Nairobi International Design Conference
University of Nairobi
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The main event of Nairobi International Design Conference (NIDEC) was held at the National Museum of Kenya on Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th of May. The conference theme was ‘Desig n in Industrial Transformation.’ NIDEC’s main objective was to bring together design students, designers in academia, professionals and stakeholders to focus on design as a tool towards industrialization. This is in keeping with the vision of the developing economies such as Kenya - accelerating growth through rapid i ndustrialization and to become middle - income nations. The conference was mainly aimed at the youth whom make up more than sixty percent of the population in Kenya and in Africa. For NIDEC participants, focussing on youth empowerment is synonymous with dev elopment of art and creative industries where many young people aspire to make economic breakthroughs. Design is therefore seen as an important development agent and hence the importance of the conference. The conference also ran workshops on Thur sday , 26t h May on design areas such as animation, film production, performance arts, fashion design, textile printing (tie and dye, screen printing, batik and weaving), pottery, jewelry, interior design and web design. The NIDEC event was sponsored by Nation Media Group, Crown Berger, The GoDown Arts Centre, The National Museums of Kenya and Ministry of Public Works of the Government of Kenya. Kenyan design institutions were also major sponsors of the event through the participation of their academic staff as well a s students. Educational institutions, n amely The University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Evelyn’s College of Design, Buruburu Institute of Fine Arts (Nairobi), AGT, Kenya Polytechnic University College hosted various workshops for students. Other insti tutions such as Mombasa Polytechnic University College, University of Botswana and Cape Peninsula University of Technology (South Africa), University of Northumbria (United Kingdom) all participated in the event through the presentation of various papers. The papers were presented in a parallel session on Thur sday , 26th May at th e National Museums, Nairobi. DKS is in the process of drafting a bill for debate in the Kenyan Parliament for the standardization of the design profession and is working with the Ministry of Public Works (GoK). Once drafted and passed by parliament, it will see the design in Kenya being recognized on the same level with architects, engineers and quantity surveyors in terms of professionalism and regulation. There are also plans to introduce professional courses for designers on entrepreneurship, design management and design leadership. On the evening of the 27th of May, DKS and NIDEC hosted a cocktail for the ICSID board members who were in the country for the first time to hold the ir Annual Regional Meeting.