Declaration of MoDILA design intent and values

We believe in the power of design to transform our circumstances, sense of wellbeing and to underscore our custodianship of the environment, built and natural.

We believe that we are citizens of the planet and that we occupy a role in the ecology of knowledge, resources, and have a responsibility to use design wisdom for the betterment of all.

We recognize that “humane design,” will unlock the economic and social potential of our society.

Whereas design must exhibit the rigor of craft and the aesthetic and emotional qualities of art, design is not mere art, nor is it mere craft, but it is the application of skill, foresight and imagination to utility and transforming the mundane practicality of “being,” into a joyful celebration of function and emotion.

This is the spirit of innovation.

Whereas designers have historically not been fully exploited as positive change agents of society, we will position design, design thinking and design processes to align procedures of planning, problem identification and deploy designers as leaders and instruments of behavioral and environmental change. We note that designers must evolve from being mere servants of agency, into an autonomous voice and independent agent of change.

This is the spirit of leadership.

We recognize that design touches all parts of our life, we recognize that design without the pursuit of excellence is meaningless, design without ethics is inhumane, design without creativity is sterile, and that design seeks to advance our knowledge and quality of everyday life.

This is the spirit of art.

We will create the conditions for our design community to flourish for our benefit and for the world. We recognize that design offers the potential for Cape Town and Africa to participate more effectively in the global knowledge economy. We recognize that design is a creative, intellectual and rigorous act deserving of its own distinction, support and approach from general creativity and generic creative industries.

Whereas positive design is the anchor to the knowledge economy, in that it transforms knowledge into user friendly and humane products, processes, places, and ideas, we recognize that design has a direct role to play in the economic life of people at all scales of complexity, from rural to urban, township to metropole, rich and poor.

Whereas we recognize that design can be applied at a number of scales and interests, designers are uniquely bound by a common search to be impactful, design is a strident act of foresight, not limited to hindsight and analysis but foregrounds the imagination of alternatives as an integral part of the design process.

We embrace our role as participants in the local and global ecology of design and its application to human and natural concerns.


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