Design for Africa: Rocking the Design World


Design for Africa is an ambitious project to bring design as a problem-solving tool to local communities in Africa. Brainchild of industrial designers Frank Hofmann and Staffan Weigel, the project's ambition is to assist the people of Kibera by helping them look at new ways of creating useful items from garbage and other rejected materials. This could generate products or services that can be sold to tourists and other communities outside Kibera, thus bringing capital into the community. They'll accomplish this via a one-year, transcontinental road trip through Europe and Africa, with a stop in Kibera somewhere in the middle. Kibera is one of the largest ghettos in Eastern Africa, with almost 800,000 people living in an area the size of Manhattan’s Central Park and half of the population is under the age of 15. Because of the lack of resources and the poverty in the area, recycling is an everyday issue and a natural part of living.The two designers realize that traditional ideas of design and Africa might not fit together at first sight, that one might ask what African people need design for. This is one big goal and challenge of this project. Design is much more than nice shapes, packages or expensive "designer products". They want to show that design is a method, which works even in very poor parts of the world, and that design shouldn't be a first world country privilege.

Their progress can be tracked online, via their diary, photo gallery, and latitudinal and logitudinal waypoints (viewable with Google Earth or similar mapping software). They left in early February and are making their way across Europe; the last diary post was from Istanbul. Lots more info, ideas and resources at the website. via tipster Markus at ::DesignSpotter ::Design for Africa