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Cumulus Johannesburg: Design with the Other 90%: Changing the World by Design

When: 22 – 24 September 2014
Where:  Johannesburg, South Africa

Hosted by Greenside Design Center (GDC) and the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA) at the University of Johannesburg. Professionals, academics and educators from across the globe are invited to South Africa to share knowledge, ideas and inspiration around the role of design in changing the world. The event includes:

–        Addresses by three keynote speakers
–        Presentation of the conferences papers in the morning
–        Breakaway sessions (workshops and excursions) in the afternoon
–        An exhibition of student and alumni work from both institutions
–        A gala dinner

See the Call for Abstracts / Papers for more information

Educators and academics are also invited to participate in GDC’s three-week community engagement design project (10%) from 1 – 19 September 2014. See the Call for Participation for more information

For any queries, please contact

Cumulus is the only global association to serve art and design education and research. It is a forum for partnership and transfer of knowledge and best practices. Cumulus consists currently of 198 members from 48 countries.


Design Society Development CoP

Design for Social Development, a research area and reading group begun in 2010 in the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, UJ, is now officially renamed Design Society Development (DSD) Community of Practice (CoP). Our members come from the departments and disciplines of Industrial Design, Multimedia, Development Studies, Architecture, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Visual Art, Interior Design and Economics. In the face of staggering inequality and rapid change in South Africa, we meet biweekly to interrogate published research/projects and members’ personal research/projects that focus on the intersection of design, society and development. Each year DSD hosts a public seminar at FADA in order to expand the discussion into a public forum and strengthen opportunities of transdisciplinary collaboration. To show the world what we have been doing please visit our new website It is still under construction but will soon be populated with bios of all the members and the various research projects we have been involved in that fall under the gamut of social impact design in South Africa.


Design for Social Development Public Seminar: Achieving the Good Life: Design as an Instrument of a Caring City

On 16 September the Design for Social Development Reading group will be hosting a public seminar exploring design as an instrument of a caring city. The seminar will be held at the FADA Auditorium, University of Johannesburg, Bunting Road Campus (click here for a map) from 18:30 – 19:00. The two speakers are Erky Wood, who is a specialist in urban development processes and Dr Tom Sanya, who is a senior lecturer in sustainable theory and design at the University of Cape Town’s School of Architecture. The flyer is available here for sharing… I hope to see you there!


Design Thinking UJ Industrial Design Alumni Exhibition 2013

The exhibition opening was very well attended and we have had a positive response from viewers who really enjoyed the visual demystifying of the design process. The exhibition is still open until Wednesday the 28th August, try make it through, but if you are unable this is what Design Indaba had to say about it: and here are a few photographs taken by Kyle Brand during the opening evening…


Design and development of a single household farming kit

I am currently supervising Kyle Brand for his MTech in Industrial Design which is focused on the development of a single household farming kit. Kyle explains that, “This project forms the practical component of my masters study at the University of Johannesburg, Department of Industrial Design. The aim is to offer small-scale (often backyard) farmers some of the competitive advantages usually reserved only for large-scale farmers. The kit that is being developed using a humancentered design process includes a greenhouse which is low cost but optimised for smaller farmers. The greenhouse integrates an irrigation system as well as water capture. The other element of the kit is a multifunctional hoe/spade hand tool. This tool hopes to provide a more versatile tool for smallscale farmers, building on a tool which is often the symbol of agriculture, the hoe.” See three of the stories as the project unfolds on IDEO’s HCD Connect.


Farming at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa

If you are visiting Cape Town anytime soon head down to the new Moyo at the V&A Waterfront. The open air “African Souk” urban farm and restaurant is designed by architect Tsai from Tsai Design Studio. Tsai’s concept was to increase sustainability and almost completely remove food miles by actually growing all of the produce required for the restaurant on site. Not only does this include aquaponic vertical green walls and trout ponds, but also electricity generating solar louvres providing shade for patrons! Read more about the project here


Growing Power

This is an amazing video showing Will Allen, CEO of Growing Power, and how he is transforming urban food production in Milwaukee, USA. Will says that “If people can grow safe, healthy, affordable food, if they have access to land and clean water, this is transformative on every level in a community. I believe we cannot have healthy communities without a healthy food system.”


Health and poverty confronted

This is a nice historic reference to the involvement of Naudé with the City of Johannesburg in relation to food and farming, in this case specifically dealing with issues of urban migration:

“A lecturer in development studies at the University of Johannesburg, Naudé Malan, participated in the session focusing on food security in Orange Farm. “Agriculture presents an important opportunity; there is a need to improve knowledge infrastructure for farming and we need farming that is accessible to all,” he said.

It was also important to start farming with what you had and what was available, as well as letting people experiment on the land to find where their skills lay and what grew well on the land. “There are difficulties, but I think we can overcome them,” Malan said.” For the full article click here.

Naudé and I are currently members of the Johannesburg Mayoral Committee on Food Resilience and will be part of project that will be launched by Mayor Parks Tao at the end of July 2013 as part of the city’s continued Growth and Development Strategy (GDS)  2040.


The way we think about charity is dead wrong

A must watch TED talk by activist and fundraiser Dan Pallottain in March 2013 …