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COVID19 : Designing For Disaster With Charity Mugasha #TheDesignGarage

Episode 2 of #TheDesignGarage featured Charity Mugasha , a Sales and Marketing expert at 'Design Without Borders Borders Africa,' a design consultancy that employs local and international designers. Charity believes we can use our local resources to solve and provide solutions to our local problems, and this theory is what drives her in all her work.

Under the topic, ‘What Solutions is Design without Borders Offering in this COVID-19 Era,' she shared the following insights.

What Inspired the Final COVID-19 Communication/Material Put Out by ‘Design with Borders’

Design is a problem solving tool. That is our foundation. We are consistently looking for ways design can be used to create change. It was inspired by observations made on things happening in the society.

‘Omuntu wa wansi’ was struggling to get information on COVID especially through the internet .The information out there was a bit misleading. After interaction with our gateman and boda guy, I noticed that there was a lot of mix-ups especially because the information out there was not tailored for ‘omuntu wa wansi’ and these people also have no access to digital communication.

In-house, we decided to translate all the basic information as availed on the WHO website in a graphical form, so that the actions guide those who cannot read. We did so in 8 languages.

We also went ahead to share a link that different people could use to make tailor-made graphics. We also have a partner that has offered to do audio recordings.

What is designing for disaster and what’s going to be the new role of the designer post covid-19

Design is political. Individuals use Art to try to sway how people think whenever they interact with their work. Design should always be political and a conscience decision.

We use Design to create positive impact.

As creatives, we can become consciously aware of what’s happening, and think of how we’re going to use our talent to bring about change. Maybe COVID will help raise a certain consciousness about the work we put out there.

The world at home is consuming creative products, so creatives are noticed more as essential contributors and communicators.

What will the designer's role be post COVID in an era where people will be conscious about large scale groupings

We are in the digital age. What COVID has done is just escalating a process that was just inevitably stalling, so we are in this together. It doesn’t matter what profession you are in, we are all going to have to get creative. It is inevitable.

We have had to organize for a lot of online workshops, which is challenging. We are designing a system where we can still interact with people wherever they are in the country.

We are very quickly trying to idea-te and prototype different types of ways in which we can have that engagement with the end user despite the current lock down. Where there is a will, there is a way.

We have also invested in work tools. It is now obvious that the future of work is remote. I do believe in the next few years, a bigger percentage of the workforce in the Design sector is going to be remote.


For the young people out there, you should know how critical it is to be very versatile. These are times highlighting that.

Every single day, I have to challenge myself to learn something new. The machines are stealing the show, so either way, you are going to have to learn their language or be left behind.

Kafunda Kreatives has partnered with Kampala Design Week to get the Design Garages online.Design Garage is about sharing thoughts and ideas among designers, artisans and entrepreneurs, growing greater knowledge, challenging preconceptions, analyzing current trends and bringing them to light for the community to make their own decisions, and resourcing our design community members. It's basically thinking about thinking.

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