design

society

development

DESIS Lab

ABOUT

The Design Society Development (DSD) DESIS Lab is a multi-disciplinary community of practice, based at the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Johannesburg, 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. Our lab is currently focused on challenging the ethnocentric view of the world brought about through modernization, and hence plays particular interest to our local context, cultural diversity and local needs. As designers we undertake design research projects through participatory, and preferably multi-stakeholder, human-centred methodologies in order to bring about appropriately considered change. 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 DESIS Network is an international network of 48 design labs, based in design schools and design-oriented universities, actively involved in promoting and supporting sustainable change. The DESIS association was formed between the Policenico di Milano (Italy), The New School (USA), University of Arts London (UK), Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Jiangnan University (China), and Tongji University (China) in June 2014 and the DSD DESIS Lab was accepted as the fourth lab based in Africa shortly thereafter. The DSD DESIS Lab is also a promoter of the international DESIS Food Cluster together with Polimi DESIS Lab, Milan and Strategic Design Senarios (SDS), Brussels.

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 DESIS 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.model of DSD-01

MEMBERS

PROJECTS

  • All
  • Peter Harrison
  • Desiree Smal
  • Jhono Bennett
  • Terence Fenn
  • Martin Bolton
  • OPENbuilding
  • Kyle Brand
  • Ivan Leroy Brown
  • Angus Donald Campbell
  • Chris Bradnum
  • Christa van Zyl
  • Stephanie Ryder
  • Energy
  • Sustainable Fashion
  • Naudé Malan
  • OPENarchitecture
  • Izindaba Zokudla
  • Participatory Design
  • Education
  • Water
  • Industrial Design
  • 4DDesign
  • Human Centred Design
  • DESIS Network
  • Richard B Meade
  • Region D Farmers Forum
  • Design Thinking
  • Communication Design
  • User Centred Design
  • Architecture
  • Sharné Vermeulen
  • Co-design
  • RDFF
  • uj_unit2
  • Food
  • Development Studies
  • Human-power
  • Multimedia
  • Urban Ag
  • User Experience
  • architectureandagency
  • Co-creation
  • Retail
  • Hydroponics
  • Critical Engagement
  • Systems Thinking
  • Urgan Ag
  • DESIS Food Cluster
  • MSE
  • Amira Osman
  • Strategic Design
  • Technology
  • Participation
  • Tools

SEMINARS

  • All
  • Anna Meroni
  • Amira Osman
  • Karima Benbih
  • Seminar
  • Education
  • Caring City
  • Government
  • Angus Donald Campbell
  • Architectural Representation
  • School Talk
  • Social Innovation
  • Development
  • Terence Fenn
  • Presentation
  • Social Impact Design
  • Service Design
  • Naudé Malan
  • Design Society Development

PUBLICATIONS

Campbell, A.D. & Harrison, P.H. (Forthcoming) Socio-technical Innovation: The Case of a Human-powered Shredder. Full paper accepted for Cumulus Milan, 3-7 June 2015: Virtuous Circle.

Malan, N. (Forthcoming) Design and Social Innovation for Systemic Change: Creating Social Capital for a Farmers’ Market. Full paper accepted for Cumulus Milan, 3-7 June 2015: Virtuous Circle.

Malan, N. & Campbell, A.D. 2014. Design, Social Change and Development: A Social Methodology. Design with the other 90%: Cumulus Johannesburg Conference Proceedings. Johannesburg: Cumulus Johannesburg. pp. 94-101. ISBN: 978-0-620-60373-7.

Osman, A., Bruyns, G., Aigbavboa, C., Campbell, A.D., Malan, N., Fenn, T. (Eds). Part 7: Design Society Development. In International Union of Architects World Congress: UIA 2014 Durban: Architecture Otherwhere: Resilience, Ecology, Values. pp. 1319-1474. Durban, South Africa: UIA 2014 Durban. ISBN: 978-0-86970-783-8

Osman, A. & Bennett, J. 2014. People And Projects: The Importance Of Catalysts In Teaching Community Architecture in South Africa. International Union of Architects World Congress: UIA 2014 Durban: Architecture Otherwhere: Resilience, Ecology, Values. pp. 1332-1343. Durban, South Africa: UIA 2014 Durban. ISBN: 978-0-86970-783-8

Brand, K.G. & Campbell, A.D. 2014. In-context and Ecology Immersion for Resilience: An Exploration of the Design of a Household Farming Kit. International Union of Architects World Congress: UIA 2014 Durban: Architecture Otherwhere: Resilience, Ecology, Values. pp. 1332-1343. Durban, South Africa: UIA 2014 Durban. ISBN: 978-0-86970-783-8

Bennett, J. & Osman, A. 2013. Critical Engagement in Informal Settlements: Lessons from the South African Experience. CIB World Building Congress 2013 Proceedings. Brisbane, Australia: International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction.

van Zyl, C. 2013. Supporting a Community through Design: Melville, Johannesburg. Proceedings of the Design Education Forum of Southern Africa: Encultured Design. pp. 271-286. Vaal Univesity of Technology, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa: DEFSA. ISBN No 978-1-77012-131-7

