In two weeks I head off to Milan to co-present a paper at the Cumulus Milan 2015: Virtuous Circle conference taking place from the 3-7 June. I will be presenting on a framework for socio-technical innovation that has been developed based on a current masters design research project undertaken by Peter Harrison, whom I am supervising. His project explores the development of a human-powered shredder for urban farmers in Soweto, South Africa. In addition to the paper presentation I will be representing both the UJ Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at the Cumulus General Meeting and the Design Society Development DESIS Lab that I coordinate at the the DESIS General Meeting. I will also be exhibiting at the Design to Feed the World Exhibition at Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan, a seedling growing system that was developed together with UJ BTech Industrial Design student Jomari Budricks last year. At the exhibition we will be one of only two projects representing food based interventions in Africa! To top all this activity we will also be launching the DESIS Food Cluster of which I am a coordinator, as an initiative of the DESIS Network that explores and promotes design knowledge for social innovation and sustainability in the food system. The cluster will be launched at an event called Design for Social Food, on 5 June as part of the Cumulus Milan 2015 DESIS proceedings. This will consist of a public debate with invited experts discussing the on-going results of the Food Cluster, and will be followed by the publication of a booklet collecting the outputs of the work done. And last, but not least, I will be attending the Expo Milano 2015: Feeding the Planet: Energy for Life!
Lots to do in a week, but I can’t wait!