What to Expect at the Upcoming #CocreateDesign Festival

Updated on 12 February 2018

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cocreate festivalThe cocreateDesign Festival has announced its speaker list comprising top local and international designers, thinkers and activists set to tackle challenges in water, food security, mobility and social cohesion. The conference will take place on 23 February at the District Six Homecoming Centre.

Alfredo Brillembourg, founding partner of Urban-Think Tank, is a keynote speaker for the event. An award-winning architect, Brillembourg was part of the “Empower Shack” initiative, which sought to design and build a prototypical house to improve housing conditions in informal settlements across South Africa.

“Across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the United States, the defining role of the architectural profession in the Global South, shows a commitment to helping cities to recover from disaster through rebuilding, and bridging the gap that separates short-term emergency needs from long-term sustainable recovery. The resulting informal cities will redefine the urban experience in our lifetime. As architects, we must live up to our unique role in this epic story of human movement, set in motion by the common search for a better life,” said Brillembourg.

Some of the local speakers to look out for at the conference include:

  • Rehana Moosajee, international speaker and founder of the Barefoot Facilitator
  • Sumayya Vally, architect and cofounder and director at Counterspace
  • Brett Herron, mayoral committee member: Transport and Urban Development Authority, City of Cape Town
  • Julia Mclachlan, architect at Square One and member of Cape Institute for Architecture (CIfA), the Water Institute of South Africa (WISA), the Institute for Landscape Architecture in South Africa (ILASA), and the Urban Design Institute of South Africa (UDISA)
  • Alison Lewis, dean, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at University of Cape Town
  • Zahira Asmal, director at Designing_SouthAfrica
  • Rod Choromanski, director at Choromanski Architects
  • Brenda Skelenga, curator at the Harare Academy of Inspiration
  • Luyanda Mpahlwa, founder and sirector at Luyanda Mpahlwa DesignSpaceAfrica
  • Zayaan Khan, cofounder at The Apocalypse Pantry
  • Yusry Frizlar, director at Arcus GIBB
  • Gail Jennings, independent research consultant (sustainable and non-motorised transport): policy, strategy, planning, M&E, social and behaviour change
  • Catherine Stone, built environment, public sector governance specialist consultant and professional urban planner
  • Jodi Allemeier, programme lead at the Economic Development Partnership.

The conference will be hosted by renowned architect and WEF Young Global Leader Mokena Mkeka.

The #coceateDESIGN FESTIVAL will set the tone for an alternative perspective that looks “Beyond the Crisis” and unlocks the potential of design, design-thinking and design processes as a method to seek out new opportunities to build greener and more climate resilient cities.

Some of the critical questions that will be explored among experts and public participants include:

  • How can cities facing a water crisis seize the opportunity to become the next water role model on the continent?
  • Is the political will towards ecological solutions being rediscovered?
  • How can we collaborate to find sustainable solutions to the public transport system that goes further than simply fixing infrastructure and increases the role of the private sector?
  • How can we rethink food supply to the urban population in a way that harnesses support from farmers, government and business?
  • How can we learn from the transformation of Singapore’s water system by designing public open spaces as water catchments?
  • Our societies have transformed, but why are our governance structures dealing with major challenges not doing the same?

#cocreateDesign Festival is a platform to examine and exchange ideas, innovations and co-create sustainable solutions to challenges in both South African cities and rapidly urbanising African cities. The event aims to use design and design-thinking to look “Beyond the Crisis” and is an initiative of The Netherlands Consulate General in collaboration with The Craft and Design Institute and Future Cape Town.

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