Africa Design Competition

Africa International Design Competition 2011


Half of all deaths of children under the age of five occur in Africa, where only a few countries are able to spend the $34-$40 per person per year that WHO identifies as the minimum necessary to meet a population’s basic healthcare needs. Over the next decade, it is estimated by the International Finance Corporation that $25-$30 billion of new investment will be needed in healthcare assets, including hospitals and clinics, to meet the growing demands of the healthcare market in sub-Saharan Africa.

The continuous improvement of the quality of life and wellbeing of all African citizens will be founded on the recognition that a healthy population is the foundation for social development and economic growth. It requires new perspectives that consider wellness factors to encourage innovative design for a healthy environment.

Design objectives for enhancing human health must facilitate an active lifestyle, enable the successful management of physical, psychological and emotional stress, and support mental and cognitive processing of information by stimuli in a variety of designed environments. Central to this is the development of a scientific research base that explores the application of a ‘salutogenic’ approach to health infrastructure – preventative care that moves the focus away from risk factors and the treatment of disease towards a holistic understanding of a healthy society in the African context.

A preventative vision for primary healthcare

In April 2011, The Ministry of Health in South Africa and the International Academy for Design and Health announced a major international competition to design a ‘Health Promoting Lifestyle Centre’ in South Africa. Winners were announced in Cape Town at the Academy's Design & Health Africa 2011 International Symposium in October 2011.

The competition was the outcome of a meeting in early 2011 between Dr Alan Dilani, director-general of the International Academy for Design and Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health in South Africa and Dr Massoud Shaker, senior adviser to the Health Minister, which created a new vision for primary healthcare in South Africa – ‘Health Promoting Lifestyle Centres’ (HPLCs) – which could subsequently be extended across sub Saharan Africa.

For more background on the competition, details of the submission process, the judges and to view the winners of the competition, click on the relevant links below.