UJ’s Industrial Design student to attend prestigious World Design Event

Ivan Brown is packing his bags for the Netherlands. The MTech student in Industrial Design will be leaving in October to represent UJ at the World Design Event, one of the world’s leading design conferences.

Ivan Brown an MTech Industrial Design graduate from the Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture (FADA) at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), will be representing the Department of Industrial Design and the continent, as the only African student to tackle issues of deteriorating bee populations – an increasing problem that beekeepers are facing around the world.

The inaugural Antenna conference will take place at the World Design Event through a partnership with Dutch Design Week and Design Indaba from 20 October until 29 October 2017. The interactive platform Antenna connects and aligns international design graduates with professionals and experts. It is the network where the people who make things happen gather for talks, lectures and debates to show the power of design and to transform future challenges of society in opportunities.

“The Antenna event provides an international forum for student and seasoned designers to present, exchange and explore innovative creative processes,” says Brown. “I’m honoured to represent UJ’s department of Industrial Design as it is an incredible opportunity to promote the institutions design research internationally.”

As one of the contenders for the 2017 World Design Event, Brown will present his latest research on an Appropriate Beekeeping Technology System, or ‘Beegin’ (project name). The project, which aims to create a more sustainable and accessible beekeeping industry, has seen the design, field-testing and implementation of concrete beehives that have the potential to revolutionise the agricultural industry. The low-tech beekeeping equipment is culmination of two and a half years of participatory design research with farmers and beekeepers.

Brown is confident that the Beegin system will be successful in contributing to food security: directly, by protecting our pollinators and indirectly, by creating increasing the capabilities of small-scale farmers. ”Although the focus of the project is on Southern African bees, around the world countries are facing similar issues with a decline in honey-bee populations, and a system like this has the potential to benefit global agricultural sustainability,” Brown explains.

The name Antenna itself refers to sensory organs in the natural world. Sensing touch, temperature, air motion, vibration, sound, smell or taste their main power is to intuitively spot and interpret subtle signs.

“Congratulations to Ivan for this prestigious acknowledgement of the incredible work he is doing in his Masters in Industrial Design at UJ on the Beegin Appropriate Technology Beekeeping System,” says his supervisor, Mr Angus Donald Campbell: Head of the Department of Industrial Design.

Antenna was born through the need to analyse the ability of young designers and their talent when they observe, detect and translate ideas to change our world into action. Initiated by Dutch Design Week and Design Indaba it aims to help these talented young people to reach their next step.

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