16th DEFSA Conference :: DE+AFRIKA+4IR+ Day 1

The 16th DEFSA conference titled DE+AFRIKA+4IR+ (Design Education/Afrika/4th Industrial Revolution) will be streamed live on 5-7 October 2021 from UJ Arts Centre. This is the first virtual design education conference presented by DEFSA.

The COVID-19 pandemic has visibly impacted every sphere of life. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and its impact on design education can similarly be viewed through the lens of this global pandemic. The unique context of Afrika adds further layers to this lens. In past DEFSA conferences, design educators would reflect the conference theme on their particular context, lived experience, and specific design discipline. To encourage this self-reflection and forward-thinking, the 2021 DEFSA Conference addresses the past, present and future of design education while considering the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the context of Afrikan scholarship.

The 2-day conference will start with a keynote address by renowned international scholar, Saki Mafundikwa and will be followed by presentations of South African academics engaging with the theme of the conference. The papers span the design disciplines offered by a range of higher education institutions in South Africa.

As is the custom at DEFSA, conferences are hosted by two member institutions. The hosts for this year’s conference is UJ and Inscape. The platform for the conference is UJ Art & Culture.

DEFSA member Institutions

University of Johannesburg
Tshwane University of Technology
Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Durban University of Technology
Vaal University of Technology
Villioti Fashion Institute
Nelson Mandela University
Keyline Digital Design College
Greenside Design Centre
Pearson Institute
Oakfields College
Cape Town Creative Academy
Open Window


DEFSA is the Design Education Forum of Southern Africa. The non-profit organisation provides a platform for academics in the design education sector to engage in research, best practice and networking through various mechanisms including a biennial conference, workshops and an interactive website that hosts peer-reviewed and published research papers. Our members span a range of creative disciplines including architecture and interior design, photography, film, multimedia, industrial product design, ceramics, graphic design, clothing, textile and jewellery design, and software UX.