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In 2016 the Faculty continued to increase the scope of its involvement in international projects, collaborations and exchanges. The Faculty received several international researchers or academics from institutions in Australia, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Portugal, Switzerland, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and the United States. At the same time, FADA staff members travelled in various capacities to destinations across the globe, including Australasia, Europe, the United States, South America, Turkey, Abu Dhabi, China, India, Scandinavia, Belarus, and throughout Africa – presenting conference papers, giving keynote addresses and lectures, serving on juries, etc.

Community Engagement

Community engagement, social activism and public awareness of our role in broader society and our communities are fundamental to all the programmes in the faculty. Indeed, the principles of community service and active citizenship remain an integral part of the Faculty’s teaching programmes.  2016 was no exception, with all students in the Faculty being involved in some way with community outreach projects, some of which are detailed below. The departmental reports also show how staff continued to be visible on a number of public platforms, in the form of media interviews, public talks, etc.

In addition to our international collaborations and linkages, there were a number of national collaborations with a variety of institutions, including the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of Pretoria, the University of Cape Town, The Tshwane University of Technology, the Central University of Technology, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, and the Greenside Design Center.  As detailed in the Departmental reports, faculty staff at all levels were well represented on professional forums, served on national and international professional bodies, and served the national academic community in the capacity of assessors, moderators and external examiners. 

The 2016 Green Week was a collaboration between eight FADA departments, the global NPO Enactus, the Faculty of Management and the Department of Strategic Communications in the Faculty of Humanities. One of the Green Week projects won the National Enactus competition, and was thus a semi-finalist in its international competition. The group of students travelled to Canada to participate in this event.

A project entitled ‘Designing for and with local communities’ involved third-year students from Multimedia and Graphic Design, and was organised and facilitated in collaboration with the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation (CERT), the DSD Lab, and STAND. Through partnering with community organisations from Westbury, student design teams were exposed to the realities, responsibilities and techniques involved in community-oriented participatory design.

In 2016, the FADA, HIV/AIDS Curriculum Integration research project continued for the second year of the grant from HEAIDS. Seven FADA departments were engaged in finding appropriate means by which aspects of HIV/AIDS education could be infused in their curricula. In September, the participating departments successfully presented the HIV/AIDS exhibition of students’ work produced across the faculty. In June, the Institutional Office for HIV and AIDS (IOHA) showcased selected projects completed at FADA in 2015 at the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban. An exhibition stand, designed by students, was built for this exhibition under the guidance of Ms Giovanna Di Monte-Milner from the Department of Interior Design. 

Prof Kim Berman from the Visual Art Department presented two Continuous Education Programmes in 2016. These were: ‘An Introduction to Art Therapy and Social Action’ and ‘An Introduction to Master’s Pre-Proposal Writing in Art and Design’. In addition to the ongoing Green Week and IOHA HIV/AIDS community engagement initiatives, other noteworthy community engagement initiatives included:

  • The Fietas Community Engagement in Vrededorp, which involved the documentation the history of Fietas and resulted in the publication of a booklet with will form part of the information pack in the Fietas Museum. UJ’s Community Engagement office funded some of the activities in 2016. 
  •  The Diepsloot Sanitation Project in the informal settlements of Diepsloot, North of Johannesburg. The focus of the projects was to understand the use of public space in informal settlements and to propose designs that drew on the peoples’ cultural practices and opportunities. The project addressed proposals for the creation of child and women-friendly surroundings, hygiene, safety, waste-water recycling, waste treatment and vegetation. The students were trained in using computers to document the sanitation initiatives. Two students were sponsored to attend a Sanitation Conference held in Cape Town in July 2016, at which the project proposals was presented. 
  • The design of a playground for the children of Chimpamba Village in Malawi, which was organized by the New York-based NGO ‘Youth of Malawi’ and three UJ alumni architects under ‘Architects for. The third year class of the bachelor of architecture programme participated in the design competition from which four winners were picked to travel to Chimpamba. The UJ Community Engagement office funded the travel and participation of the four students and their lecturer Mr Opper to Chimpamba. 
  • The design and manufacture of themed aprons for the 60 pre-schoolers of the Golang Educational Outreach project, Zandspruit Informal Settlement in Honeydew. Every year the Fashion Design 1 and Fashion Production 1 students work together for a Winter School project. This is a week-long project which aims to consolidate and strengthen the practical skills of patterns and sewing which have been taught during the first semester. For the 2016 Winter School project the 1st years were divided into 8 groups, each group being tasked with designing and making 10 children’s aprons. The Johannesburg Sewing Centre donated vouchers to the winning group as well as selling the fabrics and trims at a reduced cost. The aprons were donated to the Golang Education Outreach for the pre-school learners to wear during ‘messy play’ in order to protect their clothing. Golang is an education centre which caters to children living in the Zandspruit informal settlement, north-west of Johannesburg. A total of 80 aprons were made, each apron being unique, vibrant and durable.
  • Ms van Zyl and Ms Groenewald from the Department of Graphic Design collaborated with the UJ Institutional Office for HIV/AIDS in participating in the IOHA Poster competition, while Ms Robyn Cook assisted in the Rebranding of the UJ residences. Mr Brenden Gray completed a collaborative project with activists in Westbury on Human Centred Design.
  • The CE Women’s Empowerment project, which is a collaboration between the Jewellery Design and Manufacture Department and the UJ CE unit. The project aims to raise awareness by honouring women who empower communities. The students design and manufacture a piece- offered as an award in the form of a pendant based on the key qualities of empowered women. The jewellery pieces involve drawing inspiration from and parallels between women and nature, gems-animals-plants. 

In addition, there were projects with various other NGOs, including Izindaba Zokudla, Child Line, Sparrow Schools, and Farm the City; the rebranding of UJ residences; the re-conceptualisation of UJ academic attire; a collaborative project with community activists in Westbury on Human-Centred Design; the UJ Women in Community Engagement Projects; a BTech Fine Art Citizenship Project facilitated by the Art Therapy Centre Lefika la Phodiso; the Phumani Paper Mill; and Artist’s Proof Studios.