I was in Cape Town from May 23rd to June 18th in the summer of 2011 with a group of four other UPenn masters students. We were given this travel opportunity by UPenn and the IPD program’s NFS grant. We kept a group blog during our stay which can be found here on tumblr.
Cape Town is an incredibly beautiful city located between Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, but it also possesses a huge wealth gap which is rather uncomfortable. On the plus side there is a young and thriving design community trying to put Cape Town on the map, which will hopefully create some jobs and inspire
those in the townships to create new craft products.
I was originally going to research water purification which I had been studying in thesis, however, the water problems in Cape Town are more scarcity than quality (although we were told that many Cape Townians had water purifiers in their homes akin to those in the US). I thus began thinking about water collection, and the side effects of wet and dry seasons. I also began working with Eric to continue the research begun by Lea and Evan of craft, design, and entrepreneurship in Cape Town.