UJ conference changing the world by design

The Faculty of Art Design and Architecture (FADA) at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the Greenside Design Center (GDC) are jointly hosting the 2014 Cumulus Conference in Johannesburg – a first for Design Education in South Africa. The International Conference is scheduled to take place in the FADA auditorium from the 22 – 24 September, 2014.​


An accompanying exhibition is planned for the FADA Gallery. The exhibition showcase co-design and co-creation projects and products; research and community based design solutions, addressing the conference theme, Design with the other 90%: Changing the world by Design.Design with the other 90% – FADA Gallery

Exhibition opening, Monday evening 22 September at 18:00 for 18:30.

The exhibition is curated by Chris Bradnum, the University’s Head of Department for Industrial Design. This is an opportunity for the international conference delegates, local industry, the art and design community, including FADA & GDC staff and students to experience unique community based art and design interventions firsthand. The Design with the other 90% exhibition showcases design for development projects from UJ’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture as well as the Greenside Design School. The work selected for the exhibition deals with the development of a variety of mechanisms to include communities in the design process. The work includes a mix of student and academics projects demonstrating how this theme is being dealt with at these levels.

The design of products or systems for developing communities in South Africa has a long history of imposing solutions without the active participation of the end user in the design process. This lack of participation has resulted in the limited acceptance of products developed for these communities. By improving the methods of including end users as co-creators in design for development projects there should be a better success rate for these types of projects. It is this very concept that the work at the Design with the other 90% exhibition attempts to grapple with: how can end users be included as contributors and decision makers in design for development projects?

Cumulus – embedding Art, Design and Media in the community, consists of 220 members from 48 countries; their headquarters are currently based in Helsinki, Finland.

Visit the cumulus website ​for the latest news and conference registration details

For more information please contact the organizers at info@cumulusjohannesburg.co.za.

The Cumulus Johannesburg International Conference ThemeFADA Auditorium.

In 2007, the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum hosted an exhibition entitled ‘Design for the other 90%’ which focused on design solutions that addressed the most basic needs of the 90% of the world’s population not traditionally served by professional designers. In 2008, Cumulus members signed the Kyoto Declaration, wherein they committed themselves to the ideals of sustainable development. The Cumulus Conference to be hosted by GDC and FADA seeks to bring discussions around the role art and design can and should play in sustainable social advancement, particularly in the context of the African Continent. Focusing on notions of respect, responsibility and sustainability, this conference seeks to explore the vital role that design, visual culture and design education plays in addressing pressing problems of our planet, particularly for under-served communities that are rarely benefactors of the work of artists and designers. It is envisaged that Africa’s distinctive capacity to respond to such problems will be highlighted.​

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