Funding appeal: Community Development through Design Assistance


Trends of American and European design prevalence seem to continue globally, similarly perpetuated by branding practices in South Africa. In response to their research on such trends, student interns of the Workspace group confirmed a distinctly South African design aesthetic, which is proposed as a viable local alternative. The students identified the need for more research, especially around local design and culture focused on KwaZulu Natal (KZN). This research informed recent projects from DUT Workspace, emphasizing local designs, including the following:

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A collaborative project between staff and students of Workspace, the Durban Rickshaw Pullers Association, and the Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit of eThekwini Municipality. This initiative demonstrated how research on polity identities in KZN can assist to reposition knowledge, addressing cultural control and homogenization. The aim is towards emphasizing a new form of cultural equity, associated with the provincial brand, as basis for various social upliftment interventions.


Applying traditional beadwork designs and tribal designs particular to KZN, Workspace embarked on the first of a three phased project, commencing in KwaNyuswa, to develop a range of women’s handbags. About 300 indigenous visual identities were found, seen in designs that are already prevalent in Xhosa, Zulu and Pondo communities. The intention is to build branding opportunities and market diversification in the craft retail sector, extending to a variety of products.



Project Budget: R1.5million is required to accelerate the “Community development through design assistance” project. Any partial or full solicitation will benefit from the following:

SARS Section 18A TAX CERTIFICATE: Donor Deductible Contributions (certificate delivered by courier).

BEE Scorecard Optimization: Claim BEE Scorecard Points for Contributions.
BEE scorecard points apply in the codes 400, 500, 600 and 700, and for Qualifying Small Enterprises, code 800. Points can be structured to offer donors optimum benefit as applicable.

DUT is a Level-5 Contributor, 80% BEE Recognition.

A copy of the full proposal with pictures and project budget for this project is available and can be requested from Mr Rowan Gatfield on email rowang@dut.ac.za


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Link to DUT WORKSPACE Studio