Africa on a brick background

Design to Innovate in Africa

Design to Innovate in Africa

"Until lions have their own historians, tales of the hunt will always glorify the hunter" – Chinua Achebe

Not just solutions – African solutions

The African continent needs African solutions. Design to Innovate is Aurecon’s pioneering approach to creating a better Africa and delivering meaningful value for African clients.

Design to Innovate acknowledges that the continent's people and entrepreneurial promise are like none other globally; and it places them at the centre of the design process in order to create innovative solutions. Solutions that respond to the continent’s unique needs and speak to the aspirations of Africa’s people; are sustainable and aligned to each country’s development agenda and the broader United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

How it makes a difference 

Design to Innovate is all about fusing the creative and technical worlds to find a sweet spot where innovation can flourish. Our human-centered design thinking methodology focuses on the people who we’re creating for and helps us design for our clients’ clients. 

Our ability to respond to the differing needs of our clients across Africa hinges on our unique understanding of their needs – and that of the end user. By engaging meaningfully with them, we’re able to conceptualise world-class solutions that respond to those needs and deliver today and into the future. 

Combining creative savvy and technical expertise to envisage the best future scenarios for our clients, we ask ‘What if?’ and ‘Why not?’ across every aspect of the projects we design. We anticipate whatever changes disruptive technology may bring about and find new ways to transform our clients’ businesses. 

How we’re going about it

Through Design to Innovate, Aurecon is shaping the future of Africa. We’re doing this through critical thought leadership dialoguing forums, partnerships with a range of stakeholders, participation in key events as well as pilot projects rooted in co-design.

The pilot projects below have seen Aurecon use design thinking to brainstorm innovative, sustainable solutions that speak to the needs of both our clients and the end user: 

  • Afrikanist in Motion
    Afrikanist in Motion is a collaboration between Aurecon and a professional photographer to capture uniquely African transport challenges that confront the majority of Africans. The project offers a glimpse into the day-to-day lives of public transport commuters, offering valuable insights to help inform better infrastructure design and transport planning to provide relevant solutions tailored to the African context.
  • Our African City
    This dialoguing platform creates a collaborative space for leading experts across financial, political, technical and social spheres to combine their skills in crafting a vision of what an African city should look like, including developing innovative solutions to the continent’s unique challenges, together.
  • By the River
    By the River is a collaboration aimed at helping Nairobi’s people rediscover the history of their rivers. By empowering people to take ownership of initiatives to develop functioning riverine systems, we can provide sustainable waterway design solutions that will benefit the city of Nairobi into the future.
  • raize the roof
    Australian charity raize the roof is partnered with Aurecon and other key stakeholders to collectively design a sustainable social investment programme that will bring about transformation in the lives of the children and caregivers at SOS Children’s Villages in Botswana. 

The future

Aurecon’s Design to Innovate strategy is how we bring the idea of creating a better society and a better future for all Africans to life. It starts today.

Inspiring Africa through collaboration

We share a common vision: to create African solutions to complex African problems. Learn more >

Design thinking explained

Case studies: applying design thinking in Africa

Read about Aurecon's pilot design projects across sub-Saharan Africa which showcase how design methodology tools have been introduced into the engineering world.

Fishermen using fishing net to catch fish

By the River

‘By the River’ is about assisting Nairobi’s people to rediscover the history of their rivers; and empowering people to get involved.

Dive in
Train tracks

Afrikanist in Motion

Afrikanist in Motion is a collaboration between Aurecon, the World Design Organisation and a photographer to capture uniquely African transport challenges that confront the majority of Africans.

Take a ride
A child drawing on a paper

raize the roof

raize the roof and Aurecon will design innovative solutions for sustainable social reform that will generate the best outcome for children and caregivers.

Two African men crossing the street

Our African City

Our African City aims to craft a vision of what an African city should look like and apply itself in developing innovative solutions to the challenges we face.

To top