Press release: #cocreateDESIGN FESTIVAL Cape Town 2019 welcomes Ifeoma Ebo as keynote speaker

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The #cocreateDESIGN FESTIVAL 2019, themed “Inspiring Resilience”, is taking place on 25 and 26 February at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. The festival will celebrate globally inspiring, people-led, on-the-ground projects that demonstrate the power of design to tackle current socio-economic and environmental shocks and stresses. Now in its second year, the festival boasts over 20 notable speakers and masterclass hosts from various backgrounds and from across the globe. Among these, the festival is thrilled to welcome Ifeoma Ebo as the keynote speaker.

Ifeoma Ebo

Ifeoma Ebo is an urban designer and strategist who strives to be a catalyst for social justice and design activism while addressing challenges of the urban milieu. As the Director of Strategic Design Initiatives with the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, she leads interagency design and built environment initiatives exploring the use of design to address public safety and social justice in marginalized communities across New York City. In addition, she provides design guidance towards the development of more humane criminal justice facilities incorporating concepts of equity and procedural justice.

Ifeoma’s career encompasses projects of diverse scales and challenges from the design of international large scale urban redevelopment projects to research based formation of urban policy. The diversity of her career emphasizes a commitment to social justice and design. As a former strategist at the NYC Department of Design and Construction she developed equity focused design policy for the Design and Construction Excellence program guiding the design of public buildings, plazas and infrastructure. Ifeoma spent several years in South Africa creating strategies to reverse the impacts of apartheid on the built environment for organizations such as Architecture for Humanity and the African Center for Cities at the University of Cape Town.

Ifeoma Ebo comments, “I am thrilled and honored to be a part of a global conversation on the importance of co-created strategies developed between design practitioners and communities towards building resilience in marginalized communities. I hope that this #cocreateDESIGN FESTIVAL serves to catalyze agents of change and infect the DNA of the design profession internationally.” 

Other speakers and masterclass hosts include Martin Knuijt, the founding partner of OKRA Landscape Architects in the Netherlands; Gareth Morgan, the Programme Lead of 100 Resilient Cities in Cape Town; Gina Ziervogel, Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town; Amira Osman, Professor of Architecture at the Tshwane University of Technology; John Lomberg, Head of Stakeholder Relations at Santam; Makhegu Mabunda, Sustainability Specialist at Woolworths; Claire Pengelly, Water Programme Manager at GreenCape; Andy Bolnick, Director at iKhayalami; Olwethu Jack, Founder and Managing Director of Ubuntu Growing Minds (UGM); Emma Kaye, Executive Director of the Cape Digital Foundation; Sanele Gaqa from the Department of the Premier; Jason Mingo of the Western Cape's Department of Environmental Affairs; Sarah O'Carroll and Jack Radmore from GreenCape; and Sean Andrew and Gill Cullinan of the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership. The festival is MC’d by Africa Melane.

“The diversity of minds that will assemble this year have worked at the coalface of community resilience in South Africa and beyond. It gives me hope that the resilience challenges in our cities, while complex, can be tackled by designers and design-thinkers across disciplines, fields and sectors.” says Rashiq Fataar, Director of Our Future Cities and the Curatorial Committee Coordinator for the festival.

Erica Elk, Executive Director of the CDI, notes that “Designers, academics, policy makers, activists, entrepreneurs and citizens are invited to this collaborative public forum to learn, engage, network and empower African cities to be resilient. The festival is an opportunity to build relationships, deepen knowledge, and spur collective action. #cocreateDESIGN FESTIVAL-2019 will spotlight the ordinary everyday activities, host the necessary conversations, and provide skills and information to build stronger and smarter communities and a more resilient future for all.” #cocreateDESIGN FESTIVAL 2019 is an initiative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Africa and is organised in collaboration with The Craft and Design Institute (CDI) and a curatorial committee coordinated by Rashiq Fataar of Our Future Cities.

For more information about the festival and to book tickets please visit

Buro: MvH
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