• Words

    Virgina Tassinari

  • Images

    Wout Trippas

Mugendi K. M’Rithaa, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), Kaapstad, Zuid-Afrika

Informed by my heritage and experiences as one living predominantly in majority world contexts, my belief is that to be fully (actualised and accepted as) a human being, one must participate actively and authentically in the life of one’s elective community. To be an authentic designer, one must embrace the transformative agency of a socially conscious, participative and potentially transformative design ethos…

Active citizenship can thus be facilitated through participation as co-designers and co-producers (not merely as passive recipients and net consumers of professional designerly endeavours). This arguably more progressive orientation will require that designers voluntarily relinquish any sense of control (and instead embrace a collectivised aspiration of the communities they seek to serve and co-exist with). Consequently, professionally trained designers become more human, and community members celebrate their latent universal creativity.

The wicked problems afflicting the world we live in today and in the foreseeable future will require concerted, inclusive and empathic effort – designers must rally their formidable design thinking and problem-solving talents to the service of humanity. Only then can we as designers become and remain ‘part of the solution’…