STUDENT ASSIGNMENTS BENEFIT THE COMMUNITY
By: Michelle Harripersadth
Interior design students at the Durban University of Technology aid the community by refurbishing the premises of organisations that assist the underprivileged.
The charitable project that was assigned to students is called “The community engagement project”, and was developed in 2003.
The Interior Design students are required to participate in the project as part of their Work Integrated Learning and have to work 80 hours in order to complete their course. They are required to find sponsors to help them with the cost of these redesigns.
Some of the places that have benefited from the project have been the Wylie Child and Youth Care Centre. This is a child care centre that offers services to at risk young females between the age of 3-and-a-half to 18-years-old.
The Durban Correctional Services Mother and Child Unit was one of the organisations that was selected in 2011, as well as nonprofit organisation Peace Players International SA. PPI-SA is an organisation that uses basketball topositively impact the lives of young children and adults.
The latest community project was conducted on DUT’s City Campus. The project, dubbed the “Charity starts from home project”, came about when the Interior Design Department was approached by DUT Arts Faculty Executive Dr Kenneth Netshiombo about uplifting the campus.
The areas that were selected for redesigning were the student courtyard, cafe and staff courtyard.
Interior Design Lecturer Michelle Hankinson pitched the idea to the students as part of their community work. Students were given a brief to individually design a scheme that will create a happier and artistic space for the campus community.
“In the My Campus Project, three students were selected based on their impressive designs. They were sectioned into three working groups for each design. For the past nine years, second year students get involved in community work as part of their WIL. They design and create spaces for different community organisations. When Dr Netshiombo had approached us, we felt charity begins at home and that is how the My Campus Project came to life,” said Hankinson.
Rajna Daya, second year Interior Design student, said: “Having heard about the previous projects I can confidently say that I am waiting in anticipation to be apart of this year’s project. Being a designer while working with design to create an amazing space starts with the community. I look forward to working with my fellow designers. This would not have been possible without the requests of our community and the help of our lecturers” Said Daya.
When asked about the upcoming 2014 community project, Hankinson said “The project has not been set yet and it will only take place later in the year.”