Fenn, T. & Hobbs, J. 2013. Applying User Journey Design to Resolve Complex Design Problems. Proceedings of the Gaborone International Design Conference (GIDEC) 2013: Design Future: Creativity, Innovation and Development. Gaborone, Botswana: University of Botswana. ISBN: 978-99968-0-019-1

Fenn, T. & Hobbs, J. 2013. Preparing Undergraduate Design Students for Complexity: A Case Study of the Johannesburg Art Gallery Project. Proceedings of the Gaborone International Design Conference (GIDEC) 2013: Design Future: Creativity, Innovation and Development. Gaborone, Botswana: University of Botswana. ISBN: 978-99968-0-019-1

Campbell, A.D. 2013. Designing for Development in Africa: A Critical Exploration of Literature and Case Studies from the Disciplines of Industrial Design and Development Studies. Proceedings of the Gaborone International Design Conference (GIDEC) 2013: Design Future: Creativity, Innovation and Development. Gaborone, Botswana: University of Botswana. ISBN: 978-99968-0-019-1

Hobbs, J. & Fenn, T. 2013. Navigating Indeterminacy Through the Application of User Journeys. In. Appiah, E (ed). Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Design, Development & Research. pp. 190-209. Kumasi, Ghana: College of Art & Social Sciences. ISBN: 978-9988-1-8513-8

Campbell, A.D. 2013, November. Participatory Technology Design for Urban Agriculture in South Africa. In Lyle, P., Choi, J. HJ., Lawson, S., Lueg, C., Chamberlain, A., Foth, M., Meroni, A., & Brereton, M (Eds). Proceedings of the Urban Agriculture: A Growing Field of Research: Workshop at INTERACT 2013 – 14th IFIP TC13 Conference on Human-Computer Interaction. pp. 8-16. Cape Town, South Africa: INTERACT 2013. ISBN: 978-0-620-58534-7

Bennett, J. & Breed, I. 2012. Architectural Design In Response to Vulnerable Networks. Sustainable Human(e) Settlements: The Urban Challenge Conference Proceedings. Johannesburg, South Africa: Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture, University of Johannesburg. pp. 30-44. ISBN: 978-0-620-54069-8

Fenn, T. & Hobbs, J. 2012. The Information Architecture of Transdisciplinary Design Practice: Rethinking Nathan Shedroff’s Continuum of Understanding. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Design, Development & Research. pp. 1-15. Cape Town, South Africa: Design, Development & Research Conference. ISBN: 978-0-620-52128-4

Campbell, A.D. & Brand, K.G. 2012. Design of Resilient Products for Small-scale Farming in South Africa. Proceedings of the Agrindustrial Design: 2nd International Product and Service Design Congress and Exhibition on Agricultural Industries – Mediterranean/Food/Design. pp.278-286. Izmir, Turkey: Izmir University of Economics Press. ISBN: 978-975-8789-49-8

Fenn, T. & Hobbs, J. 2011. A Role of Information Architecture in Design Education: Conceptualising Indeterminate Problems in Design Thinking. Proceedings of the Design Education Forum of Southern Africa: 20/20 Vision. pp. 87-94. University of Johannesburg, South Africa: DEFSA. ISBN No 978-0-620-52112-3

Fenn, T. & Hobbs, J. 2011. A Role for Information Architecture in Design Education: Developing Innovation Through Structured Thinking. Proceedings of the Design Education Forum of Southern Africa: 20/20 Vision. pp. 95-101. University of Johanensburg, South Africa: DEFSA. ISBN No 978-0-620-52112-3

Malan, N. & Campbell, A.D. 2013. Participatory Technology Design for Urban Agriculture in South Africa. Paper presented at the Development Studies Postgraduate Seminar Series, University of Johannesburg. Johannesburg, South Africa, 3 October.

Malan, N. & Campbell, A.D. 2013. Finding a Focus for MetroAg/MetroFood: An Analysis of the Johannesburg Food System. Spring 2013 MetroAg Webcasts, Michigan State University: Online, 8 April.

Campbell, A.D., Oosthuizen, T., Ntombela, B., Tuttle, R. & Malan, N. 2012. The Role of Education, Government and Commerce in Design for Social Development. Public Seminar, University of Johannesburg: Johannesburg, South Africa, 17 July.

Campbell, A.D. & Brand, K.G. 2012. Design of Resilient Products for Small-scale Farming in South Africa. Paper presented at FADA Research Seminar Series, University of Johannesburg. Johannesburg, South Africa, 30 July.

Malan, N., Campbell, A.D., Fenn, T. & Brand, K.G. 2012. Design for Social Development. Paper presented at FADA Research Seminar Series, University of Johannesburg. Johannesburg, South Africa, 21 May.

Brand, K. 2014. Design and Development of a Single Household Farming Kit. University of Johannesburg: MTech Industrial Design Dissertation.

Day, M. 2013. Biocharger: The Design of a Safe and Efficient Biochar Production Unit for a Small Business Initiative in Johannesburg, Gauteng. University of Johannesburg: BTech Industrial Design Dissertation.

van der Merwe, C. 2012- 0ngoing. Sustainable Access to Food for the Urban Poor in Pretoria: A Study of Household Food Consumption in Mamelodi. University of Johannesburg: MA Development Studies Dissertation.

