An initiative of the Mission Network of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Africa (#cocreateSANL), the annual festival celebrates and examines the power of design to address current socioeconomic and environmental challenges. It is organised in collaboration with the Craft and Design Institute (CDI), and in 2022 has been curated in partnership with the University of Cape Town’s Future Water Institute, the City of Cape Town and the Institute of Landscape Architects.
The two-day festival will gather academics, policymakers, government officials, water engineers, professionals, civil society members and creative thinkers from the water sector to discuss, engage, learn, and spark new ideas. It will be a hybrid event, taking place in person at the Youngblood art gallery in Bree Street, with a free live stream also available.
“The future of our planet’s natural ecosystem has never been more dependent on the design of better solutions by our human ecosystem of policymakers, government officials, water engineers and practitioners, the private sector and civil society. In South Africa, the challenges are made so much more complex by the need to address unequal access, and the state of our infrastructure,” said Erica Elk, CEO of CDI.
Hélène Rekkers, consul general of the Netherlands in Cape Town, added that the timing of this year’s theme responds to critical challenges presented by climate change: “How do we prepare ourselves for the future as the effects of climate change hit us harder? We need constant focus on continuing discussions about climate change to address its challenges – this requires innovation. Innovation is not only technological; it needs a wholistic approach that includes social innovation, governance and financial changes.”
As part of the #cocreateDesign Festival, the #cocreate Blue-Green Cities Design Awards have been conceptualised to celebrate inspirational initiatives that represent best practice in terms of water-sensitive design and the transition to water-sensitive cities in South Africa, particularly as it relates to water quality.
Entries are open to projects with a strong design element with water as its principal focus. All entries should also comment on any innovations that improve water quality – for example, by dealing with diffuse pollution sources. Entries close 5 October 2022. Click here to enter.
For more on the #cocreateDesign Festival programme and to book a seat (free), click here.