Research indicates that one way of improving literacy and the overall academic performance of learners is for schools to have a well-stocked and adequately staffed library. At present, only 8% of schools in South Africa have functioning libraries. To ‘spread a seed’ to grow fertile young minds, Seed Library (#WDC485) has designed attractive, yet functional libraries for needy public primary schools using shipping containers.

Recognised as a World Design Capital (WDC) Cape Town 2014 project for its use of design to transform the lives of children, Seed Library has converted dull grey shipping containers into a place where learners can read, reflect and learn. The architectural design of the libraries uses modular, insulated, eco-friendly, fire retardant panels, boldly and colourfully arranged for optimal functionality and to engage young minds. A reading platform, swing, grassy border and even a tank to harness rain water have been incorporated into the design.

By creating a functional space that is both secure and attractive, the Seed Library contributes to a healthier learning environment and an improvement in literacy levels.

For more information about the Seed Library and other WDC projects, go to

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