October 13th to 26th, 2024


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. From Stone Town we will move to rural Zanzibar to work with project partner Barefoot College. Other highlights include:

  • Learn about the Spice Islands and its colourful history through custom experiences that support our design work.
  • Enjoy a  traditional rooftop meal in one of Stone Town’s best restaurants.
  • Experience coastal life and live your ‘castaway’ fantasies with two nights on beautiful white sand Matemwe beach.
  • Work collaboratively with our project partner Barefoot College 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 first hand what gives the spice island its name.
  • Travel outside Zanzibar’s protective reef to experience it the beauty that lies in its crystal clear waters.


We will collaborate with the skills training branch of Barefoot College Zanzibar to resolve a to-be-determined problem or opportunity. Barefoot teaches practical skills, including solar energy, beekeeping and sewing. Possible project areas include product packaging, tools for bee keeping or solar dryers for sea weed and fruits. Collectively, based on the skill set of the CoDA team, we will assess needs through direct observation and capture insights to inform design solutions. 

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.


An interdisciplinary approach yields the best travel experience and project results. Sewing, branding, product, packaging, carpentry, engineering and/or graphic design skills may be assets, but not required. Finally we are also always looking for a professional photographer or filmmaker to join us to document the project.

This trip is 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.


Dates: October 13th to 26th, 2024 beginning and ending in Stone Town Zanzibar. You must plan your travel to be in Zanzibar before dinner on the evening of October 13th.

Trip Cost: $4,250.00 CAD ($3,400.00 USD). We are still finalizing trip details so price is being finalized.

Accommodation: Single occupancy hotels. 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: 3 nights in Stonetown, and 10 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 single occupancy accommodation, breakfasts, most dinners, and transportation for 13 days/nights. Fully curated cultural and historical tours.

Additional Expenses: We’ve taken care of most of the details. Additional expenses include your flight ($1500-1800), airport transfers ($25USD), 4 lunches ($10USD/day), 2 dinners ($15-40USD), travel insurance, visa ($50USD) and beverages.

Proof of travel insurance must be provided and 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 to twelve team members we are nimble and flexible.


Because we travel with small groups, and the goal of each trip is to work with a community with needs that can be tangibly met, 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 we might be looking for a particular skill.

Professional Application

Who can apply? Anyone willing to roll up their sleeves, dig in and share their skills. Each project is unique. Do you have a skill you think you can share? From architecture to graphic design, from furniture making to ceramics. Marketing to industrial design. Projects are determined by the skill set of the team.

What happens after I apply? We will send confirmation of receipt of your application. Once a team is finalized, you will have a period of time to pay a deposit to confirm your spot and we will provide more trip information, including a payment schedule and 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 resources above. Or contact us if you have any questions.