aventer's picture
Full Name: 
Anja Venter
Academic Role: 
PhD Student
Email Address: 

Anja Venter is a visual artist, designer and media studies scholar. She studied her graduate and honours degrees in Visual Communications at Stellenbosch University, and obtained her Masters degree in Media Studies (specialising in mobile technology and ethnographic digital games research)at the University of Cape Town. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in Media Studies, looking at how young creatives from resource-constrained background are using different technologies in creative participation.

2015        AoIR Student travel grant for Internet Researchers 16 conference to be held in Phoenix, Arizona.
2015        First Place for VR game “S.A.D cat”, Shayla Games Virtual Reality Game Jam, Copenhagen. Member of Team “Is this a Horse?”
2015        COIMBRA Scholarship Programme for Young African Researchers. 2 month research stay at Aarhus University Centre for Participatory IT. Under supervision of Prof Kim Halskov.
2015        Sir Robert Kotze Grant. International Travel. University of Cape Town
2015        Microsoft Research Grant. PhD funding, centre in ICT4D, UCT.
2014        Nokia Research Grant. PhD funding. Nokia Research lablet, centre in ICT4D, UCT.
2013        Nokia Research Grant. PhD funding. Nokia Research lablet, centre in ICT4D, UCT.
2012        Pendoring Award: Silver. Internet/mobile/interactive communication. Van Coke Kartel Wie’s Bang. Dojo115.
2012        Loerie Award: Craft Certificate. Internet, Mobile & Interactive Communication: Digital Crafts – Illustration & Graphic Design. Van Coke Kartel Wie’s Bang. Dojo115  
2012        The South Africa Netherlands research Programme on Alternatives in Development (SANPAD) Research Scholarship
2011        The South Africa Netherlands research Programme on Alternatives in Development (SANPAD) Research Scholarship
2011        Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Research Grant for Global Impact Project
2008        Design Indaba Emerging Creative, Cape Town (www.designindaba.com)
2007        Timo Smuts Official Selection, Stellenbosch
2006        Media24 Illustration Award, Cape Town

Research Project / Interests: 

Hacking Design: mobile ecologies and creative participation



  • Venter, A (2015). Digital Alternatives: mobile-centric creatives. IR16: Association of Internet Researchers. Phoenix, United States of America. 21 – 24 October 2015.
  • Venter, A (2015). Smash the Black Box – designing for creative mobile machinery. In Proceedings of the 21st International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA 2015 – Disruption). Vancouver, Canada. 14 – 19 August 2015. ISBN: 978-1-910172-00-1
  • Venter, A (2014). Hacking Design: creative participation and Mobile ecologies. Johannesburg: Fak’ugesi Digital Conference
  • Anja Venter. (2014). Creative participation and mobile ecologies among resource-constrained aspirant designers in Cape Town, South Africa. In Proceedings of the 13th Participatory Design Conference: Short Papers, Industry Cases, Workshop Descriptions, Doctoral Consortium papers, and Keynote abstracts - Volume 2 (PDC '14), Vol. 2. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 225-228. ISBN: 978-1-4503-3214-9
  • Walton, M., Bidwell, N., Venter, A., Reitmaier, T (2014). Mobile technologies and society in South Africa. Towards transdisciplinary perspectives on mobile social media. Potchefstroom: 40th South African Communications Conference SACOMM
  • Venter, A., Walton, M (2014),. On Context: Exploring mobile phones as gaming consoles among resource-constrained youth in Ocean View, South Africa. Vanderbijlpark: First International Conference on serious games in South Africa
  • Noakes, T., Walton, M., Venter, A., Nel, J (2014). Phone to Photoshop: Mobile workarounds in young people’s visual self-presentation strategies. Bellville: Design Development Research
  • Venter, A. (2013). Creative participation and mobile ecologies among aspiring visual designers. Cape Town: IPID 8th International Annual Symposium.
  • Venter, A. (2012). Mobile Games in a Networked Society: A case study amongst children in Ocean View. South-North Conversations. Durban: International Association for Media and Communications Research.
  • Venter, A. (2011). Games and Learning: Communities of Practice amongst PC gamers in Cape Town Central Library. South African Communication Association. Pretoria: SACOMM.
  • Noakes, T., Koloko, M., Pike, M., Pallitt, N., & Venter, A. (2011). Designs for Learning: South African Youth’s use of Microblogging, Online Portfolios…and Computer Games.  Design, Development, Research. Bellville: Cape Peninsula University of Technology.


  • Venter, A., Walton, M. (forthcoming). On Context: Exploring Mobile Phones as Gaming Consoles Among Resource-constrained Youth in Ocean View, South Africa. Journal on Trans-Disciplinary Research South Africa. Published by the Vaal Triangle Campus of North-West University.
  • Venter, A., Walton, M. (forthcoming). Games and Learning: A perspective on low-income,resource-constrained youth and PC gaming in libraries in Cape Town, South Africa. Computers in Entertainment Special Issue. Published by the Association for Computing Machinery


Venter, Anja (2015, July) “Having a Game Jam? Invite Everyone.” A MAZE. Magazine, “Black”, Berlin, Germany. pp 8 - 9


  • Venter, A (2015). “Between Comics and Design”. Open Books Comic Festival, Cape Town, South Africa. 12 September 2015.
  • Venter, A (2015). “Nanna - from aspiring creative to digital activist”. Between 10&5 Creative Women Conference, Cape Town, South Africa.  29 August 2015.
  • Venter, A (2015). “Expand the Magic Circle: on diversity and inclusivity in the South African games community”. A-MAZE Johannesburg International Playful Media Conference. Johannesburg, South Africa. 9 September 2015.
  • Venter, A (2014). “Portfolio Review”. Behance Selected Creatives. Tjing-Tjing, Cape Town. March 2014.
Nokia Lablet
Citizen Participation