Curatorial Statement

The adverse shocks and stresses being experienced by individuals and communities in cities across Africa are becoming increasingly stronger, more complex and more intertwined. These acute shocks include drought, the threat of fire, flooding, infrastructure failures and power outages, while persistent and chronic stresses such as crime and violence, climate change, inadequate public transport systems, unemployment and poverty framed the lived experience of millions.

Navigating these challenges will require a societal commitment to co-design more resilient African cities and communities. In his book Resilient Nation, Charlie Edwards tells us that “next generation resilience relies on citizens and communities, not the institutions of state”. But far too often it is the most vulnerable and least resourced communities, that are required to be the most resilient when their entire livelihoods are at stake. Empowering communities to resist, recover from or adapt rests on the collaboration with government, business and visionaries to co-design stronger networks, smarter infrastructure and more integrated processes.

Edwards adds that "c ommunity resilience is an everyday activity. It manifests itself in meetings and conversations, dialogue and training, skills and information and – when disaster occurs –action."

It is in this spirit that we invite designers, thinkers, do-ers, visionaries and policy makers to the second edition of this collaborative public design festival. #cocreateDESIGN FESTIVAL-2019 will spotlight the ordinary everyday activities, host the necessary conversations and provide skills and information to build stronger and smarter communities and a more resilient future for all.