Thursday, 7 March 2013

Revising Design Hierarchy

CITY OF ART: Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn painted this Brazillian neighborhood with Santa Marta fevala community youth.
The exhibition,  Design with the Other 90%: CITIES goes beyond the aesthetics of design. Second in a series on until 4 May, at the David J. Spencer CDC museum in Atlanta, this exhibition has a clear focus on functionality and social upliftment rather than the visual appeal of design. The hierarchy of design is redefined by focusing on design innovation in areas that might not even have running water.

This exhibition showcases 60 projects each aimed at addressing various issues that arise in everyday informal settlements, in America known as slums and of course in South Africa better know as townships. These projects address problems like lack of running water and overpopulated living conditions. These projects inform about these problems while at the same time also providing solutions.

The exhibition is a collaboration between, communities, designers, architects and private, civic and private organizations to create innovative approaches to urban living, affordable housing, public health etc. South Africa has also been selected to take part and present a patented construction technology as a solution to help address the increase in informal settlements and implement sustainable development. Their housing designs are seen below:

Moladi innovative plastic formwork system
Moladi construction technology - shell of house completed in ONE day

This cost effective, environmentally friendly housing initiative created by Moladi, based in Port Elizabeth has been shortlisted for a Frost & Sullivan Green Excellence in Sustainable Development Award. With this housing 50 houses can be built in only 64 days. 

This initiative wants to make use of community members, creating jobs and securing them with the necessary skills. What is shocking is that this initiative has been recognized by international organisations such as Frost & Sullivan, but they have failed to form any alliance with the South African government. 

Failure to recognize Moladi will result in the loss of many job opportunities to empower communities. They are however building houses in 10 other African countries.

The Moladi housing program is just one among many other solutions to social crisis provided by the 

Design with the Other 90%: CITIES proves that design isn't just flashy jewelry, expensive cars and leather couches. Design can be found in the places where we least expect it while making the biggest difference.

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