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Cape Town named World Design Capital 2014/Matchbox turn old containers into early learning modules

The World Design Capital title is awarded bi-annually by the International Council for Societies of Industrial Design recognising cities that use design for their social, economic and cultural development.

Cape Town's bid, "Live Design, Transform Life" focuses on dealing with the imbalances existing in their society through socially responsive design - to rebuild through community cohesion, reconnect through infrastructural enhancement and reposition the city for the knowledge economy.

Design Indaba ran a competition called Your Street Challenge, which was launched during the World Design Capital 2014 inviting creative proposals for how Cape Town's street life could be enhanced through design.

One of the seven shortlisted entries, was matchbox's proposal that proposes re-purposing shipping containers into early learning centres for disadvantaged communities.

Currently 80% of children in South Africa's townships do not have access to early childhood services - resulting in many children being neglected and unsupervised during the day. Existing centres are also often unsafe structures that are poorly insulated and unhygienic. A lack of access to early childhood education means children are falling behind in school and many are displaying anti-social behaviour and a high drop-out rate.

Matchbox hope to alleviate this problem by upgrading existing early learning facilities and creating new facilities with old shipping containers.

Using re-purposed shipping containers enables them to be modified in workshops (as colourful play modules, or sleeping, cooking and sleeping modules) and transported and arranged onto the selected sites as required.

Another of the proposals that takes children into account is this 'Kidz-Up City':

Which rethinks the traditional playground components - aiming to make them more inclusive with forms better suited to learning while playing.

Via CapeTown2014.


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