Change the world


Cockscomb Mountain

Department of Applied Design

(Incorporating Graphic Design, Photography, Fashion and Textiles)


Our philosophy

As visual communicators, lifestyle interrogators and opinion generators we believe in the ethos of fostering an environment that provides a creative and transforming educational experience and produces students who are able to integrate, as professionals, into a multi-layered society.

Our ethos

To fulfil this philosophy we strive to adequately skill students and make them cognisant of value systems as they pertain to life and co-existence in the broadest context, and creative design in particular, by applying appropriate teaching principles. We acknowledge that designers and visual communicators have a particularly responsible role to play in society as influencers and formers of public opinion, and individual and group behaviour. Through the mediums of advertising, fashion and publishing directly, and promotions, corporate image development and expositions indirectly, we are bound by duty to present to society a view of the world that respects intrinsic human values, morality and ethics. In the light of this our course programme upholds the values here below.

The following statements identify the core values we attempt to instil in students and the necessary skills needed to support them:

  • Creating an awareness of the environment in which we live that encompasses the physical realm and socio-cultural issues
  • Being able to operate within the constraints of ethics and humanity
  • Acknowledging an obligation to contribute to the upliftment of society
  • Understanding the capacity that knowledge has to empower and improve the quality of life
  • Encouraging enquiry and criticism
  • Focussing on the indomitable nature of the human spirit as a means to influence and provoke positive change
  • Learning how to problem-solve within a professional context
  • Developing aesthetic awareness and judgement
  • Building confidence in technical and technological proficiency
  • Learning how to make intelligent, thoughtful decisions

To achieve this we apply the following teaching principles:

  • Be non-prescriptive in creative problem-solving
  • Provoke enquiry and thoughtful reflection
  • Encourage debate in open forums
  • Practise critical thinking
  • Encourage objective criticism
  • Create a culture of visual research
  • Develop perceptual and conceptual ability
  • Foster a professional work ethic in an industry-focussed working environment
  • Develop entrepreneurial skills
  • Identify interdependency and collaborative working situations
  • Instil an appreciation of the value of design and image-making
  • Instil an appreciation of creative and technical excellence

We perceive that all Applied Design courses stand to benefit significantly from collaborations with interior design, architecture, fine art, journalism, languages, music, technology and philosophy and so endeavour to engage whenever opportunity presents itself.

Nature's Valley

Contact information
Mr Glenn Meyer
Senior Lecturer / Course Coordinator For Photography Programme
Tel: 27 41 5043141