Design Storming at Khayelitsha
They settled on the issue of waste removal in informal settlements.Inadequate refuse collection is a problem which exacerbates the spread of disease, the blockage of sewerage systems, and the proliferation of rats. They were mind-mapping, sketching, using iPads to research online. Nobody was billing these hours: they were there voluntarily as part of a new project, a collaboration between the Cape Town Design Network, Creative Cape Town, and the Social Justice Coalition.
"Really, the idea was created out of necessity," explained Cape Town Design Networks, Michael Wolf, who was also involved in the bidding process for Cape Town to be the World Design Capital in 2014. "Our bid was based around the notion that we would use design to transform lives, so we wanted to create a format to allow designers to engage with the basic issues of our city." The Cape Town Design Network already has a database of designers, and they decided to involve NGOs that could identify prominent social problems and could also serve as liaisons to the communities involved
"The key idea is to create this connection between designers, the issues, and the communities involved," said Wolf. When they put out a call for participants in the first Design Storm, the response was extremely positive, in fact, they ended up with a waiting list of 50 people. They hope to run the Design Storms every three months, with the next one taking place in September.
Each Design Storm will see a collaboration with a different NGO, who will be responsible for deciding on the issue to be focused on and drawing up a ?problem statement? to help guide the brainstormers. For the inaugural Design Storm, it was up to the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) to identify a problem to be solved. They settled on the issue of waste removal in informal settlements
All four proposals will be taken away to be 'revised and tweaked', according to Wolf, and will be published open source on the Cape Town Design Network website. When one idea is agreed on as being most promising, it will be up to the SJC to turn it into a proposal to take forward to the City of Cape Town for consideration. "I think quite a few of them could improve the situation," says Notywala. "The City says they are looking forward to the ideas we?ll be putting forward because they know we have a problem."
Nonetheless, there is something undeniably inspiring about seeing volunteers willing to give up their weekends to work on a project of this nature. "It proves that people really are ready to invest their time pro bono," says Wolf. "People want to get involved to change things."
Design Storming: Igniting change with collective imagination, on Cape Town Design Network
Hi - I'm Melinda, a new intern at Cape Town Green Map and this is my first blog: a summary of Rebecca Davis's article "Talking Township Trash"published in the Daily Maverick on 6 July 2012.
By: Melinda Leonard