Design Storming 2013 in Khayelitsha – solving complex challenges together.

downloadWe enjoyed facilitating a fantastic weekend workshop on 24 and 25 August 2013.  The focus of these two days was on the topic of early childhood development [ECD] and took place at the Enkululekweni Wellness Centre in Khayelitsha. The event was organised by the Cape Town Design Network and Cape Town Partnership, and the NPO’s Ikamva Labantu and Equal Education were the hosts.  A large proportion of  participants present were made up of local community, parents, grandparents, community workers and NGO workers.  In addition interested architects, designers, artists, development specialists and corporate social investment managers participated.  The room was infused with a shared commitment to collaboratively explore and discover how to involve parents more actively in ECD.  Together the participants comprised a wealth of knowledge and interesting ideas and all of them invested in ECD, committed to learn and to make a difference.

Design Storming is a methodology in the making. Initiated by the Cape Town Design Network, and building on the idea of Hacking Days, the method itself is currently undergoing its own design process. I-P-K with its expertise has been instrumental in bringing many new formats, structure and dynamics to the method.

In Design Storming, there are no wrong answers, as facilitators we observe and guide the process,  questions evolve, emerge and reformulate.  The results of the workshop depend on what’s important to the people that participate, making it a democratic process. This is vital because “people only support what they create”. For success, community ownership of the responses developed is essential.

Participants identified and selected from the many ideas generated and emerged with four most popular ideas: an ECD support network, parks as safe zones for children and families, free access to remedial classes for foundation phase children, and a focus on fathers. Following further exploration, inquiry, investigation, questioning, the essence was captured in the form of proposals provided to Ikamva Labantu and Equal Education.

These proposals included holistic community approaches and targeted child-focused interventions. Design Storming creates a powerful space within which people can explore, discover and address complex issues together.  A video was taken demonstrating Design Storming in action. Also read the blog post on the website of Cape Town Partnership.


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