DKS is diligently working to raise design awareness in Kenya and fill the gaps in the design profession. A key gap is found in the fact that art and design is no longer taught at the primary and secondary level which makes the transition into design at college and university a little bit harder. In our view, a key way to address this is to re-introduce it at the onset of primary education and push the practise all the way to the professional hence the Art & Design for Schools program.
The initial events were held in February and March at Manza Development Center in Machakos County. These events reached a total of one hundred and fifty children from different schools around Machakos town. DKS intends to spread this initiative to every county in Kenya drawing support from design students, academics and practitioners. Currently, the program has twelve volunteers from different design fields and academia.
Saturday 11th May 2019 stands out in our minds as a great day on this journey when we held our third Art & Design for Schools event and the first in Nairobi County. The event was held at High Hope Academy Ruiru.
High Hope Academy was started by Humphrey Kagiri to help address the lack of schools in the area. As a trained graphic designer and trainer at the Academy of Graphic Technologies (AGT), art and design are rarely far from his sight and he realised this would be an important way to develop talent and creativity among the students. This led to the creation of the art club that has since grown to be the most active and creative club in the school. It has increased the student’s creativity using design thinking, broadened perspectives and created an understanding of career options outside the usual ones of medicine, law and business.
DKS joined Humphrey Kagiri to host forty-two students, four teachers and two parents to the most enjoyable art and design day they have ever had. The day included workshops for drawing, painting, jewellery making and mosaic for ten participants at a time and all students got to rotate and experience each workshop.
DKS facilitators were drawn from different disciplines as a showcase of the possibilities in the design work. We were glad to have Dan Kimotho - Kenslay interiors, Sebastian Njuguna – Buruburu Institute of Fine Arts (BIFA), Kevin Musame - Metropol TV, Diana Achieng - Jeilo collections, Esther Nyongesa - One Acre Fund and Mike Muiya - Deputy Principal Buruburu Institute of Fine Arts (BIFA) and Interim Secretary DKS.
We are forever grateful for the support in cash, kind and person and look forward to more events like this that will enable us to achieve our objective of mentoring and nurturing young designers for greater social impact.
Kyesubire is a visual scribe and storyteller using words and images to connect all aspects of life. She powers from faith to food to health to nature in ways that encourage viewers and readers to find balance in life through its connectivity. She is telling HIStory of hope, love and family.