Designing Democracy was produced by The City for the DESIGNING_SOUTHAFRICA programme. 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?

The City explored the notion of ‘Designing a Democracy’ through research, partnerships, events and public projects. The project explored the notion of design-led thinking through innovation, creativity and problem solving and how this approach can better serve South Africa’s democracy. The programme specifically highlights areas where good design may best serve society through city making, housing, education, healthcare and an exploration on urban identities, heritage and culture.
The programme seeks to facilitate collaboration between architects and designers on key projects in these sectors. In particular, we were 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 explored the transformative power of design in improving the quality of life for all, through global best practice.


Programme Leaflet