Calling all Cayman’s young designers

A new design competition open to high school students between the ages of 13 and 16 has recently been launched by Shruty Garrison, proprietor at Gawk & Leer, the luxury kitchen and homewares store in Seven Mile Shops.

Alessi, Eva Solo, Normann Copenhagen, Joseph Joseph, and Bodum are just a few of the high-end designer names of products found at Gawk & Leer.

It’s the type of shop that you have to linger over for a while, such is the variety and innovation of the products on offer. Shruty Garrison, who also owns Icoa Fine Foods located adjacent to Gawk & Leer, says that all her products are design focused and selected for their combined practicality of function and beauty of form.

“It is this concept which drives the current competition,” she explains.

“We are asking schools across the Island to put forward a small team of students who show aptitude in design. The students will need to identify an item within their own home, an everyday kitchen item or appliance, which they think may be designed or redesigned to be improved upon, either in beauty of form or practicality of function.”

Shruty says to explain the concept and aim of the competition in greater detail students will be invited to Gawk & Leer to attend a talk about approaches to design.

“This will be an informal talk focusing on specific design items, which have been produced or reproduced by Alessi (and other companies) which have changed the face of design,” she explains.

“Work by acclaimed designers such as Christopher Dresser and Phillippe Starck will be discussed as items which have influenced the development of design to the present day.” Students will be asked to work in teams of three with a supervisor, i.e. their teacher, to produce a portfolio of work documenting their thought processes during the design process.

“This could be in the form of sketches, doodles, notes, images they have seen, items they have been inspired by, or excerpts of writing for example. A small library of design books will be available for student use, and they are more than welcome to visit the store to view objects first hand,” Shruty says.

“This competition is meant to reflect the design process the designer undertakes following the design brief with the manufacturer, but prior to going into production specifics.”

The competition will culminate in the production of a single design by each team, of exhibition quality, which will be framed and hung for display in Icoa on view to all patrons.

The portfolios and final designs will be judged by three independent judges, and the winning team will receive a $600 gift voucher to spend on anything from Gawk & Leer. Second prize will be a voucher for $250 and $150 voucher for the third prize winners. Winning teacher will also receive a $100 gift voucher to spend in store.

Shruty concludes: “Through this competition and our interaction with the local high school students of Grand Cayman, we hope to increase knowledge and appreciation of both good design and international design.”

Wedding registry

Gawk & Leer offers a registry to those who are planning to get married.

On offer are trendy designer kitchen and home pieces that can spark conversation and are practical for everyday use.

For those with family and friends overseas, Gawk & Leer can create a custom e-mail-able wedding registry with the couple’s wish list for all potential guests to review online, with photos and prices attached, and purchase online. Once the online purchase is made, Gawk & Leer will have everything gift wrapped and labelled for the couple to collect after the wedding.


Stunning examples of innovative design