First Year Interiors students Skype call to South Africa with Kate Carlyle of Monkeybiz

Interactive session to discuss ideas for re-purposing a shipping container for a community project.

Date: 14 February 2018

First year Interiors students recently had the opportunity to experience and engage in a live interactive session with Kate Carlyle, manager of Monkeybiz, a non-profit organisation in Cape Town, South Africa which supports local bead artists.

The session was set up to discuss the current needs of their community centre and how a defunct shipping container could be re-purposed to create a workshop for the local artists.

Students took on board possibilities of transforming the container as a hub for both business and the local community. Functional issues of connectivity, and water supply for the container were discussed and many creative ideas were brainstormed with the client.

Students offered ideas such as stacking containers, recycling, supplying a new container and re-appropriating the existing container through re-use and re-cycle of local materials to create areas for selling and display of the products. Even the idea of a Routemaster bus to travel around the cities promoting the artist’s work was received with enthusiasm!

Monkeybiz have reached an international market and sell their products in the Conran Shop. The session was valuable for the students to experience a client/designer meeting and how creative ideas are often discussed in the workplace.

Pictured: Suzanne Smeeth-Poaros, Harriet McKay and Gabriele Oropallo.

Written by Suzanne Smeeth-Poaros, Senior Lecturer in Interior Design at The Cass