Call for Website Designer 

Position Announcement: Website Designer for the Atlas of Uncertainty Website Design, Construction, and Maintenance.

- Company Name: African Centre for Migration and Society, University of Witwatersrand
- Industry: Research and Education
-Website: // ACMS

Project Overview:
Historically, cities have functioned as sites of production, extraction, subjectification, and subversion. Currently, Sub-Saharan Africa’s population moves within, to, and through cities, turning them into gateways to indeterminate economic, social, and political futures. These sites assume various forms—cities and suburbs, high-rises and informal settlements—shaping the future of solidarity, sociality, and imagination. Despite this, these spaces are poorly understood, with their significance frequently overlooked or underestimated. 

Drawing on new survey data, qualitative research and artistic practices in gateway neighbourhoods in Accra, Nairobi, and Johannesburg, this project explores how people in fragmented, uncertain, and mobile cities shape their futures and urban spaces. Conceived as a project with interactive web components, installations/exhibitions, and a book, it seeks to encapsulate these movements' diverse and unpredictable nature. It also acknowledges the tangible but transient material realities that emerge in the aftermath of such movements. 

Inspired by Mercator’s 'Cosmographical Meditations upon the Creation of the Universe and the Universe as Created,' this project spans empiricism and speculation, considering the indeterminate future of citizenship, subjectivity, and belonging in Africa’s future cities. 

Early atlases were not static collections of maps or the final word on a place's physical geography. Instead, they were assembled with future trips in mind—bundles of texts and maps stitched together to create an imagined, incomplete future. 

Conventional atlases are political knowledge claims embedded in historical, political, and social frameworks of power, ideology, and surveillance (Harley, 1989). They are designed to ‘communicate spaces of homogeneity and modernity’ rather than ‘spaces shaped by human experience’ (Pearce 2008: 17). This project seeks to unsettle the fixity and hierarchies in conventional atlases, challenging national narratives and the mechanical calculations of demographic theory. While drawing inspiration from the observable world, it reveals hidden aspects of being—where reality meets aspiration. The project enables a collective reimagining of spaces, uncovering hidden potential, disappointments and losses. (Corner, 2011). 

Qualitative and ethnographic data, mapmaking practices, soundscapes, and artistic reflections combine to uncover new ways of being and seeing the 21st-century African city. Instead of providing information for a policy or political debate, our atlas invites readers to expand their imagination, considering worlds outside of conventional frames. The project captures the continent’s emerging urban realities, exploring new ways of reimagining and representing African urban spatiotemporal journeys. 

We now seek to realise the Atlas in three interrelated forms. The first is a printed book, an object of beauty and reflection, and a pedagogical resource. We are exploring ways of making the book accessible to communities we are collaborating with in Accra, Nairobi and Johannesburg, as well as international academic and artistic communities. The text also serves as a catalogue for the exhibition, ideally travelling among the three cities and potentially elsewhere. 

The second is an exhibition featuring original artworks by artists from the three cities, encompassing elements such as soundscapes, data visualisations, and sculpture. The project places equal value on both the poetic and the pragmatic, considering artworks as integral to the reading of the city alongside textual elements. 

The final platform will be an interactive website that combines the art, text and data collected through the project.

The primary objective of this project is to design and develop the Atlas of Uncertainty website, which will offer users an immersive and uncertain experience akin to the realities faced by migrants and residents in diverse areas. It should be encompassing, awakening all the senses. 

The appointed web designer shall build the Atlas of Uncertainty website. The website design should incorporate various media types to accommodate different user interfaces based on user preferences. One of the interfaces will feature a straightforward data interface tailored for students and academics. This interface will enable users to access, understand, and manipulate the data presented on the website.

The general user experience should reflect some of the uncertainty and insecurity experienced by migrants and residents in these areas - with the mantra that the missing parts/information are often the most important and encouraging users to navigate for them. 

The website design will explore the concept of the atlas frame or grid, with movable sections similar to the interactive nature of "The City Talks Back." Additionally, the design will reimagine the grid as a mosque of experiences to be shared. The design will focus on manipulating the frame while ensuring accessibility for users.

The design will explore the possibility of offering distinct user journeys through different sections of the website, inspired by the digital spatial navigation of "Refugee Republic." Each interface will offer unique pathways, allowing users to explore diverse perspectives and experiences.

Overview of work:
  1. Research and Analysis: Analyse comparable websites to help build a design suitable for the research and the team. This will involve reviewing the various outputs of the research. The website should seamlessly incorporate mapping, data, visual art, sonic maps, and tracks. 
  2. Wire Framing and Prototyping: Develop wireframes and prototypes to visualise the website structure and user flow before proceeding with the full design.
  3. Design and Development: Create custom design elements and templates for the website, including the home page, landing pages and data pages, working closely with the design team. 
  4. Content Integration: Lead content integration, including text, images, videos, and other multimedia elements provided by the client.
  5. Testing and Optimization: Conduct thorough testing across different browsers and devices to ensure cross-compatibility and optimal performance.
  6. Training and Support: Provide training and support to the team for managing and updating the website content using the chosen Content Management System (CMS).


Refugee Republic -

Cities Talk Back -

Key Objectives:

  1. Design: The new website should have a modern and clean design that aligns with the outputs of the project. It should be fun to navigate and engage throughout, embracing and taking people on a visual and audio journey through the research and the researched neighbourhoods. 
  2. Data - the front of the website needs to be interactive and immersive. There should also be an option to analyse the copious data gathered easily so different users can have access.
  3. Brand - Aligned to the project's brand identity so that it has the same look and feel as the physical Atlas and so there can be seamless interaction across the two resources. 
  4. Improved Navigation: Enhance navigation to ensure ease of use and intuitive browsing for visitors.
  5. Mobile Responsiveness: Ensure the website is fully responsive across all devices and screen sizes. We understand the mobile site might not have the same level of interaction and emersion, but given that many of our users will access it via their phone, we still want it to be engaging. 
  6. Content Highlighting: Showcasing the artist's pieces, soundmaps and produced tracks that will be difficult to illuminate in print. Potentially allow open source uploads with the soundmaps. 
  7. SEO Best Practices: Implement basic on-page SEO elements to improve search engine visibility and ranking.
  8. Integration: Seamlessly integrate social media channels and any necessary third-party tools into the website design.

Phase Timeframe Deadline 
Website design phase 
March 2024
Website template development and build 
April/ May 2024 
Data upload 
May 2024 - August 2024 
Final website draft 1 
September 2024 
Testing and Optimisation 
September - October 2024


1. Wireframes and prototypes

2. Custom website design mockups

3. Developed website with CMS integration

4. Documentation and training materials on maintenance 

5. Post-launch support for any technical issues (or longer) 

Interested applicants must apply by Tuesday 5th of March 2024 with a proposed concept using the following link -