Innovation is hope



Product & Industrial Design


  • innovation, handicrafts, sustainability


A program of non-prescriptive design in a culture of innovation

In our understanding the Innovation is a space defined by the conceptual innovation and her implementation tools: technical innovation and formal expression. They are together the coordinates of this SPACE of INTEGRAL INNOVATION.

In this perception the dynamic axle, which is major in developing the space, the “z” coordinate is the conceptual innovation. This ability of creating genuine ideas is the most important asset of humanity and the reason of our overwhelming adaptability to change. From this point of view, educating the integral innovation is of high relevance.

Unfortunately the actual world ‘ academic portfolio doesn’t include the specific education for conceptual innovation, which is expected to happen by inspiration or hazard. The implementation tools (engineering and design) of conceptual innovation enjoy a high attention instead.

Projecting the Integral Innovation as an apex profession is essential in the time of the arising challenges to humanity and the stagnation of our economy model. As of 1992 the International Master Program Integral Studies educates as a School of Integral Innovation: Engineers, Architects, Scientists and Designers to control integrally the space of innovation.

The education is project-oriented and focused on solving chronic and emerging proble s in real fields. United Global Academy is franchising to her partner universities this Master Program for Integral Innovation and endorses the UGA Think Tank projects worldwide.

The program follows two goals:

  1. educating inventors with a large variety of knowledge and cultural backgrounds and
  2. generating solutions for actual problems, using local resources and involving local talent.

The results are replicated with local craftsmen in a non-prescriptive procedure “ face to face” and is free of copyright, enabling the replicators to interpret the concepts at their will and according with their skills, possibilities and taste.

The Program INNOVATION IS HOPE of United Global Academy addressed already successfully the living environment in townships in South Africa and the water harvesting and supply in desert areas.

The resulted, original solutions inspire and motivate the local craftsmen and users to improve their life quality by integrating these concepts as a genuine part of the local portfolio of solutions, creating business and an attractive, creative occupation. The presentation will illustrate the two case studies mentioned above and describe the program and methodology.

DEFSA conferences

DEFSA promotes relevant research with the focus on design + education through its biennial conferences, to promote professionalism, accountability and ethics in the education of young designers. Our next conference is a hybrid event. See above for details.

Critical skills endorsement

Professional Members in good standing can receive a certificate of membership, but DEFSA cannot provide confirmation or endorsement of skills whatsoever. DEFSA only confirm membership of DEFSA which is a NPO for Design Education in South Africa (