DEFSA Membership

DEFSA is the Design Education Forum of Southern Africa. The non-profit organisation provides a platform for academics in the design education sector to engage in research, best practice and networking through various mechanisms including a biennial conference, workshops and an interactive website that hosts peer reviewed and published research papers.

Membership to DEFSA is attained as an institution or as an individual. Individual members are categorised as Professional Individual Members or Student Individual Members.

Institutional Membership

Cost per year: R4 400 


  • The institution must be registered and programmes must be accredited by the relevant quality assurance body
  • The institution must have an interest design education and research
  • The institution must commit to DEFSA affairs and initiatives
  • The institution must appoint a representative able to engage with DEFSA on behalf of the institution
  • The institution may appoint up to 5 representatives
  • The institution must submit the research policy or strategy (if relevant to the institution)


Individual - professional

Cost per year: R330


  • The individual must have an interest in design education & research
  • The individual could be a teacher/professional designer/lecturer/academic
  • Platform to developing individual research profiles of institutional members


Individual - Student:

Cost per year: R150


  • The individual must have an interest in design education & research
  • The individual must be enrolled at a registered and accredited institution



DEFSA Secretariat


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 (