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THE CHALLENGE The COVID-19 pandemic is as big a problem in need of solutions as any we have faced in a generation. Beyond affecting the

individual and limiting their movements, and interactions, it also presents a challenge for design businesses across the board.

THE OPPORTUNITY With this and other challenges in mind, Tracy Lynch - creative director of Nando's Design Programme – started working on

a series of screens and furniture accessories that would make social distancing more intuitive, but also an enriching aesthetic experience, while supporting Nando's designer-maker partners.

"We saw the social distancing project as an opportunity for our online marketplace, The Portal to Africa, and for Clout, our design programme,

to start engaging with designers to find solutions.


Loeries Awards



South Africa



THE SOLUTION We worked on a series of social distancing design concepts, starting with a “table-blocker” screen to create distance between customers sharing a table, or to block off certain areas

completely. To make it more interactive and bring home the Nando's experience, we created two opportunities: one to showcase Nando's Hot Young Designer 2018 competition finalist’s patterns on the screens, so that DESIGN FOR THE NEW NORMAL young designers earn a licensing fee for the use of their work. Secondly, to showcase artwork from Spier Arts Creative Block project. So, while we are creating a practical solution to encourage social distancing, we’re also supporting creativity and showcasing beauty."Studio LeeLynch created a catalogue of items, collaborating with South

African designers such as Dokter and Misses, Pedersen and Lennard, Naturalis, Ashanti Design, Takk, Saks Corner and The Urbanative. The range includes table-blocker screens, clearly marked bollards for queues,

contact-free hand sanitizing units and seat-stoppers that indicate which seats can’t be utilised. The catalogue is a work in progress, so it remains open to new ideas that can be made to suit different business needs. The designs are available to some 1200 Nando’s restaurants worldwide, but also for other businesses who are interested.

THE RESULT Almost 7000 items have been bought already, worth R7,557,637.00 – revenue which goes back into the South African design sector. Over the next few months, these pieces will bring South African ingenuity, creativity, and design thinking a bit closer to restaurant patrons around the world.

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