DSD (www.designsocietydevelopment.org) is a part of the international network of Desis Labs: Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability (DESIS) network, whilst being hosted at the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. DESIS Labs are groups of professors, researchers and students are based in design schools and design-oriented universities, actively involved in promoting and supporting sustainable change and who orient their design and research activities towards social innovation. They can operate at the local scale with local partners and, in collaboration with other DESIS Labs, they can also engage in regional and global large-scale projects and programs.

DESIS Labs are engaged in different kinds of design and research projects and in networking activities:

The main issues of focus identified by the international DESIS committee are:

  • Activism and civic participation
  • Social interactions and relations
  • City and environmental planning
  • Food and agriculture
  • Manufacturing and energy
  • Skills, training, design education, job creation and entrepreneurship

UJ_UNIT 2’s 2015 programme is conceived under the DSD Desis lab umbrella with a special focus on activism, civic participation, social interactions and relations through its community engagement and design/build components. City, environmental planning and food and agriculture, manufacturing and energy will be explored through the tasks in the design studio through the various built environment applications. Finally, Architecture and Agency’s planned Centre for Research and Applied Technology (CReaATe) initiative will offer a strong connection to the Desis aims in terms of Skills, training, design education, job creation and entrepreneurship.

UJ UNIT 2 will collaborate closely with the DSD coordinators:

Angus Donald Campbell, Senior Lecturer in Industrial Design, UJ, is a qualified industrial and product designer with over a decade of experience. His interest is in design and technology for sustainable development and his current transdisciplinary Doctorate in Development Studies explores innovation and adaptation of technology by small-scale urban farmers in Johannesburg.

Terence Fenn, Lecturer in Multimedia, UJ, is interested in interactive design and is currently enrolled for a Masters in Information Technology at UCT. He initially trained as a fine artist and obtained a Master of Art and Design Education at the University of New South Wales. His primary areas of interest include design for social development, design thinking and interactive technologies.

Naudé Malan, PhD and Senior Lecturer, Development Studies, UJ, has previously studied participation in Agricultural Development and his Doctorate investigated the role of Civil Society in the realization of the right to have access to social security.  He is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for African Studies at Cambridge University and has taught at various faculties within UJ.