Kari de Villiers was announced the overall 2016 winner of the Festool sponsored University of Johannesburg faculty of Art Design, Architecture, and Industrial Design at the 2017 HOMEMAKERS Expo

The Festool project brief to the students was to design rechargeable Festool impact screwdriver/drill for household, DIY use and light-scale fabrication/workshop use.

23-year-old Kari de Villiers is a 4th year BA Honours student in Industrial Design at the University of Johannesburg, her home town is George and she was schooled at Outeniqua High school. How did this talented young lady whose hobbies are gardening, needlework and ballet take the overall honours in this tough Festool competitive technical project? According to the Head of 3rd Year Department of Industrial Design School at UJ Martin Bolton. It is all down to hard work, total commitment, and dedication from all the students. “I really did not expect to win at all as the final top 10 entries where all outstanding, going forward this gives me great motivation for the future and makes me happy to know I finished my degree with an award-winning design,” said Kari.

Yet another overall Festool award goes to the women, they must be the better designers than the men,” said Greg De Villiers Sales manager Vermont Sales. “This is the 2nd year the ladies have taken the overall title which certainly makes a statement in the design industry, to top it all, this was to design a rechargeable drill, hats off to the girls, for having the largest number of entries and finalists in the project and their 1st and 3rd overall placings for this prestigious Festool award,” said De Villiers.

This year’s overall Festool winner Kari de Villiers goes home with the prestigious award and a Festool power tool kit of three of their latest drill combo sets the PDC, TXS and CXS valued at R30 000, second place went to Edmar Maree and third to Marcha Naude. “The Festool award has become very popular with the students and was undertaken as their exam project for the BA Industrial Design course in 2016. The HOMEMAKERS Expo display included the majority of the classes work, and has effectively illustrated the student’s innovation, skill and abilities,” said Martin Bolton – Head of 3rd Year Department of Industrial Design School at UJ.

The Festool brand is a high quality high technology leader in the industry, to improve and design something new and innovative was a tough task, but one has to admit looking at the final top 10 designs on the show they certainly did the brand proud and came up with the goods,” said Bolton. Greg De Villiers and Festool’s International guest Nadja Korbel Festool Territory Sales Manager and Specialist Demonstrator, agreed that the quality, finish, and professionalism was outstanding.

The product had to be developed to suit the Festool brand, incorporating innovative technologies which are currently only available in the high end Festool products. The design approach needs to carefully consider how people use the product for drilling, screwing, piloting, assembling, DIY’ing etc. As the task was a rechargeable product, they were required to push the boundaries of innovative batteries, and an appropriate recharging station. The design outcome had to reflect empathy with the human interface of the product and highlight the student’s ability to design complex forms that reflect both the brand and the correct level of visual appeal to entice customers to purchase the product.

This project was quite a major task for the students as it involved, research, cad drawings, engineering drawings, final specs of all parts, measurements, all components, sketches, and the final life sized workable model,” said Vermont’s de Villiers.