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What is D_ZA

DESIGNING_SOUTHAFRICA (D_ZA) is a not-for-profit organisation that through seminars, exhibitions, publications and online and media resources provides a tool to engage and connect governments, cities, designers, architects and the public.

Founded in 2009, just before the 2010 World Cup came to our cities, D_ZA was created as an organisation to facilitate a design led dialogue around the World Cup and the significant urban projects that surrounded it. Since then the organisation has become a highly respected advocacy group for the proliferation of design thinking in nation building. From designing education to designing healthcare, D_ZA believes that the process of design that includes workshops, conceptual thinking and an open solutions-oriented dialogue between diverse role players and designers can assist in building a better nation.

 To us, good design  features at a point where technical skill, creativity, culture and social need meet, with our environment carefully considered. Design offers solutions to complex problems, questions the status quo. meets social challenges and redefines conventional thought.

Design should matter.
Design should be useful, not wasteful.
Design should touch the earth lightly.
Design should make life better.

Why is our work important for South Africa?

DESIGNING_SOUTHAFRICA works with all tiers of government, architects, designers, academia, the private sector as well as international stakeholders to address the challenges faced by our society through design led innovations. D_ZA provides information and new evidence on the value of design in a developing economy, like South Africa. We demonstrate the opportunity for design to help meet tomorrow’s challenges and improve everyday life. We inspire new design thinking, encourage public debate and showcase key design projects that are innovative and that are relevant to South Africa.

Why is our work important globally? 

D_ZA connects individuals, ideas and institutions. Through creating a global network of designers, organisations and nations, innovative solutions to local contexts can be found. Conversely, through partnering with and learning from the local, larger organisations and governments can collectively design more inclusive and responsible communities. Multi-scalar networking, partnering and pairing is central to DESIGNING_SOUTHAFRICA’s approach.