16th DEFSA conference DE+AFRIKA+4IR+

16th DEFSA conference DE+AFRIKA+4IR+

The 16th DEFSA conference DE+AFRIKA+4IR+ promises development, connection and inspiration.

The 16th DEFSA (Design Education Forum of Southern Africa) conference titled DE+AFRIKA+4IR+ (Design Education/Afrika/4th Industrial Revolution) will be streamed live from the UJ Arts Centre in Johannesburg on 5-7 October 2021. The two-day conference is the first virtual design education conference presented by DEFSA and is free to all DEFSA members.

The 2021 DEFSA Conference addresses the past, present and future of design education while considering the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the context of Afrikan scholarship.

Founder and director of the Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts (ZIVA) Saki Mafundikwa, will be opening the conference with his keynote address on 6 October 2021. Widely published Mafundikwa is a visual communicator, design educator, author, filmmaker, and farmer and his keynote address promises “an exceptional, food-for-thought treat”.

This will be followed by two days of presentations – 36 original peer reviewed research papers by 41 authors, representing 9 public universities and 9 private universities – all engaging in the conference’s theme across a range of design disciplines.

According to DEFSA president Herman Botes, there was a move to make the conference virtual, regardless of the state of lockdown, this was to ensure greater access to and inclusivity of the conference and to mitigate the prohibitive costs that can come with conferences.

“This is a developmental forum where many young academics can connect with senior academics and the all the various disciplines can have discussions. This conference is really about connecting the whole South African design education sector and then looking beyond our borders,” explains Botes.

Held every two years, the DEFSA conference aims to grow and develop the various disciplines through ongoing research and benchmarking. As inclusive as possible, the conference aims to be a safe space for development and open up academic publishing, and many of the academics in the field presented their first papers at these conferences. For Botes ensuring access and inclusivity across the field of design education has been very important during his tenure as presidency and he is pleased to announce that in the coming years DEFSA will continue to use the virtual space in conferencing.

During the conference the DEFSA AGM will take place (for DEFSA members only). Outgoing president Herman Botes will pass the baton to President Elect Desiree Smal, Vice Dean (FADA), University of Johannesburg. A reflective discussion and forward thinking strategy session between past and present DEFSA presidents will also take place during the conference with a view to improving the services offered to the membership of DEFSA.

The full programme can be viewed https://www.defsa.org.za/deafrika4ir. The event is free for all DEFSA members and R500 for non-DEFSA members.

Click here to RSVP https://arts.uj.ac.za/series/DEFSA16/

For more information, contact Lakin Morgan-Baatjies- lakinmb@uj.ac.za


DEFSA is the Design Education Forum of Southern Africa. The non-profit organisation provides a platform for academics in the design education sector to engage in research, best practice and networking through various mechanisms including a biennial conference, workshops and an interactive website that hosts peer reviewed and published research papers. Our members span a range of creative disciplines including architecture and interior design, photography, film, multimedia, industrial product design, ceramics, graphic design, clothing, textile and jewellery design, and software UX.

Lakin Morgan-Baatjies
011 559 2690
University of Johannesburg Arts & Culture