Me and Andrew travelled to Cambodia earlier this year. It was an incredible, unforgettable trip. I am not sure I will ever be able to describe it. The ingenuity and courage of the people; the art and history of an ancient culture; the dense forests, rivers and floodplains; the marks of a terrible recent history. Cambodia touched me deeply. I feel grateful to have visited this amazing place.
I decided to make a book of our photos for Andrew’s birthday. Choosing the pics were ridiculously difficult, but I managed to cut it down to about 80 pages! I bound the book myself using a thread sewing technique. It was my first try at bookbinding. Thanks to Jamie Butler for her online tutorial. Without it, I would have been lost.
My aim was to try and capture the crazy mix of colours and textures we found in Cambodia. It is more a visual memory bank than a album of perfect photographs. Here are some of our favourite spreads.
Strait Access Technologies (SAT) is a group of innovative doctors doing very interesting work on new solutions for heart disease for people in developing countries.
Over a million children in Sub-Saharan Africa are diagnosed with Rheumatic Heart Disease every year. 70% of these children die before they are 25 years old. SAT is committed to provide cost effective heart valve replacement devices to these patients giving them a better chance at health.
Fix the Patent Laws is a campaign by the Treatment Action Campaign.
The aim of the campaign is to help ensure that every person living with HIV has access to quality, comprehensive prevention and treatment services to live a healthy life.
The Treatment Action Campaign has been fighting for the rights of HIV positive people since 1998. They educated and mobilised thousands of people living with HIV to demand treatment. They’ve achieved astounding victories, won a constitutional court case that forced government to provide treatment to HIV positive pregnant women in 2002. They fought pharmaceutical companies to bring down the cost of ARVs; challenged stigma and showed that you can live a full and active life with HIV.
The TAC also helped develop both the old and the new National Strategic Plans for HIV, STIs and TB. Now, after more than a decade of hard work, the future looks a bit brighter for people affected by HIV. To read more about the history of the TAC, read their inspiring book, Fighting for our Lives.
In 2009 the international community cut back on funding pledged to the Global fund. It had a big impact on ARV programmes throughout Africa and also on the TAC. The TAC’s work is far from over. There is still much work to be done in educating communities about HIV. The government’s implementation of the National Strategic Plan needs to be monitored. Continue reading »
Merylle Cornelson is a longtime friend and colleague of Design for development. She established Kallid Creative Identity, her very own company brand, after working for many years at Dotted Line Design.
What sets Merylle apart is her strong focus on business and networking. She won the WECBOF Business Person of the year, young entrepreneur category in 2010. This she used as a stepping stone to learn more about business and entrepreneurship. Merylle now mentors other small business startups to share her knowledge.
Design for development had the pleasure and privilege of sharing offices with her for a few years and can testify to her positive and creative spirit. We asked her a few questions about life, design and the universe she inhabits.
This is what she said: “I see myself as a designer and entrepreneur! Design in South Africa has become a tool in social, cultural and economic development. Our excellent, sustainable and relevant design has contributed to Cape Town being chosen as the Design Capital of the World, 2014. Design in South Africa definitely spells opportunity for me.
My love of design? I’ve always been interested in art, all things pretty. My love affair with design blossomed during my graphic design studies. This is where I could fully appreciate the value of design, its diversity and the possibilities it brings. My favourite medium? I enjoy acrylic and gouche, that’s when I’m not working on my computer.
Local/vernacular design has played a big part in my design and illustration style. I also draw inspiration from Décor. You’ll often see me in new, old, quirky, interesting or beautiful places. I absolutely love Tertia du Toit’s paintings of her ‘Cape Maidens’. She owns Juno restaurant and studio in Paarl. Love the follow-through of the brand! Peet Pienaar is definitely also one of my favourites.
To me design finds solutions to problems, it influences, educates, enhances etc. Yes, it definitely can, if used positively, change the world for the better! Kallid is a part of that!”
Sometimes I feel we, as South Africans, are very egocentric and unaware of the world beyond our borders. For example: what do we know about Chinese culture; what was life like for people in Eastern Europe before the ‘wall’ came down. We sometimes forget to ask questions like these, and that makes it hard for us to understand other people’s thinking, ideologies and culture.
Katerina Sonntagova was born four years before Czechoslovakia became The Czech Republic in eastern Europe, 26 years ago. Her thinking and culture is informed by those events, yet she has studied design in a modern, globalised world. She approached Design for development for an internship and brought with her a wealth of different perspectives and experience. It has been very interesting to have her in our office.
Colour Africa Proverbs, our colouring book, is now in stock at the Fab Things shop in Harfield Village in Cape Town! This is after Julia from Fab Things found us at the Design Indaba earlier this year. For those of you who live in the area, it is a wonderful place to buy fun and beautiful gifts. We took a few pictures of some of the products they stock. Tracy, the owner of Fab Things, showed me the Thelma and Louise paper doll cut-out set (see picture below) – very delightful!
At Design for development we aim to make complex information simple and clear. We believe that when people are given accurate, factual information about a subject such as health, it helps them make better life choices. Equal Treatment, the magazine published by TAC, has been providing information about HIV for more than a decade.
This is our fifth year designing this useful resource and we have created quite a few infographics from research data supplied by TAC. If you are working in the HIV treatment literacy field, we, together with TAC, would like to share some of these graphic resources with you. Download the HIV Life Cycle here and the Fight against HIV infographic here.
All resources are published under a creative commons license.
Equal Treatment magazine is freely available for download on the TAC website.
Equal Education is a great, young organisation lobbying for better education in South Africa. And it looks like they are building up to a big 2012. They recently started the process of taking the Minister of Basic Education to court for minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure. Check their website and follow the case. Continue reading »
Most of our blogs show the ‘glamorous’ part of the design process and the final products of what we have been up to! But late last night, driving through the dark, deserted streets of Epping Industria 2 towards Creda Communications, it occurred to me that we seldom acknowledge the hundreds of hours of ‘less glamorous’ work that go into the creation process.
- Leaving but not goodbye! http://t.co/pAwVCX7QN6 #,
- Marvelous amazing mozabican mosaicker - Marcelino Manhula, sharing our studios :) http://t.co/AjQT39b6vX #,
- @palesamorudu been great working with you on Connie's book. Thank you! #,
- @ThysDullaart Thanks for giving permission to Cover2Cover for using one of your great photos of rolling hills of Eastern Cape. @mignonhardie #,
- Finding new ways of learning. Discovering Skillshare. http://t.co/zBesGDW8RY #,
- TAC celebrating its successes
- Better budgets for better health. NSP Review, Issue 2.
- Equal treatment 32
- Giles Griffin website is launched
- Fix the patent laws now
- Beautiful laptop bag
- A book on farm workers and farm dwellers in Limpopo.
- Yakula Bush Blends
- Design Indaba 2011
- A proudly four-day week company
Colour Africa Proverbs
Colour Africa Proverbs is a colouring book of beautifully illustrated proverbs from all over Africa.
Read more on the Colour Africa Website.