Better Living Challenge

How might we enable the incremental upgrading of informal settlements - improving the comfort and quality of life of over 850 000 people that live in them in the Western Cape?

FIND OUT HOW

We created a series of challenges that aim to surface design innovations, Supporting the improvement of living conditions in low-income communities.

Running over a 5 year period, the Better Living Challenge is made up of a series of challenges that aim to surface design innovations that support the improvement of the living conditions of low-income communities. The Better Living Challenge 1 ran from 2014 - 2016 and focussed on innovative home improvement products. The Better Living Challenge 2 runs from 2016 - 2018, and will explore ways of supporting incremental upgrading of homes. The Better Living Challenge 2 follows a design approach, a problem-solving process based on understanding users’ needs, co-creating solutions, and bringing together people from diverse disciplines to find new ways of tackling tough problems.

HOW WE DISCOVERED USER NEEDS We started the process by conducting field research in informal settlements and commissioned studies which looked at models of informal settlement upgrading, social innovation and access to finance. We did this to ensure that we deliver a Better Living Challenge that is based on actual need. JANUARY - JUNE 2016 HOW WE DEFINED OPPORTUNITY AREAS We made sense of the user insights and narrowed these into opportunity areas that could support incremental upgrading. We identified the theme: “exploring value and supply chain innovation” as a potential catalyst of change and outlined the following streams where design can make a difference: JULY - AUGUST 2016 HOW WE WILL DELIVER SOLUTIONS During this phase the various solutions and processes that support incremental upgrading in process, planning and practice will be intensified, replicated and scaled for impact. OCTOBER 2017 - MARCH 2018 HOW WE WILL DEVELOP INNOVATIVE CONCEPTS TO DELIVER IMPACT Focussing on the opportunity areas, we will convene communities, industry, academia, practitioners, policy makers and the informal and formal design world, building a community of individuals committed to bringing about change. Join us and partake in one of our collaborative activities: SEPTEMBER 2016 - SEPTEMBER 2017 We had open discussions with end-users Learnt how communities are already improving, expanding and upgrading their homes Gathered a wide range of insights about users’ needs, challenges and desires Found out how low income households invest and save to improve their homes At the core of the process is prototyping, where solutions, products, programmes and services will be tested, iterated and refined. User feedback will be used to select the most viable solutions to develop further. Business modeling, entrepreneurial development and enterprise support programmes Solution showcases and informal innovation celebrations Co-design workshops and hack days Design Build Labs Land ownership, user rights and policy reform Accessible, user friendly-information, networking, capacity building and skills development in informal settlement upgrading planning, process and practice Affordable, accessible finance for procurement, upgrading and home maintenance
gnew-Tablet HOW WE DISCOVERED USER NEEDS We started the process by conducting field research in informal settlements and commissioned studies which looked at models of informal settlement upgrading, social innovation and access to finance. We did this to ensure that we deliver a Better Living Challenge that is based on actual need. JANUARY - JUNE 2016 HOW WE DEFINED OPPORTUNITY AREAS We made sense of the user insights and narrowed these into opportunity areas that could support incremental upgrading. We identified the theme: “exploring value and supply chain innovation” as a potential catalyst of change and outlined the following streams where design can make a difference: JULY - AUGUST 2016 HOW WE WILL DELIVER SOLUTIONS During this phase the various solutions and processes that support incremental upgrading in process, planning and practice will be intensified, replicated and scaled for impact. OCTOBER 2017 - MARCH 2018 HOW WE WILL DEVELOP INNOVATIVE CONCEPTS TO DELIVER IMPACT Focussing on the opportunity areas, we will convene communities, industry, academia, practitioners, policy makers and the informal and formal design world, building a community of individuals committed to bringing about change. Join us and partake in one of our collaborative activities: SEPTEMBER 2016 - SEPTEMBER 2017 We had open discussions with end-users Learnt how communities are already improving, expanding and upgrading their homes Gathered a wide range of insights about users’ needs, challenges and desires Found out how low income households invest and save to improve their homes At the core of the process is prototyping, where solutions, products, programmes and services will be tested, iterated and refined. User feedback will be used to select the most viable solutions to develop further. Knowledge sharing, skills transfers and capacity building initiatives Business modeling, entrepreneurial development and enterprise support programmes Solution showcases and informal innovation celebrations Co-design workshops and hack days Design Build Labs Land ownership, user rights and policy reform Accessible, user friendly-information, networking, capacity building and skills development in informal settlement upgrading planning, process and practice Affordable, accessible finance for procurement, upgrading and home maintenance
HOW WE DISCOVERED USER NEEDS We started the process by conducting field research in informal settlements and commissioned studies which looked at models of informal settlement upgrading, social innovation and access to finance. We did this to ensure that we deliver a Better Living Challenge that is based on actual need. JANUARY - JUNE 2016 HOW WE DEFINED OPPORTUNITY AREAS We made sense of the user insights and narrowed these into opportunity areas that could support incremental upgrading. We identified the theme: “exploring value and supply chain innovation” as a potential catalyst of change and outlined the following streams where design can make a difference: JULY - AUGUST 2016 HOW WE WILL DELIVER SOLUTIONS During this phase the various solutions and processes that support incremental upgrading in process, planning and practice will be intensified, replicated and scaled for impact. OCTOBER 2017 - MARCH 2018 HOW WE WILL DEVELOP INNOVATIVE CONCEPTS TO DELIVER IMPACT Focussing on the opportunity areas, we will convene communities, industry, academia, practitioners, policy makers and the informal and formal design world, building a community of individuals committed to bringing about change. Join us and partake in one of our collaborative activities: SEPTEMBER 2016 - SEPTEMBER 2017 We had open discussions with end-users Learnt how communities are already improving, expanding and upgrading their homes Gathered a wide range of insights about users’ needs, challenges and desires Found out how low income households invest and save to improve their homes At the core of the process is prototyping, where solutions, products, programmes and services will be tested, iterated and refined. User feedback will be used to select the most viable solutions to develop further. Knowledge sharing, skills transfers and capacity building initiatives Business modeling, entrepreneurial development and enterprise support programmes Solution showcases and informal innovation celebrations Co-design workshops and hack days Design Build Labs Land ownership, user rights and policy reform Accessible, user friendly-information, networking, capacity building and skills development in informal settlement upgrading planning, process and practice Affordable, accessible finance for procurement, upgrading and home maintenance

NEWS

Find out more about our latest projects and news here

Meet the new BLC research team

May 30, 2016

We are ramping  up our activities in preparation for the launch of the Better Living Challenge 2 in August this year - meet the research team at...

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Gathering insights for Better Living Challenge 2

May 30, 2016

The BLC team recently presented a workshop at the Sustainable Brands 2016 conference, held at the new convention centre at Canal Walk this May. The...

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‘Build it slowly’ – BLC finalist explain their building process

May 30, 2016

We recently had a chance to sit down and catch up with Barry Lewis and Siya James from Ubuhle Bakha Ubuhle (UBU) who reflected on their...

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