Moore, W. 2012. An Exploratory Ethnography of Urban Farming Practices in Noordgesig, Johannesburg: The Interplay between Food Security and Commercial Cultivation. University of Johannesburg: BA Hons Development Studies Dissertation.

Brand, K. 2010. The Research and Design of the Seboko Low-cost Tunnel System for Small-scale Farmers. University of Johannesburg: BTech Industrial Design Dissertation.

READING LIST

Wylant, B. 2008. Design Thinking and the Experience of Innovation. Design Issues. Volume 24 (2), 3-14.

Baxandall, M. 1985. Patterns of Intention: On the Historical Explanation of Pictures. London: Yale University Press.

Jakubowski, M. 2011. Global Village Construction Set: Civilization Starter Kit v.0.01. Open Source Ecology.

Krippendorff, K. 2007. Design Research, an Oxymoron? In Michel, R. (ed.). Design Research Now: Essays and Selected Projects. Basel: Birkhauser: 67-80

Michel, R. (ed.) 2007. Design Research Now: Essays and Selected Projects. Basel: Birkhauser.

Reeves, T.C., Herrington, J. & Oliver, R. 2005. Design Research: A Socially Responsible Approach to Instructional Technology Research in Higher Education. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 16:2 (Spring) 97-116.

Buchanan, R. 2001. Children of the Moving Present: The Ecology of Culture and the Search for Causes in Design. Design Issues, 17:1 (Winter): 67-84.

Jahn, T., Bergmann, M. & Keil, F. 2012. Transdisciplinarity: Between Mainstreaming and Marginalization. Ecological Economics, 79:1-10.

Hunt, J. nd. TransDesign Q&A. http://transdesign.parsons.edu/faqs/ Accessed 2012-08-16.

Nicolescu, B. 199. The Transdisciplinary Evolution of Learning. Overcoming the Underdevelopment of Learning Symposium, Annual Meeting of the American Education Research Association, Montreal, Canada, April 19-23.

Max-Need, M.A. 2005. Foundations of Transdisciplinarity. Ecological Economics, 53: 5-16.

Tempelhoff, J.W.N. 2010. Editorial Comment: Action Research or Transdisciplinary Research? TD the Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in South Africa, 6:2 (December) vii-viii.

Wickson, F., Carew, A.L. & Russell, A.W. 2006. Transdisciplinary Research: Characteristics, Quandaries and Quality. Futures, 38: 1046-1059.

Esteva, G. 2010. Development. In Sachs, W (Ed.). The Development Dictionary: A Guide to Knowledge as Power (Second Edition). London: Zed Books.

Bonsiepe, G. 2005. Design and Democracy. Lecture at the Metropolitan University of Technology, Santiago Chile, June.

Kuang, C. (ed.). nd. Is Humanitarian Design the New Imperialism? Co-Design: Business+Innovation+Design. http://www.fastcodesign.com/1661859/is-humanitarian-design-the-new-imperialism Accessed 2012-09-11.

Kuang, C. (ed.) nd. Do Designers Actually Exploit the Poor While Trying to Do Good? Jan Chipcase Responds.  Co-Design: Business+Innovation+Design.  http://www.fastcodesign.com/1665635/do-designers-actually-exploit-the-poor-while-trying-to-do-good-jan-chipchase-responds  Accessed 2012-09-11.

Margolin V. 2012. Design and Democracy in a Troubled World. Lecture at the School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University, April 11.

Shedroff, N. 2009. Design is the Problem: The Future of Design Must be Sustainable. New York: Rosenfeld Media.

Feenberg, A. 2004. Critical Theory of Technology. Lecture at Northeast China University, Shenyang, Summer.

Wylant, B. Design Thinking and the Experience of Innovation. Design Issues, 24:2 (Spring) 3-14.

Sanders, E.B.-N. Generative Tools for CoDesigning. 2000. In Scrivener, Ball & Woodcock (eds). Collaborative Design. London: Springer-Verlag.

Sanders, E.B-N. & Stappers, P.J. 2008. Co-creation and the New Landscapes of Design. CoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts, 4:1, 5-18.

Sleeswijk Visser, F. Stappers, J.P. & van der Lugt, R. 2005. Contextmapping: Experiences from Practice. CoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts, 1:2,

Stappers, P.J, & Sleeswijk Visser, F. 2007. Bringing Participatory Techniques to Industrial Design Engineers. International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education. Newcastle Upon Tyne: Northumbria University.

Steen, M. 2011. Tensions in Human-centred Design. CoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts, 7:1, 45-60.

van der Burg, V & Verhoef, M (eds.) 2010. Rich Insights! Context Mapping Put Into Practice. Delft: Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology.

Parfitt, T. 2004. The Ambiguity of Participation: A Qualified Defence of Participatory Development. Third World Quarterly, 25:3, 537-556.

Williams, G. 2004. Evaluating Participatory Development: Tyranny, Power and (Re)politicisation. Third World Quarterly, 25:3, 557-578.