Learning Innovation Design Lab at Pecha Kucha Cape Town

Galen Schultz small
Galen Schultz
, Witness This Editor

I attended the 27th Pecha Kucha in Cape Town at the beginning of March. There were two talks in particular that were especially inspiring: One was about the joys and wonders of LED lighting, while the other was about building cardboard computers using tossed-out computer components.

Chris Swift will be constructing a massive lighthouse comprised of 4000 LED light bulbs on top of Signal Hill for the WDC2014. The structure will then be moved to the Khayelitsha People’s Housing Project to save them 80% electricity for the remaining 25 years of the bulbs life. Brilliant.

Cape Town Based Artist Chris Swift

The second talk which caught my attention was given by Michael Wolf of the Learning Innovation Design Lab initiative. Wolf and his team are bringing together teachers, designers, learners and activists to make basic technology part of rural South African education.

As part of this particular Pecha Kucha talk (which are only 6 minutes 40 seconds long), Wolf constructed a cardboard computer in under a minute. Of course it is just the frame of the computer that is cardboard and encases real computer components. However, it just illustrates how simple and cheap it is to provide learners with basic, customisable and personalised computers.

The Learning Innovation Design Lab

A large component of the Learning Innovation Design Lab is to focus on gaming and unleash its potential for learning. In other words, learners get the opportunity to play educational video games as well as design their own. We have talked about gamifying education on this blog before and the wondrous benefits that it has to offer.

The demonstration given by the Learning Innovation Design Lab reminded me of something I watched quite recently which really rings true in this context. It is both depressing yet hugely eye-opening and makes me applaud people like Chris Swift and Michael Wolf. It is called The Story of Stuff and I hope it leaves you with a greater awareness of how important (and possible) sustainable living really is.

I encourage you to visit the Learning Innovation Design Lab website to witness the good work that they are doing and to see how you can get involved.

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