Innovation | Design | Education | Africa

Growing Creative Intelligence in Africa

Our belief

The IDEA Collective team believes that the role of design and other creative activities and tools are vital to develop core life skills in all children and promote creative intelligence for South Africa and Africa at large. This will not only increase academic performance and personal development, but is the backbone of developing human capital en masse and a workforce that is better equipped to deal with future challenges confidently and efficiently, no matter their career path.

Designs core purpose is to improve people’s lives through proactive problem solving and the creation of appropriate solutions that take cognisance of social, cultural, environmental and economic factors. The value and impact of design and innovation is invaluable across all sectors and highlights the role and necessity of design as a subject, a tool and an industry in a developing country like South Africa.

Our mission
  • In partnership with vital stakeholders; Develop an holistic education system that uses design thinking and creative tools to develop core life skills in all children and across all learning areas.
  • Identify and drive Early Child Development (ECD) as the starting point of this design process, while also identifying opportunities to impact on many other developmental levels so that we can fast-track systemic change.
  • To position the subject design as a vital breeding ground for future innovators, entrepreneurs, creative leaders, trendsetters and change makers.
  • To develop and implement an accredited post graduate design course in support of secondary school design educators.
  • To develop an integrated design thinking module that will add value to existing curricula for ECD and secondary level education across all subjects, so that a new breed of educators can be developed to drive an holistic education system from within.
  • To position design and design thinking as vital to drive socio-economic development.

Current IDEA Collective Projects
  • IDEA LAB Experience
    • Workshop for design educators.
    • Design-Based Learning Workshop for teachers in all subjects to show how the process of design thinking can inspire, engage and energise learners.
  • DesigNation:
    • DesigNation incubator: In collaboration with Greenside Design Center and Bridgeway High School; Using design and design thinking as vital tools to develop accessible learning materials for all learning areas that will significantly improve all learners’ personal and academic development.
    • DesigNation Lab; workshop experience for learners.
    • DesigNation (high school) Design Achievers Awards; Launched in Western Cape in 2016, to roll out to Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal in 2017.

Founding Members
  • IDEA Collective is not only a multidisciplinary team with great expertise in design education, but also a team that has a holistic understanding and insight of design education at large in order to mobilise systemic change. The team also feature design activists that have been carrying the design flag in South Africa for a lifetime. They have years of experience in consulting about design education on various levels as well as experience in the design curricula on a Department of Education, Independent Education Board and Higher Education level.
  • Founding Members are;
    • Prof Des Laubscher, COE and co-founder of Greenside Design Center
    • Maria Thiel, founder and Headmistress of Bridgeway High School
    • Sune Stassen, design activist, design text book writer and founder of Open Design Cape Town
    • Irma Sargeant, IEB design examiner and design activist


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