In January 2013 I was invited by the British Council to join a research expedition to South Africa to investigate the potential for collaboration projects between designers in ZA and the UK.
Over the course of one very intense week, the UK design team - comprised of practitioners from the fields of architecture, design and curation - visited Johannesburg and Cape Town to experience first hand what was happening in each local scene. Coinciding with the annual national design festival - Design Indaba - we visited a number of practices and spoke to key players in each city, in an attempt to reveal meaningful opportunities for collaboration. Each designer was invited to contribute proposals which might build on the opportunities witnessed.
The outcome of the project was the development of a Maker Library Network, launched to coincide with Capetown's tenure as World Design Capital in 2014, which has now expanded to incorporate 20 Maker Libraries, expanding to Turkey, Mexico, Nigeria, Germany and Ukraine.