10 Percent

Introducing Greenside Design Center’s 10 Percent Initiative.

In this program, we see 10% of our annual notional teaching and learning time devoted to community-based design intervention projects. This initiative speaks to the imperative on South African Higher Education institutions to include community engagement as a core responsibility.

Greenside Design Center believes in creating sustainable and socially responsible design. Through our 10 Percent initiative, our graphic design, multimedia design and interior design students interact with communities to find solutions that will improve their quality of life through thoughtful design solutions.



Formal class structures are disbanded and replaced by inter-level and interdisciplinary design teams made up of students from each design discipline. These teams encompass a mix of expertise, experience, cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

Students then spend four weeks working collaboratively to come up with a design-based solution that will address a given community’s need.

Projects vary and can range from designing information graphics that aim to educate community members on socially responsible practices, to designing affordable and easy-to-assemble shops for Spaza shop owners.

Greenside Design Center’s 10 Percent initiative has received the following awards since its inception:

  • Awarded the Design For All Award from the International Federation of Interior Designers/Architects.
  • Endorsed by the Philadelphia University and the Royall Melbourne Institute of Technology.
  • Selected as the focus of the 2014 international Cumulus Conference, hosted by Greenside Design Center (Cumulus is the International Association of Art, Design and Media Colleges and Universities).


The projects in Greenside Design Center’s 10 Percent initiative are school projects used in our courses to teach our students about sustainable and socially responsible graphic, multimedia and interior design.

If you are a design teacher and would like to use any of these projects in your curriculum, please feel free to download any of the content and supporting files.

Once complete, upload your version along with your students’ documentation, references, working files and photos so that we can grow our database of community engagement projects. You can also upload one of your own community-related design projects with the supporting brief, documentation, references and photographs for other design schools to use. We have the hope your contribution might benefit a community in another parts of the world.

We encourage your comments and feedback on the success or weaknesses of existing projects. As an international design community, we believe this critique can help us improve our design solutions so they can be implemented in ways that make our world a better place.

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