Everyday democratic values are challenged in South Africa as government, citizens, businesses and organisations test its outer limits. The process of nearing democracy is a feat that can only be achieved through problem solving, innovative thought, creativity, lateral thinking and significant strategising by civil society, governments and individuals. Design is the process through which solutions are found, and realising democracy as a product of design is an important step to creating an inclusive and integrated nation.

How can design-led thinking better serve South Africa’s democracy?

DESIGNING_SOUTHAFRICA explores the notion of ‘Designing Democracy’ through research, partnerships, events and public projects. This ongoing programme explores the notion of design-led thinking through innovation, creativity and problem solving and how this approach can better serve South Africa’s democracy. We will specifically highlight areas where good design may best serve society through DESIGNING_cities, DESIGNING_identity, DESIGNING_housing, DESIGNING_education, and DESIGNING_health.

D_ZA will facilitate collaboration between architects and designers on key projects in these sectors. In particular, D_ZA is interested in igniting a series of design-led innovative solutions through pairing designers with educators, learners, doctors, academics, city managers, mayors, governments and other related individuals and institutions. We will explore the transformative power of design in improving the quality of life for all, through global best practice.