University of Johannesburg: UJ’s FADA collaborates with KFC for innovative design programme

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The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Faculty of Art Design and Architecture (FADA) has teamed up with South Africa’s biggest fast-food brand, KFC in a collaborative design programme for second and third-year students.

The collaboration, termed The KFC creative MASHup, will see students participate in several unique design projects to support their dreams and elevate the young creatives.

To launch this collaboration, an event took place at the Melville KFC opposite Campus Square and the UJ Kingsway Campus where students often buy food on Wednesday, 17 August 2022.

Hosted by media personality Smash Afrika, the event saw about 120 energetic students and journalists gather at the venue to enjoy a day of activity and discussion.

As part of the project, students will have the opportunity to develop design solutions for KFC that include interior design and associated design ideas. Inspired by local and international hospitality and retail design trends, Interior Design students will present proposals to modify the existing quick-service restaurant to provide a customer experience that supports a digitally-savvy consumer culture.

Supporting the design of the interior, the Graphic Design students will engage with the wayfinding and signage design, while the Industrial Design students will design unique fixtures, fittings and furniture items to complement the interior.

To further accentuate the brand in the design solution, the Fashion Design students will design attire for the front-of-house employees that will offer a modern representation of the iconic KFC brand.

Head of the Department of Interior Design, Mrs Ilse Prinsloo, spoke at the event.

“The University of Johannesburg does collaborations often and the reason is because partnerships create an opportunity to build students and businesses going forward. KFC was the ideal brand to partner with our faculty because they have the same passion as we do for education, youth culture and especially for design education.”

She added: “Our students are tech savvy, our university is at the forefront of 4IR research. Our students are not only our future or next generation customers, they’re also the future of design.”

KFC’s Marketing Director for Brand & Purpose Grant Macpherson said Johannesburg was a melting pot of culture and it only made sense to join forces with UJ as there was so much talent and creativity.

“UJ is a massive part of that. It’s a first for us where we can engage in so many different parts of creativity and design. We are excited to see how the students collaborate with each other to give a new customer experience for the future generation of KFC customers.”

Over and above this opportunity, the young designers stand a chance to win a mentorship programme with local South African illustration studio Yay Abe, founded by Russell Abrahams, an individual who has previously collaborated with sought-after fashion brands such as H&M.

Mrs Prinsloo concluded: “This collaboration provides students with exposure to the realistic expectations and challenges associated with quick-service restaurant design of a well-known global brand while they engage with problem-based learning that connects to real-world issues.”



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