Infusing Futuring into Community-based Co-design: A Pathway to Innovative Technology Design with Indigenous Communities in Africa

Infusing Futuring into Community-based Co-design: A Pathway to Innovative Technology Design with Indigenous Communities in Africa

Executive summary

This paper argues for a fusion between community-based co-design and futuring as an approach for alternative and innovative technology development in rural indigenous settings in Africa. We base our argument on theoretical propositions and two prior empirical project cases in Namibia that applied Community-based co-design and futuring. The cases focus on the co-design of a digital wildlife data collection tool and futuring of rural green energy use, highlighting the fundamental attributes and application of each approach in rural indigenous settings. In a critical stance, we accentuate the shortcomings of each approach and propose an alignment that transcends each approach from individual application to a collective alliance that enables rural indigenous technology innovation.

 

 

Assessment of the biological methane potential of different food residues from a market in Ghana for local residues valorization and biogas production

Assessment of the biological methane potential of different food residues from a market in Ghana for local residues valorization and biogas production

Executive summary

Fuel supply for cooking and heating is one of the major problems in Ghana (Africa). Firewood and liquified  gas petroleum are the most used fuels, but their use has a high environmental impact, due to deforestation and  CO2 emissions. Therefore, more sustainable and accessible energy technologies need to be developed. 

 

Ancestral and Cultural Futuring: Speculative Design in an Indigenous ovaHimba context

Ancestral and Cultural Futuring: Speculative Design in an Indigenous ovaHimba context

Authors:

Chris Muashekele (AAU), Heike Winschiers-Theophilus (NUST), Kasper Rodil (AAU), Alphons Koruhama (NUST)

Executive summary:

This paper presents the first instance and experience of futuring in two indigenous ovaHimba communities in northwest Namibia. Over a series of sessions, we, as part of a broad green energy access project, explore futuring to stimulate and invoke alternative green energy use cases. These alternatives are premised on the opposition of the dominant needs-based and interventionist approach and imagination of unorthodox green energy utilisation that supersedes mainstream, rudimentary and obvious energy use. We reflect on the application of futuring, particularly speculative design, in an indigenous context, highlighting the communities’ back-looking future perspective, and relevance and influence of ancestry and culture over the future. As well as accentuate the friction towards speculative design, arguing for its appropriation and alignment to a more grounded design approach. Moreover, we indicate the agency that it provides, allowing local participants to re-evaluate their values and practices and simultaneously determine the integration of technology into the future.

 

Futuring from an indigenous community stance: projecting temporal duality from the past into the future

Futuring from an indigenous community stance: projecting temporal duality from the past into the future

Authors:

Chris Muashekele (AAU), Kasper Rodil (AAU), Heike Winschiers-Theophilus (NUST), Christof Magoath (Donkerbos community)

Executive summary:

This paper presents the first instance and experience of futuring with a rural San community from the Kalahari desert in Donkerbos, Namibia. Over a series of sessions we explore divergent speculative design and design fiction methods to stimulate and invoke alternative green energy use cases. These alternatives are premised on the imagination of unorthodox green energy use, superseding interventionist energy use which is constantly propagated and mainstream. We showcase the application of speculative design and design fiction in challenging the dominant interventionist approach and singular temporal view, resulting in a dissentient dual temporality. As well as demonstrate its utility and inadequacies in transitioning an African rural indigenous community into the speculative, arguing for the appropriation and widening of futuring methods in an African context.