Africa Design Lab 1

Launch, 12 April 2018


We are facing exponential change and tough problems. Africa needs people that can adapt, empathise, collaborate, and innovate. The Africa Design Lab meets this needs by teaching the skills of creative problem solving, collaboration, and making in hands-on interactive workshops.

The motivation was to create a Meetup where likeminded designers could explore how to bring human centred design to health-care, education, government services, mobility, financial services, AI, agriculture, and Open Data.

The reasoning is that the role of design is changing, and as designers we are increasingly called into conversations in industries where we’ve not been before. To remain relevant we need to evolve our thinking and the application of our methods by actively collaborating across industries.

Founding principles


Knowledge and capability building via meetups, retreats, tutorials, talks, white papers, and workshops.


Establish relationships with entrepreneurs, academia, and social enterprises to increase the scope and reach of design in adjacent industries.


Design thinking is a solution based problem solving method with a bias towards taking action. It requires a distinct set of mindsets, process, and tools. The lab coaches these skills by running experiments in the real world.

About the presenters

Inez Patel

Inez is an independent UX designer, the director of Ladies that UX Johannesburg and co-organiser for The GoodWork Society. She is passionate about building valuable and sustainable communities. Inez started Ladies that UX JHB in August 2015 using a design-thinking approach and will be sharing some of her learnings and insights from this process.

Kate van Niekerk

Kate is a UX designer and content strategist with a background in anthropology and a passion for understanding humans and how they make decisions. She is particularly interested in inclusive design and using UX for positive social change.