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2018 Darling, South Africa

Darling Intercultural Space design (Workshop II)

"[...] there are no 'answers' in urban planning, but if we ask the right questions we may get better ideas on how to approach the challenges we face in 'managing our co-existence in shared space'" (Julian Agyeman)

Darling is a small rural community in the beautiful Western Cape, approximately a one hour drive from Cape Town. The place has several natural and cultural amenities that make it stand out among peer rural towns in the area. Nevertheless, at a second glance, Darling could also be considered as a microcosm, representing some of the pressing social issues of contemporary South Africa. Spatial and etnic segregation is by far the most visible and urgent vulnerability, presenting a major challenge for generations to come, to overcome the negative effects such as unemployment, health issues and crime.

Darling Intercultural Space is designed as a collaborative program for master students and research staff from Fontys / Stadslab and Cape (CPUT) to engage in a meaningful exchange with local authorities and residents, to address the urgancy and potential of designing for intercultural exchange. The program is supported by Swartland municipality and will be linked to a regional socio-economic upgrading program (RSEP). The objective is to design and execute interventions in public space, over a two to three year program, ultimately contributing to darling's socio-economic, environmental and cultural agendas. The Fontys-CPUT collaboration is devised as a series of workshops, following a design thinking approach, in which we will gradually move from understanding to create and deliver, ultimately leading to a co-creative process to actually built an urban intervention.

Workshop II (February 11-17, 2018)

An international group of approximately 1015 participants will (re)visit Darling in February and start developing the ideas generated during the first workshop. We will use the feedback from the community and the authorities to select the ideas with the highest potential and impact. In this second workshop a renewed site-visit and user consultation will take place, from where the students will start to create design solutions. The designs will be presented and discussed with various stakeholder groups and will act as a launching platform to start the application of government funds from the RSEP program. The third and final workshop will be a dsign-build workkshop during which a selection of design proposals will be realized with the support of CPUT and Fontys students and staff and local kids, in a capacity building program.