Internet design node for Africa

2006-05-04T10:18:12Z (GMT) by K.L. Kumar
The paper presents a methodology and a framework to create interactive design nodes for designers in general and the details of a design node for Africa in particular. Establishment of such nodes in different countries, e.g., UK, Australia, Netherlands and Botswana and their networking would result in ease of local access on the one hand and global interaction on the other. The idea has a parallel with the increasing utilisation of the Internet for web publishing and web conferencing. The structure of the Design node for Africa has been conceived as a web site permitting uplinking of designs and design ideas in the African context, i.e., in relation to the needs, art, culture, expectations and the state of technology in the continent. It will be enriched by providing linkages to the Museum of African Design in London and the Smithsonian Museum of African Aesthetics in Washington DC, among other sites in the world. The African design node will incorporate a number of features to promote creativity including the possibilities of uplinking and comparing of two or more alternative designs by a student for the same design brief, comparing several alternative designs conceived by individual students in the same class, evaluation of several different designs of artefacts by different design students in self-initiated projects, competition entries and analysing the design features of a given artefact. Such a provision is expected to lead to design innovations and product improvements as also exchange of designerly thoughts and collaboration across the geographical boundaries in the world.