require a very high standard of work, so there is nowhere to hide. Students have to have a good concept and clear design direction. Plus, the fact that students can’t present their work personally teaches them that their work has to speak for itself, which is a very important lesson.

The competition is also a benchmark for us as educators. It’s great to have a look at each year’s entries and to make sure that our institution’s work is still up to standard.

Thank you to PG Bison for this amazing design platform. We are excited about the 2021 competition and wish all the entrants from all the institutions the best of luck.