Group Photo of all the participants at KIDEC 2015
Group Photo of all the participants at KIDEC 2015

The four-day Kampala International Design Conference 2015 has called for more research and solutions to design sources, processes and systems. The Conference convened under the theme “Design Unlimited, to explore how indigenous design processes and systems can interfere in ever increasing demands of globalisation” brought together scholars from different parts of the world to share their research findings about design.

In his address, the Guest of Honour, Minister of State for Higher Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Prof. Sandy Stevens Tickodri Togboa urged the participants to build and turn their colleges and universities into masterpieces of profuse regional economic development strategies reach in design and innovation agendas.

He also in quested for what can contribute to full revitalization of indigenous design processes for development particularly in Africa, actions that education systems in Africa can take to promote highly creative, innovative and productive indigenous design processes among Scholars and suggestions for further research on indigenous design processes for development.

He was speaking during the opening of the Kampala International Design Conference 2015 at CEDAT Conference hall on Wednesday, July 22, 2015

“I call upon the conference delegates to answer questions such as the indigenous design processes for development, the sources of design, curricula and pedagogical techniques that have proven effective in promoting indigenous design processes through formal and informal education, techniques proven to stimulate creative and innovative design innovation,” the Minister added.

He appealed to the private and public institutions to borrow a leaf from the partnership Makerere and Kyambogo have had in hosting the conference. “It is not a common occurrence for two or more Universities to co-host an event of such significance but rather to show off their powers in performance,” he argued.

Using the example of the Kiira Electric Vehicle, whose innovation started in 2007 and culminated into an actual car on November 24, 2011, Hon Prof Tickodri appealed to the lecturers to have a paradigm shift and always engage undergraduate students in the design projects. “It’s all about having a spirit of inter disciplinarity and value addition” he said.

Minister of State for Higher Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Prof. Sandy Stevens Tickodri Togboa adresses the Conference participants
Minister of State for Higher Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Prof. Sandy Stevens Tickodri Togboa adresses the Conference participants

Kyambogo University Vice Chancellor Prof Eli Katunguka   applauded the partnership Makerere and Kyambogo University have had to convene this Conference. “The two universities should not have to compete rather collaborate,” emphasized Prof Katunguka. He added that effort should be made to nurture PhD and Maters Students by providing better supervision, finances, ICT facilities among other things.

Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof John Ddumba-Ssentamu welcomed and extended warm greetings to the participants. He applauded Prof Tickodri for his profound work at Makerere University as a senior staff member for many years and most notably for putting the University at an international scene as a principal investigator and designer of Kiira Electric vehicle.

Prof John Ddumba-Ssentamu appealed for funding to research in design and design systems, as the conference agenda is in line with the University Vision to provide innovative learning and teaching, services responsive to national and global needs. “Research is a pillar for institutional, national and international development,” he said.

“Research and innovations are a very important activity that drive global economies to transform societies, research and mechanism through which Universities become centers of scientific discoveries that drive national economies forward.” added Prof Ddumba -Ssentamu.

In the CEDAT Principal’s remarks read for him by the Deputy Principal, Dr Venny Nakazibwe, he welcomed the participants to the College of Engineering Design Art and Technology and added that the conference theme rhymes with the Ugandan Vision 2040 and the College mission.

He said the conference would help researchers figure out how design interfaces with new emerging technologies that can be used to foster development.  He noted that researchers need to address questions of the definition of design, methodologies, design sources and systems during this conference. .

Dr Allan K. Birabi the Conference Chairperson gave a brief background to the conference. He said the Design International conference started in 2012 convening in Nairobi, Kenya. It was organized by the Network of Africa Designers who had earlier met in 2011 and came up with the idea. “It was a development agenda using Universities as incubators” he said.

Over thirty nine (39) papers will be presented under subthemes that include; Design and development, procurement process design, use of Visual communication design, promoting heritage and sustainability, Silent designers, designing for production, design interventions in wild life conservation, co-creation with community based organisations, sustainable development through indigenous design processes in Uganda, Human needs and African Aethetic and the Role of 3D Printing in Design and Manufacturing in 21st Century Africa.

The participants included internationally renowned researchers, practitioners, academics, design based industrialists private public sector partners from Norway, Canada, South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, and Uganda among other countries.

The Conference started on Monday with a Masters and Ph.D. Colloquium at Kyambogo University. It will run up to Thursday 23, July, 2015.

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