Keywords:Zwonaka Sewing Co-operative, Co-Design, Co-Creation, Arts-Based Methods, Social Innovation
Arts and visual participatory methods can be effective tools to facilitate the experience of rural design actors involved in a co-design process that could be seen as contributions to the emerging praxis called “Design Social.” We identify the inclusion of visual processes to co-design and comanufacture Venda-fusion products with members of a South African rural-based sewing group called Zwonaka Sewing Co-operative. The co-design process involved a set of iterations that used visual modes such as Photovoice, painting, photographs, collaging and appliqué to create and market these products. Statements shared by the group members reveal the development of their personal agency, as well as confidence in product design, manufacturing, and ownership of the design process. These are significant outcomes for this particular social context, and we propose that the use of arts and visual methods enhances capacities of reciprocity, creative thinking and ownership through the co-design process.