© Hasso Plattner School of Design Thinking
Construction of Africa’s first school dedicated to design thinking located at the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) middle campus has been underway, with plans for it to be completed in early 2022.
The new four-storey building will be home to the Hasso Plattner School of Design Thinking at UCT, known also as the d-school, and is targeting a 6 Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa and is aiming to be the first 6 Star-rated Green Star academic building in Africa.
Since its inception, the d-school has been temporary located at UCT’s Graduate School of Business campus at the V&A Waterfront. The d-school’s sponsor, Hasso Plattner Foundation (HPF), is funding the new building, which will play a strategic role as part of UCT’s 2030 vision.
HPF’s building donation to UCT is a commitment to ensure that design thinking reaches the university’s 28,000 students and enhances their educational experience.
“This provides the impetus for the d-school to grow continuously to become the African centre of excellence in design-led thinking. It aligns with UCT’s 2030 vision to position itself as a global university in Africa, focused on unleashing human potential for a fair and just future,” says HPF.
“The physical growth of the d-school will help to further develop and deliver sought-after, uniquely African programmes empowering people in the mindset of design-led thinking, to enable the creation of impactful human-centred solutions in an ever-changing world.”
UCT’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng says the university is “honoured to be amongst only two other institutions: Stanford University in the United States and Potsdam University in Germany” to have a d-school.
“In the last five years, as the d-school has established its programmes within our institution, we have seen how design thinking can unleash our graduates’ potential to lead within diverse contexts, work across disciplines and tap into their creativity to respond to real world challenges,” says Phakeng.
“The many problems raised by the coronavirus pandemic have put into sharp focus not only how much the world needs this kind of creative thinking, but how much Africa shares with the rest of the world. This is a very good time to be building a place for the d-school to do its excellent and transforming work.”
School of Design Thinking at the University of Cape Town
UCT Graduate School of Business