School of Design workshops address the challenges of youth unemployment in the African San community

Dr Tang Tang and Dr Paul Wilson have overseen the completion of the PARTY project addressing challenges of youth unemployment in the African San community.

Recently Dr Tang Tang and Dr Paul Wilson oversaw the completion of the ground-breaking EU Horizon 2020 funded PARTY (Participatory Development with the Youth) project which addressed the complex challenges of youth unemployment in the African San community through a series of design workshops, interventions and dissemination activities between researchers and key stakeholders in Finland, Italy, Namibia and South Africa. In this innovative knowledge exchange the team focused on identifying the structural consequences of poverty, exploring the absence of role models (including a lack of career guidance relevant for entrepreneurship), highlighting the difficulties in accessing appropriate educational resources, and reflecting upon these impacts upon the community’s emotional health and sense of self-esteem. The project “participation” clearly mapped the factors and forces leading to subsequent youth marginalisation, developing design tools which identified opportunities and provided support.

Following the completion of the project the knowledge outcomes and innovation were published in ‘Managing Complexity and Creating Innovation through Design’ and have provided the catalyst to broaden the scope and impact within the design research community. Follow-on research support has now been secured with further EU Funding for the AMASS (Acting on the Margins: Art as Social Sculpture) and the SEEYouth (Social Innovation through Participatory Art and Design with Youth at the Margins: Solutions for Engaging and Empowering Youth with Trans-Atlantic Mirroring) projects which again address “youth marginalisation” through design-led communication and interactive participatory innovations in both African and American contexts.

Congratulations to Tang and Paul in driving this globally impacting research and changing lives for the better!

Logo of Party Project featuring young girl and a map of the outline of Africa.