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#cocreateDESIGN FESTIVAL 2022 in Cape Town focusses on water-sensitive design

26 - 27 Oct 2022

The #cocreateDESIGN FESTIVAL 2022 in Cape Town, brought into sharp focus the life-sustaining significance of water and the valuable role it has in shaping healthy, equitable and sustainable blue-green cities for all African citizens.

 Drawing on four monthly Creative Exchange events held from April – September in the city, under the theme – Designing African blue-green cities for all – the Design Festival focused on how we design better processes, systems and products that can lead to a more water secure future, particularly in an African context.

On Day 1, the festival focused on water and Day 2, explored what it means to keep citizens at the centre. The event featured a variety of experts across a range of disciplines, to share knowledge, and ask provocative questions to create a broader community of diverse skills and perspectives, breaking down silos, and inspiring collaborative action to inspire water-sensitive design.

An initiative of the Mission Network of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Africa, the annual festival celebrates and examines the power of design to tackle current socio-economic and environmental challenges within an African context.

 The festival was organised in collaboration with the Craft and Design Institute (CDI), and in 2022 the Creative Exchanges and festival have been curated in partnership with / curated with the support of the University of Cape Town’s Future Water Institute, the City of Cape Town and the Institute for Landscape Architecture in South Africa. 

With the broad theme: “Designing African blue-green cities for all”, and through the lens of water sensitive design the #cocreateDESIGN FESTIVAL 2022 invited subject experts to talk on a range of topics under the key pillars:

Water in focus: Our future is undeniably impacted by climate change caused by humans, along with the complex challenges of rapid urban growth that threaten water supplies. There is a great urgency to focus on the critical state of water. In this context, how do we build in balance with nature? What are the challenges and how effective are the existing solutions and innovations?

 Citizens in focus: Urbanisation brings both challenges and opportunities. Is it possible to design solutions for cities that are good for the natural environment and also good for the health and wellbeing of citizens? How impactful is public engagement and citizens’ voices. When citizens have conflicting needs, how do we find common ground? Using green and blue design solutions, we can build healthy cities and explore effective ways to promote health and well-being.

 This year the festival culminated in the #cocreate Blue-Green Cities Design Awards to acknowledge people who have played a significant role in the water sector. The awards ceremony celebrated those who have uplifted communities and who strive to develop sustainable innovations and inclusive systems within our cities and recognised projects that promote water sensitive design, the development of resilient cities, and that showcase the value of building in harmony with nature for all citizens.

The project is aligned to UN Sustainable Development Goals 6 (Clean water and sanitation) and 11 (Sustainable cities and communities).

F U R T H E R   I N F O R M A T I O N

Watch the #cocreateDESIGN FESTIVAL 2022 on YouTube here:

Day 1 – Water in focus: https://youtu.be/hedGvh3FbbU

Day 2 – Citizens in focus: https://youtu.be/Fnl_kXemdlg