University of the Witwatersrand – Planning School: Kya Sands Informal Settlement Planning Studio

In 2014 I assisted Costanza La Mantia at the University of the Witwatersrand’s Planning School in teaching the design module for the 2nd year planning students under the ARPL 2015 module.
The module was taught through research and participatory engagement with various community based organisations that work within Kya Sands.

Kya Sands sits in an uncomfortable tension with it’s suburban neighbour of North Riding.
The studio was conducted at the University, but a several site visits were arranged to understand the context of Kya Sands.
A scaled model was developed and used in a critical exercise to determine the collective aspirations and values held by the various community based organisations.

The exercise was held at a local creche and students worked closely under the guidance of Costanza and myself.
Residents surrounding the the creche were encouraged to attend by the students.

The planning students conducted the participatory engagement and crossed many langauge and social barriers through the exercise.

Through the process, the values and findings were carefully collected, and shared with the participants and added to the ongoing research and engagement being conducted through Wits.