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Press / presentations

Below is a collection of where my work has been published, mentioned, presented, displayed or exhibited. It includes competitions, exhibitions, conference presentations, online design blogs, newspaper articles etc.


GOOD DESIGN™AWARDS 2009 awarded to my filter design

Good Design Logo

In December 2009 I received a GOOD DESIGN Award for my Vhembe filter design under the Energy Systems section of the 2009 AWARDS. Below is an excerpt from the press release on the 23rd of December 2009, from Lary L. Sommers: Chicago Athaneum.

"The world's top corporations win over 500 prestigious GOOD DESIGN™AWARDS setting the highest standard for the best, most advanced product designs, branding, and graphics for 2009."

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, December 23, 2009. . . . From the high-tech aerospace industries to manufacturers of consumer products designed for the tabletop, hundreds of the world's leading corporations and design offices from 40 nations—from Shanghai to Istanbul—vied in Chicago and New York for the world's oldest and most coveted GOOD DESIGN™ Award for 2009, which is conferred annually by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design together with The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.

Founded in Chicago in 1950 by architects Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames, and Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., GOOD DE­SIGN bestows international recognition upon the world's most prominent designers and manufacturers for advancing new, visionary, and innovative product concepts, invention and originality, and for stretching the envelope beyond what is considered ordinary product and consumer design.

For 2009 and despite the economic slowdown, a record number of submissions were received by The Chicago Athenaeum ranging from a Mars Landing Rover designed for a 2030 NASA Mars Space Mission to a simple water purification system for rural South African villages...


GOOD DESIGN is the singular, international design awards program the entire design and corporate world waits for each year, " states Mr. Narkiewicz-Laine. "GOOD DESIGN says it all today—no more, no less—just as it had in 1950 and continues now nearly for 60 years. GOOD DESIGN has immediate public recognition for the best new design produced worldwide. For the public, it's THE seal of approval. Hundreds of leading winning manufacturers and FORTUNE 500 companies print the GOOD DESIGN logo for awarded their products on their packaging, marketing information, adver­tising, websites, corporate information, posters, billboards, and branding. You can hardly open a magazine in Europe or Asia without seeing the Museum's GOOD DESIGN logo positioned on advertising from automobiles to luxury personal products."

Arkitekten: Danish Architecture Magazine
Article on my design and time spent in Copenhagen. Double page spread.
(Vol. 111. Nr.12, 2009)

Arkitekten logo
Arkitekten Magazine

While in Copenhagen and working on my netbook, chilling on a bench outside the campsite, I got approached by a nice Danish lady. We got chatting and she told me about her friend who worked for the abovementioned magazine. Thereafter, I met with Ida, who invited me over to dinner with her family. She approached the editor of Arkitekten, who gave the ok for the article. It turned out to be a full double page article which I am very happy about.
I have scanned the article and the link is below.

Fra Limpopo til Copenhagen Design Week. By Ida Praestegaard

Royal College of Sergeons in Ireland, Dublin
(21-23 September 2009)
RCSI icon
I presented my research which I conduced in the rural areas of the Limpopo Province of South Africa at the International Research Colloquium of the Network to promote Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage in Dublin, Ireland. My presentation was entitled Receptiveness, drawbacks and design adaptations of the Potters for Peace filter (PFP) in the South African rural context.

The presentation went very well, and was received well by all the conference atendees. I look foreward to conducting more research and presenting at other conferences in the future. I enjoyed presenting the things that I have seen, observed and learnt in the past several years whilst conducting village visits in the Vhembe region. Furthermore, to recieve comments from people conducting similar work in other rural areas across the world was very cool.


Aspen Design Challenge
(23-25 June 2009: Aspen USA | 25-29 August 2009, Copenhagen, Denmark)

indes aiga

My water filter design was chosen as one of seven finalists in the 2008-2009 Aspen Design Challenge entitled “Designing Water’s Future.”

(07 July 09)
I recently arrived back from Aspen for the first set of workshops and meetings where I worked alongside the other six finalists with input from five advisors consisting Deborah Adler, Brian Collins, Gary M. Cook, Dr. Chris H. Luebkeman and Fred Murrell. This was an amazing experience and there is no doubt that it is the highlight of my design career thus far.Being invited to such a beautiful setting (Aspen CO), presenting my previous two years work to a critique panel created a fair amount of anxiety. This anxiety however, soon turned into an opportunity to absorb as much knowledge as possible, from the team of experts willing to contribute! By the end of the time spent, I had learn't a new approach to idea presentation, and communication skills which will assist me hugely in various ways, one of which will be the next stage of this competition, being the presentations in Copenhagen in mid August.

