Cape Town is the most cosmopolitan city in Africa, a combination of mountains and skyscrapers, which, along with its history, makes it a very inspiring place for our Masters of Design and Innovation students.

A trip to one of the developing cities with the greatest potential in terms of social sustainability. This value was observed by the creatives along with the young farmers of the Sustainability Institute, an international centre for life and learning which provides experiences in the fields of ecology, community and the soul.

An opportunity to learn and grow professionally, collaborating with social projects using design and innovation. The young talents from the three programmes came together to come up with sustainable solutions within the areas of product design, communication, production, design concepts and business strategies.




Day  1. Arrival in Cape Town

The students toured the Mother City, discovering its incredible beauty, along with projects such as The iShack Project, one of the main initiatives of the Sustainability Institute Innovation Lab (SI) to provide solar power to the most neglected communities. 

Day 2. Discovering the Lynedoch Eco-Village

After months of research on the brief provided by SI, the creatives travelled to the Lynedoch Eco-Village to meet the young farmers. An emerging community for sustainable design, socially diverse, built around a learning space, to create a more sustainable world.

Day 3. Sustainable agriculture at Spier Wine Farm

The creatives travelled to Stellenbosch, the most famous wine destination in South Africa, to take a Permaculture Workshop with Neil Graham and Joe Warren at one of the oldest sustainable businesses in South Africa: Spier Wine Farm.

Day 4. Biomimicry builds urban possibilities in South Africa

The students took a field trip to Langrug, where they visited its gardens and “living gutters”: sustainable initiatives to handle waste and treat grey water in South Africa.

Day 5. The must-see natural spaces in South Africa 

The young creatives could not leave without having visited the Nature Reserve of Cape Town, the most south-eastern point in the African continent, where they saw the African penguins on Boulders Beach and enjoyed the views from Cape of Good Hope and Signal Hill.

Day 6. Cape Town as a reference point for integration, social sustainability and innovation

Cape Town is a space in which to develop new communities where integration is the basis for everything. The students visited the business park Philippi Village, several projects of the community development programme of VPUU and the homes-turned- urban art galleries by Maboneng.

Day 7.  The cultural musts of South Africa

South Africa does not only offer nature; it also boasts a great cultural life. Some of the visits the students enjoyed were to the old prison, now the Robben Island Museum, the Museum of the Sixth District as a memorial to Apartheid and the coworking space Woodstock Exchange

Day 8.  A day with Vernon Collis

Along with Vernon Collis, a teacher of the sustainability area of the Masters, the students climbed the iconic Table Mountain, as well as taking an architectural tour of the city centre, visiting the Botanical Gardens of Kirstenbosch and ending the day with a traditional Braai.


Great experience with unforgettable outcomes. A trip that teaches you things on many levels.
Learned lots of things regarding sustainable development, worked for the social project and had  time to get to know a great city as Cape Town.
It definitely gave me a new perspective on how things (design) is approached in different cultures and economic conditions. There are always different solutions for everything no matter what conditions you are in. Where there's a will, there's a way.


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