South Africa, Johannesburg, Design Society Development DESIS Lab

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Starts: 22 March, 2016
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Instructors: South Africa, Johannesburg, Design Society Development DESIS Lab
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Name: Design Society Development DESIS Lab

City: Johannesburg

Country: South Africa

Corresponding member: Angus Donald Campbell, Senior Lecturer, Department of Industrial Design, FADA, University of Johannesburg, acampbell@uj.ac.za

Address:
Design Society Development DESIS Lab, Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA),
University of Johannesburg (UJ), Bunting Road Campus, Auckland Park, 2006,
Johannesburg, South Africa
+27 11 559 1387
www.designsocietydevelopment.org
Hosting institution: Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA),
University of Johannesburg (UJ), Bunting Road Campus, Auckland Park, 2006, Johannesburg, South Africa
www.uj.ac.za/fada

Background and Objectives

The Design Society Development (DSD) DESIS Lab is a multi-disciplinary community of practice that seeks to better understand how design can best serve the emerging needs of broader society, specifically in the face of staggering inequality and rapid change in Gauteng, South Africa. The DSD DESIS Lab includes participants from design, the social sciences, economics and art. Activities undertaken within the auspices of the lab include practice, research activities and information dissemination.

The DSD DESIS Lab meets monthly to interrogate research, projects, methods and products that impact on the intersection and interplay between design, society and development in our specific context. We understand design as referring to the conscious choices we make in creating systems (community, society & productive systems) and technologies (products, artefacts, communicative technologies, systems integration); society as the human context that includes the broader social systems of culture, economy, politics and environment; and development as the discourse and practice of positive and considered change. We draw on critical political economy, social sciences, appropriate technology development, participatory and human-centered design, and other design approaches in our practice and research.

The following questions underpin the DSD Lab:

  • What role can design play in addressing social, cultural and environmental issues through technology and innovation?
  • How can designers help to make sense of an increasingly complex and interconnected world?
  • How should designers transform the way they think and do now – and in the future, in order to address issues like social injustice?
  • How can design act as a catalyst for introducing technology, where appropriate, to better the lives of people?
  • How could the impact of design be assessed and evaluated, and how could this feed into the design process and design education?

The key differentiator in this initiative is the focus on a human-centered approach to design, development and creative production.

Primary Research Areas & Activities

  • The design and development of products and systems to meet the specific needs and circumstances of identified communities in an economically viable, socially just and sustainable manner.
  • Design education.
  • The use of information technology to facilitate better interaction amongst social actors for knowledge sharing, social change and research.
  • Developing theory, design methodologies and evaluation methodologies for design interventions aimed at positive social change.

Thematic Project Areas
Please go to our website www.designsocietydevelopment.org to see a full list of all the design research projects undertaken within the DSD DESIS Lab.

  • LOCAL Design in the Global South. (2012-). Promoters: Angus D Campbell, Martin Bolton, Ashton Bullock, and José Antonio Marín Pacheco. Funders: South African National Research Foundation, University of Johannesburg Research Committee and University of Johannesburg Teaching Innovation Fund.
  • SIX-DAC: Spatial Interaction Design in African Cities. (2010-). Promoters: Terence Fenn, Jhono Bennett, and Afua Wilcox. Funders: Erasmus+, Leverhulme, and UJ Teaching Innovation Fund.
  • Design Driven Eco Fashion: The Role of Design in the Development of Sustainable Eco-fashion in South Africa. (2011-). Promoter: Desiree Smal.  Funders: University of Johannesburg.

Main Partners

  • The University of Johannesburg
    Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture: Departments of Industrial Design, Fashion Design, Multimedia, Graphic Design, Visual Art, Interior Design and Architecture.

Steering Committee

Angus Donald Campbell, HoD, Senior Lecturer, Department of Industrial Design, FADA, University of Johannesburg
Terence Fenn, Senior Lecturer, Department of Multimedia, FADA, University of Johannesburg
Desiree Smal, Senior Lecturer, Department of Fashion Design, FADA, University of Johannesburg
José Antonio Marín Pacheco, Lecturer, Department of Industrial Design, FADA, University of Johannesburg
Afua Wilcox, Part-time Lecturer, Department of Architecture, FADA, University of Johannesburg
Marcha Naudé, Master’s Student, Department of Industrial Design, FADA, University of Johannesburg

Members

Christa van Zyl, Lecturer, Department of Graphic Design, FADA, University of Johannesburg
Jhono Bennett, Independent Researcher, 1to1 – Agency of Engagement, FADA, University of Johannesburg
Martin Bolton, Senior Lecturer, Department of Industrial Design, FADA, University of Johannesburg
Mark Edwards, Senior Lecturer, Department of Multimedia, FADA, University of Johannesburg
Dr. Anthony Ambala, HoD, Department of Multimedia, FADA, University of Johannesburg
Neshane Harvey, Senior Lecturer, Department of Fashion Design, FADA, University of Johannesburg
Jason Hobbs, Director of Human Experience Design and Master’s Student, Department of Multimedia, FADA, University of Johannesburg
Tuliza Sindi, Architect and Part-time Lecturer, Department of Architecture, FADA, University of Johannesburg
Talita Harmsa, Master’s Student, Department of Fashion Design, FADA, University of Johannesburg
Pia Findlay, Master’s Student, Department of Industrial Design, FADA, University of Johannesburg
Oratile Mokgatla, Assistant Lecturer, Department of Industrial Design, FADA, University of Johannesburg
Tasmin Donaldson, Master’s Student, Department of Multimedia, FADA, University of Johannesburg