The name of my water filter is now the Vhembe Filter. This is due to the area in which it was developed, the Vhembe region of the Limpopo Province in South Africa.

I would like to thank Index, Aiga, and all the advisors who made my trip to the workshop in Aspen possible. I have learnt a huge amount and will no doubt apply it as I develop my presentation for Copenhagen. mb
Designing Water’s Future is aimed at generating exceptionally creative and original design thinking to raise awareness of the emerging global water crisis—and to do so in ways that inspire people to act. Reaching beyond all boundaries, the initiative seeks to reframe how we think about water, how we manage it, how we save it. It will address the design problem of the crisis, redefining the outdated, cultural myths about water that have become obstacles to progress on one of the world’s gravest threats. (see full article)

You can read about the finalists here...

You can read about my entry here :"
Improved ceramic filter for rural households"...

Finalists selected in first annual INDEX: | AIGA Aspen Design Challenge,
Designing Waters Future
Next generation of creative thinkers respond to global water crisis with creativity and verve

  • Students from 115 universities in 27 countries compete for $10,000 award
  • Selected finalists to present at UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen

NEW YORK, March 17, 2009Tasked with developing design solutions to address the global water crisis, design students across the world rose to the challenge in force, dreaming up wildly different solutions ranging from print design to web applications, physical devices to data presentation tools, and print campaigns to environmental design. More than 450 students at 115 universities from 27 countries participated in the Challenge, drawing from their diverse and disparate backgrounds to help solve a truly global crisis.

I was amazed by the proposals that came in. There was a wide range of thinking from communications to environmental design and product design. Most of all, I was inspired by the broad, systemic thinking and team collaboration the designers did to find good answers, said Brian Collins of creative chairman, Collins:, a New York-based design firm.

The vibrancy with which some of the global water issues, like less than optimal use of water, got translated into issues like how you actually water your lawns was amazing, said juror Margaret Catley-Carlson. You can discuss it globally, you can compare models, you can find out whats going on, but water is local, water is local, water is local.

From more than 225 entries, seven projects were chosen as Finalists for successfully addressing the Challenge in terms of form, context, potential impact and feasibility.


Various designs of mine featured in a polish online design magazine

Puszka, skóra, rura

This is an online Polish design magazine which featured my Tire Stool design, as well as my Salad Server design.


My Rural Water Filter in a Chinese article about three different product designs, relating to water.


简易净水器  [Simple water purifier]


My Rural Water Filter in a Russian article.

Новости современного промышленного дизайна [News of modern industrial design]


Ceramic filtration system


My wooden scooter design, included in an article in an American Scooter Blog. 

An easy-to-make scooter for the third world


Press release about AIGA / INDEX Aspen Design Challenge on the Designtaxi website


NEWS: Finalists Selected In First Annual INDEX:| AIGA Aspen Design Challenge


Press release about my Rural Water Filter on the Yanko Design website

Yanko Design

Aqua, Hydra or Simply Water; It Needs To Be Clean


The Yanko Design article was featured on the Notcot website. Featured design #20206.

Yanko Design

Notcot website, page number 428


Press release about my Rural Water Filter on the Trends Updates website


I presented my Rural Water Filter design at the Design Indaba 2009, In Cape Town 2009.

design indaba logo

I recently has the awesome opportunity of presenting one of my designs at the Design Indaba 2009 in Cape Town. It was an awesome experience and gave me the opportunity to meet with many different types of people from all over the world. I presented alongside 49 other young designers/artists from across South Africa as part of the Emerging Creative's programme. There was  interest in my Rural Water Filter design, which unfortunately cannot be published on this website yet. As soon as I am able to, I will include info under my designs page.

A short article has been published on the Capetown alive website...


Press release about my Rural Water Filter presentation at the Design Indaba, Cape Town 2009.


Press release about the Design Indaba 2009, mentioning my Rural Water Filter design.

weekender logo

Read the full article entitled: Design Indaba brings the usual suspects, and more.
'From bits and bobs to new walls for houses, the Indaba was the place to be, says ANTHEA BUYS'

Martin Bolton, a Masters student at the University of Johannesburg’s school of Fine Art, Design and Architecture, has devised a small, portable, easy-to-use water-purification mechanism. After standard quality control procedures, Bolton’s design, originally conceived as a project towards his Masters degree, will be patented and produced for low-cost distribution in SA. "

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written permission of the author. Website design, graphic design, and icons: Martin Bolton