softwork is space for creative practice foregrounding work that thinks critically about the role of design and art in producing our cultural landscapes. softwork is a proposition and a methodology: we seek out ways to shift and rethink our relationships to capitalist work and productivity landscapes, to soften the edges of our work, to think and make and approach our with softness, generosity, empathy and care.

Based in Brixton, Johannesburg, and in operation for six years, softwork is committed to developing design that is honest, generative, and committed to social justice, approaching design as a tool for change. We focus on design research, publishing, workshopping and collaboration within the creative sector, bridging across the fields of art, architecture, design, and feminist and queer organising work. We seek out and connect with projects related to design, illustration, research, project management and cultural programming.

Our work is speculative and also pragmatic, playful and also serious. We work in ways that are research-oriented, experimental, collaborative and flexible. We think deeply about softness as a tool and an approach to world building, dreaming and imagining possible futures.


Recent projects and collaborations include working with the design and curatorial team of the 18th Biennale Architettura 2023, The Laboratory of the Future, in Venice; The African Futures Institute; The Canadian Centre for Architecture on a forthcoming publication Fugitive Archives: A Sourcebook for Centring Africa in Histories of Architecture; the Goethe Institut South Africa and the Africa Center for Cities on the Power Talks 2022 programme; the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF); the Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI); Greenpeace; Gender at Work; Christian Aid; Black Beyond Data; The Association for Women in Development (AWID); GALA and VIAD on the publication Lesser Violence Vol 1; Taboom Media; and Art Meets among many others.

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