AFRICA-DESIGN is a Design Society initiative to build a network of design researchers, educators, and practitioners based in African countries with particular emphasis on design for sustainable development; and to link them with colleagues in the worldwide design community. The initiative builds on the perception of mutual learning opportunities in the challenges that we all share.

The continent of Africa presents a great challenge and opportunity for sustainable development in the coming decades as described in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Design Society and its members have a strong commitment to sustainable design but Society membership from is African countries is very limited.

The Society aims to serve as a community builder leveraging a number of existing relationships between its members and colleagues in African countries, as well as cultivating new ones with academic, government, and other organizations.

As a first step, the Society is developing an inventory of interest from design researchers, educators, and practitioners active in design for SDGs, based in Africa and their current and potential partners.

A workshop on design for global sustainable development will be conducted during The Design Society’s International Engineering Design Conference (ICED 2019) in Delft, Netherlands, see A key goal of the workshop is to begin to identify the needs and wants of Africa-based design researchers, educators, and practitioners working on sustainable development.

The workshop program will start with short and inspirational introductory presentations concerning the questions:

  • What are the needs related to education, research and development for sustainable development in the African continent?
  • How do we radically change design research and education to truly contribute to a more sustainable world?
  • What are relevant examples of ongoing design research and challenge driven education for sustainable development in a global context?

The introductions will be followed by an interactive program with break-out sessions and open discussions moderated by workshop facilitators. The goal of the workshop is to establish new relations and interesting topics for collaborations for mutual learning and development.

If you are interested in participating in this initiative please submit the form below.

For further information on the Design Society please contact Prof. Panos Y. Papalambros at For the ICED19 workshop please contact Prof Margareta Norell at or Dr Susanne Nilsson at


ICED19 Workshop presentations

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