October 13 to 26, 2019


Sunshine, tropical tides and a history and culture infused with spice. For centuries, Zanzibar was a destination for explorers and merchants seeking clove, nutmeg, vanilla, black pepper, and coriander. Today, the exotic locale offers outstanding beaches, Swahili culture, a culinary fusion of Indian, Arab, Chinese, Portuguese and African cooking traditions and the historic capital of Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


We begin our trip with several days in Arab-influenced Stone Town where we will stay in one of the oldest buildings in Zanzibar constructed in 1885 transformed into a stylish hotel. As we move closer to our project site, we will experience coastal life and live our ‘castaway’ fantasies on beautiful whitesand Matemwe beach. Other highlights include:

  • Learn about the Spice Islands and its colourful history through custom experiences that support our design work.
  •  Enjoy rooftop meals in Stone Town’s best restaurants.
  • Work collaboratively with the Barefoot community to identify needs, project parameters and set achievable outcomes for our stay. 
  • Feel the warm Indian Ocean breeze aboard a traditional wooden Dhow.
  • Visit a spice farm and experience firsthand what gives the spice island its name.
  • Days at Matemwe will be spent both working and relaxing.


We will collaborate with the skills training branch of Barefoot College Zanzibar to resolve a to-be-determined problem or opportunity. For over 40 years, Barefoot College has been the world’s only college for the rural poor. Operating in over 50 countries, their “one village at a time, one woman at a time” approach to development emphasizes self-sufficiency and sustainability. Barefoot College Zanzibar teaches practical skills, including solar energy, beekeeping and sewing.

Collectively, we will assess needs through direct observation and capture insights to inform design solutions. Two CoDA trip leaders will guide the process and along with our local partners, we will have some fun, while creating meaningful outcomes.

Read more about Barefoot College at the following link


This trip is for design professionals, but also those who may want a little more comfort. On this design adventure we will be staying in hotels with all amenities. Due to the nature of the location, and its tourist infrastructure we will also enjoy some nice meals and beach time.

We are looking for 8 designers to join us on this design adventure.

Applications open early in 2019.


Dates: October 13th to October 26th, 2019 beginning and ending in Zanzibar. You must plan your travel to be in Zanzibar by the evening of October 13th.

Trip Cost: $4,250.00CAD ($3,290USD) based on single occupancy*

Accommodation: Hotels with all amenities. Please note our accommodation is chosen for its uniqueness*, so not all rooms are equal. We try to balance the needs of our participants. If you have a smaller room at our first stay, you are likely to have a bigger room at our next stay. Consider traveling with your partner or a friend –some of the most remarkable accommodation (suites) suit two people.

Itinerary: 5 nights in Stonetown and 8 nights on Matemwe Beach. A detailed itinerary, including hotel information and daily activities will be provided to participants once team is finalized.

What’s Included: All accommodation, breakfasts, most dinners, and transportation for 13 days/nights. Fully-curated cultural and historical tours. (Some lunches may be provided depending on our working location).

Additional Expenses: We’ve taken care of most of the details. Additional expenses include your flight ($1000-1500), airport transfers ($10), some lunches ($5/day), 2 dinners ($5-15), travel insurance, visa (US $50) and beverages.

It is recommended you visit a travel clinic before departure.



Special thanks to Barefoot College, our partner in India and Zanzibar. Barefoot provides the campus that we work on, translation services and a local facilitator.  Barefoot College also provides employment and support services to the community members throughout the year, thereby creating the opportunity not only to work with a dedicated group of  villagers but also the opportunity for the ideas that are generated from our short time together to be implemented  after we leave.



I appreciated the opportunity to travel this way, to be more involved, to get to know people, see where they live. It went deeper than your typical trip. Saying goodbye was hard, you made real connections.

Amy Keeler, Zanzibar 2018

For me, teamwork was the greatest takeaway. I picked up pointers by observing our crew and was excited about how we found ways to connect and overlap. It was really confidence boosting.

Katrina Tompkins, Zanzibar 2018

Seeing a project from beginning to end. Right from first principle design, design methodology and design thinking. Going all the way through to delivering a production prototype in two weeks… That was amazing.

Dylan Horvath, Zanzibar 2018

This is an intimate travel experience where you will engage meaningfully with the community we will be working with. It’s also an opportunity to unplug, roll up your sleeves in a supportive and relaxing environment, to work and network with new people and learn or refresh design skills, all while making profound connections by sharing culture and ideas.


CoDA trips are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities made equally by those who participate. It is team travel for like-minded creatives who aspire to see and engage with the world in a meaningful way. The participants, (you!), shape the outcome. With only eight team members and two guides we are nimble and flexible.

Trip Leader
Trip Leader

CoDA Founder, educator, and industrial designer, Kirsten White has been an active member of Canada’s design community for almost three decades. As an industrial designer, she creates practical and thoughtful product designs. Her furniture is found at some of the world’s most prestigious spaces, including London’s Canary Wharf and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Her work has also been featured in exhibitions in Toronto, Boston, New York and Milan. During the past decade, Kirsten has travelled professionally to Indonesia, Peru, and China to explore how to combine the world of mass-produced design and the work of individual makers and craftspeople to offer better, more sustainable products and careers. Since 2004, Kirsten has taught at OCAD University and Sheridan College in Toronto Canada. When not sharing her passion for design, she can be found gallivanting across the globe with her family.

Design Leader
Design Leader

Ben Durrell is a designer and an educator. His work—rooted in contemporary, conceptual design—remains accessible, playful, and often appears as furniture. Ben designed and produced exhibits at the Boston Children’s Museum and led the 3-D design studio at Artists for Humanity, where he also taught and mentored youth. He was an instructor at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and a visiting critic at Wentworth Institute of Technology. Ben’s work displays a heightened sensibility to domestic interiors and an object’s ‘in-the-worldness’. His diverse body of work includes custom furniture, exhibition design, institutional and corporate furnishings, product design and development, and countless impromptu playthings for his and his friends’ children. In 2015, Ben and his family moved from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard. He continues to design and produce furniture, but mostly feeds his Instagram and hangs out with his kids at the beach.


Because we travel with small groups, and the goal of each trip is to work with a community with needs that can tangibly be met though design, we respectfully ask that you complete our application form. We try to balance the right skill set according to the project we work on. Don’t worry, you likely have the goods as our methodology relies on using an interdisciplinary team. Just sometimes

Professional Application

Who can apply? Anyone with creative experience! From architecture to graphic design. From furniture making to ceramics. Does designer seem an apt description for you? Than you qualify.

What happens after I apply? We will send you confirmation of your application. and ask you to pay a $500 CND ($500USD) deposit to confirm your spot and provide more information, such as payment schedule, and a detailed itinerary.

When should I apply? As soon as you can! Once our trips fill up, we will close applications for that particular trip.

For FAQs or information on our payments schedule or cancelation policies, please see our resources. Or contact us if you have any questions.