October saw the Philippi Trading Plan team hold two very successful participatory design workshops. The workshops took place at a sports hall in Philippi with two different groups of street traders from Protea Road and Sheffield Road. The aims of the workshop was to get design ideas from street traders themselves as to how the environment can be improved for trading and to discuss the implications of the BRT road construction. An important aspect in achieving this was understanding what the main issues and challenges are that are keeping informal businesses from growing in Philippi. In teams, participants discussed, modelled, created, drew and imagined a variety of exciting designs both for improving the public environment as well as their individual structures that would allow their businesses to grow. The next step for SLF is to take the design ideas into consideration and, using a combination of appropriate ideas, will present a potential design back to the street traders for feedback. These workshops were thus only the beginning of a long participatory process and relationship with informal traders that will ultimately result in the conception of a vibrant street trading hub in Philippi.
-By Kayla Brown