For the 2015 Green week project, we were tasked to work in a multi- disciplinary team to solve a community-based problem for a community partner. Working in collaboration with Enactus (an entrepreneurial division within UJ), we were introduced to a group of entrepreneurial co-operatives As a team, we were required to apply a range of design methods, processes and techniques competently to solve a problem, documenting our development on a video and printed presentation.
As a team we collaborated with members of “The Community Youth mission Club”, a newly formed nonprofit organisation working to empower the youth living in Slovo park township through community youth projects. As an organisation, they intend to implement programmes that are designed to develop and empower the youth within Slovo Park and develop a sense of belonging. These projects would also function as a proactive mechanism to reduce high levels of teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, domestic violence, poverty and lack of education in the Slovo Park community.
During the initial meeting stage, we identified a variety of existing problems. We discovered that, due to lack of funding and knowledge, the organisation had failed to create a stable platform upon which to promote their initiatives. With no real foundation to work from, they struggled to gain support from the community. They did not have their own working space and operated from a small shelter which had been vandalised and was practically unusable. With little entrepreneurial skills, the threat of vandalisation and very little start-up capital, we as designers were faced with the challenging task of creating an affordable platform that the co-operatives could use to promote their initiative.
Having identified the problems, we decided to create a means of promotion that would be affordable and effective. With this, we focused on their working space. Due to political tension in the community, the existing shelter was vandalised. With the threat of further damage ever-present, we decided to integrate a portable, branded Gazebo unit as part of their promotional platform.
This solution, aimed at spreading awareness, would be well suited to the organisation with its ease of use, mobility, brand exposure and affordability. This temporary structure also solves the issue of theft and vandalisation (they can move it around and keep the foldable structure in a safe place).