Design With Social Impact

1. Introduction

International projects are always great opportunities for educational institutions to share the experience and to spread the novel approaches and methodologies. The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and the School of the Arts and Design at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, got a great chance two years ago to  become partners at the project “Design with social impact”, initiated by the Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland. The meetings, research sessions and workshops in the frames of the project were great possibility for the participants to share the educational experience in three different countries, with different design backgrounds (product design, graphic design, interaction design and architectural design).

The main goal of the project was to spread the concept of social design in Macedonia and Kenya through training of the teaching stuff to develop and implement educational formats suitable for working on social- environmental and ecological challenges in cooperation with organizations (NGOs) in the field. Ethnographic research, co-creation and design thinking are some of these methods.

During the period of two-years (10.2015–10.2017), three workshops were performed with students from partner-schools in Macedonia, Kenya and Switzerland. They worked together in international and interdisciplinary teams, cooperating and co-creating with stakeholders and project partners on selected topics in the context of social design and international development. BIO VISION and SWISS CONTACT, two Swiss NGO’s, as project partners, supported the program with their expertise, know-how and network and allowed students to work on real cases in the field.