19 September 2017
by Julita Baghat
Julita Baghat is one of the 18 international delegates joining us in London this week for this year's Design Connections programme. Find out more about her and her thoughts on design in Kenya.
Please tell us about yourself, your work or organization.
Nairobi Design Week is an annual festival that aims to highlight the importance of all design disciplines and their impact on economic, social, cultural and environmental development. By sharing, collaborating and learning together with our community, we are creating business, employment, and educational opportunities in design.
What are you working on at the moment?
We are currently building up to the design festival of 2017, themed around resources and community. Our next big build up is during the Nairobi Placemaking Week whom we have partnered with to facilitate workshops, co-ordinate place branding for our city, co-ordinate installations for a pedestrianization of a central business district street and connect them to our other relevant partners. We will also be co-launching a project dubbed 'by the river' that aims to see the Nairobi river get cleaned with its environment being adopted for public placemaking.
What are the hot topics in design in your country at the moment? What are the challenges that design or designers are facing in your country at the moment?
As design also follows trends, 3D animation is the hot design field in Nairobi.
As for challenges, the most significant are that :
• The value and understanding of design is low
• Design education standards are low
• The commitment to design is low as even high skilled local designers don't get paid well and are not prioritized in employment.
Tell us about a designer to watch from your country at the moment and why we should know about their work?
Nairobi Design Institute are definitely the top of the list. Led by multi-faceted designer and creative lead Tosh Juma, along with the operations team, the first cohort of seven are building the first quality design impact academy that teaches design-led innovation through an industry led approach.
What excites you about UK design? What are you looking forward to seeing at the London Design Festival?
As the design capital of the world there is a lot of experience in designing through research. I am excited to see and experience this with Sam Jacob's 'MINI LIVING.'
Each year during London Design Festival (LDF) we invite key design industry figures from around the world to join us for our Design Connections programme. The delegation will take a unique curated tour of the festival, meeting leading UK designers, curators, design organisations as well as discovering new work and gaining new relationships. Find out more about Design Connections here.