Home Innovation Labs

Artist: Methuli Mbanjwa
Location: NY144 , Gugulethu Township, Cape Town
Year of completion: 2015
Researcher: Siphiwe Ngwenya

The project collaborates with the homeowners of a street in Gugulethu to open up their homes as a living exhibition space demonstrating ideas, technology and products that support affordable and sustainable township living. Turning Homes into Innovation Labs is a concept co-developed by Future Beyond and Maboneng Township Arts Experience and managed by Think:Inn as implementation partner. The project is endorsed by the World Design Capital 2014, The GreenCape Sector Development Agency and a flagship of the Premier's 110% Green Initiative.

Furthermore, we are adding partner initiatives to this team on a weekly basis. Together, we will turn several Township Homes into Learning Labs to help create awareness and showcase all things green, future, renewable and technology.

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While each home will benefit from all the products and technologies available, they will dedicate their home to promoting one particular concept, thereby creating an Innovation Street in Gugulethu, Cape Town with multiple exhibition stops. As partt of the Maboneng Township Arts Experience, a national public arts exhibition that turns homes in townships into galleries and outdoor spaces into performance districts, the innovation labs are surrounded by murals and performance activities.

This project is important in that it introduces and encourages innovation in the township, thus reaching youngers and other community members that wouldn’t otherwise be exosed to innovative ways of caring for the environment. Home Inn Labs also serve as a platform for local innovators to receive exposure.The misconception is tha innovation is only for the suburbs or by the wealthy; the project aims to dispell these myths and showcase a different perspective by taking pride in our local environment, and using technology to Remake our Places.

Each home will be themed differently and kitted out with related gadgets, inventions and information, exposing and ‘testing’ products and services of initiatives already in existence. These homes aim to provide a wealth of information, tips and tactics on building a green and sustainable living environment, encouraging opportunities for community entrepreneurs as well as promoting career awareness around skills in these industries. It further intends to turn these ‘crazy innovations’ into real workable solutions and empower Home-Lab owners to inspire and inform their neighbourhood by being part of the on-going exhibition open to the public.

All copyright belongs to Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University.

Progress Agency