Global engineering and infrastructure advisory firm Aurecon, launched a pioneering approach to engineering in Africa, known as Afrikan Design Innovation (ADI), which focuses on fusing traditional technical skills with design thinking to find new solutions to problems confronting Africa.

Centred on connecting the dots between various global events and developing human-centric solutions, Aurecon believes that ADI has the potential to revolutionise the way engineers approach Africa’s problems.

“These case studies will provide the blueprint for a movement that will be replicated in projects across Afrika as we collaborate with several continental and global organisations to future-proof Afrika,” says Abbas Jamie, Aurecon’s Director for Innovation and Transformation, Africa.

Instead of having a solution imposed on them, the end-users’ needs become the nucleus around which a co-design process is driven. This entails applying design thinking to the process.

“It’s an incontrovertible truth that copy-paste solutions from the West will not work in an Afrikan context. Using design methodologies which view our continent through a uniquely Afrikan lens is the only way we’re going to be able to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to future-proof Afrika,” says Jamie.

A case in point is Afrikanist in Motion, a collaboration which will help inform better infrastructure design and transport planning. Aurecon approached this by partnering with professional photographer, Yasser Booley; the World Design Organisation and WhereIsMyTransport to capture uniquely African transport challenges confronting the majority population.

In this way, our engineers get a glimpse into the day-to-day lives of public transport commuters from which they glean invaluable insights to inform their design solutions.