A Word from the Chairperson

Dr. Lilac Osanjo
Design Educator and Researcher,
Director, School of the Arts and Design, University of Nairobi.


It is my privilege to welcome you to the Design Kenya Society.

Design influence is rapidly growing across the continent and around the world, touching everyone in different ways. This calls for designers to make themselves better know and to inject standards and professionalism in their engagement with people. Meaningful engagement with the government and other stakeholders can be better streamlined if designers in Kenya had one strong voice. Defining design and the scope of design is a collaborative effort that requires educators, employers and institutional to work together. Since 2010 Design Kenya Society has made effort to provide a voice for designers and Typography Kenya 2018 conference is another opportunity that throws the spotlight in the age old visual communication industry.

It is the role of the society to nurture an incredible network of multi-disciplinary designers that is continually building and connecting all corners of the industry. We expose individuals and firms to the novel ways of designing, creating, producing and running business in the hope that it will impact the country, create better experiences and enrich lives.

Through partnerships we have exposed local designers to the international stage in the global arena of creativity. As one of the vibrant design organizations on the continent, DKS is a founder member of Network of Africa Designers (NAD);a founder member of Afrika Design Forum that is facilitating the International Design Education Conference 2019 in Ghana; and a member of Africa Design Days. Through these forums we have participated in several conferences and global meetings such as CUMULUS, Design Education Forum South Africa (DEFSA) and Africa Design Days 2017 in Morocco. We also have had our student member representatives take part in Design Leadership forums with the Design Institute in South Africa.

We have hosted several design activities including The Nairobi International Design Conference(NIDEC) twice in 2011 and 2017 and are currently laying the foundation for NIDEC2019. With support from the government, the design institutions and other partners, from The NIDEC2011, we developed the first draft of the Design Bill (2013) and presented papers for publication. Since then the government has seen the need to pay more attention to design and is urging us to position ourselves to steer the government towards meeting its Big4Agenda and other goals.

Design Kenya Society has strong network of institutions through which it delivers on its mandate. We have hosted several international guests including the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design -ICSID (that is now known as the World Design Organization) Board members in 2011; Saki Mafundikwa- the Director of ZIVA Academy, Zimbabwe and Dr. Emmanuel Mutungi, of Kyambogo University, Kampala.

We have a register of over 200 designers and we believe that if we can grow this number, there are really no limits to the influence we can have in the design sector locally and internationally. Our model is to have several chapters including student chapters feeding into the main Society. In turn the Society feeds into the government, alongside local and international professional networks.

This is an opportunity for you to be registered as a designer and for your voice to be heard alongside others. Registration is at a small annual fee. Contact us at info@designkenyasociety.co.ke for more information.

I participate, therefore I am.