1to1 2.0 – a new chapter

1to1 - Agency of Engagement

HOW DID 1TO1 START?

1to1 began in 2010 when a group of students from a South African university were given an opportunity towork with the residents and leadership of Slovo Park, theSlovo Park Development Forum, as part of their masters in architecture programme.

During the initial project of co-designing and co-building a small tactical intervention in Slovo Park, theSlovo Hall,the group were exposed to another way of working and city-making, as people first then as practitioners – they sought to grow this additional mode of practice into something that could support similar projects while creating a platform for engagement with other stakeholders and students. This initial student group went on to develop the1to1 Student Groupinto 1to1 – Agency of Engagement andregister the organisation in 2012 as legal entity.

HOW HAS 1TO1 ADAPTED?

Since2010, 1to1 has grown, reflected and adaptedthrough…

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Dissipate

 

AfrikaBurn is the South African regional event for the Burning Man that takes place each year in the USA:

‘AfrikaBurn is a community of participants who come together to create artburning structures, costume, performancetheme campsmusicmutant vehicles and much, much more. All of this is created through the volunteer culture of the citizens of Tankwa Town in the Karoo once a year.” Afrika Burn website

Thomas Van Deventer, a University colleague from my masters’s year, put together a team to design, fund and build a sculpture for the event this year and invited me to join their efforts. They formed the team in Cape Town and worked furiously on top of their day-to-day to make the project happen.

They named the project Dissipate and jointly design an amazing tensigritous structure seen here:
The team put together a tight ThundaFund Campaign and through much effort and a fundraising event secured the financial support to complete the build . It was only here that I was able to help the team, as well as assist in the logistical arrangement of a trailer.

I was able to help with some of the later stages of the build process, only arriving on the Thursday. But spent much of the Burn documenting the structure:

Later on the first night the Burn decided to hold a party around the structure.:

From here the team was able to relax a bit more and enjoy the countless activities and happenings across Tankwa Town.

The spectacle of the burning of the various sculptures was the highlight of many evenings, and brought out many characters from 10 000 plus people who attended this year.

Dissipate

The Dissipate team did not burn the sculpture for several reasons, but chose to dissassemble and and take the various parts back to Cape Town.\

Looking forward to next year. The planning has already begun….

Aformal Terrain (AT)

In 2014, we (Eric Wright, Claudia Morgado & myself) as a team of architects, lectures and urban researchers assembled a collective architecture/urbanism/landscape laboratory which closely engages with complex urban conditions of South African. We termed this collective Aformal terrain (AT)

Our first experimentation with this collective was through a critical studio with the leadership of Denver, Informal Settlement in Johannesburg CBD through the studioATdenver. This project was established to take course over  a period of 3-5 years and support s much larger development process that Denver is already a part of in regard to the Department of Human Settlement’s work in Gauteng and South Africa. In addition AT worked on a variety of projects in our defined research area:

* shared from www.aformalterrainjoburg.wordpress.com *

Aformal Terrain is a collaborative research group based at the University of Johannesburg’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture.

Background

Aformal Terrain (AT) is a collaborative and collective architecture/urbanism/landscape group who closely engages with complex urban conditions.

AT focuses on integrating resources and skills towards promoting awareness and generating appropriate responses to the context of rapidly changing and often unstable contemporary urban phenomena.

This approach is underpinned by people-driven methodologies for engagement, research, design responses and planning strategies.

Aformality

The use of the term ‘Aformal’ frames a critical investigation (immersion) into complex spatial, social, cultural, economic and physical urban scenarios as an ‘in-between’ condition, or terrain. This direction is rooted in working with, and, within urban informal settlements with a focus on incremental in-situ upgrading and organic urbangrowth – interrogating current polarised definitions of the ‘formal’ and ‘informal’, and the often confused interpretations between legality and illegality.

Each Studio (project, exhibition, publication etc) is aimed at identifying and interconnecting multiple role-players (actors).

This occurs through an immersive, collaborative and co-produced process of engagement, establishing a platform to enable trans-disciplinary exchange and capacitation, consequently activating public, private and community joint efforts.

AT directs this purpose to three areas of action:

Teaching & Learning

To generate an awareness of varying urban conditions at multiple scales ranging from regional, through neighbourhood, to specific people groups.
This action relies on trans-disciplinary collaborative exchange with the aim of leading to well-informed and achievable plans that assist and support community-led development.

An embedded intention here is to further inform current professionals, settlement residents, local/city officials and current students (future professionals) about the nuances and complexities of participatory processes through immersive, real life projects (studios).

Awareness & Knowledge

Strongly tied to teaching-and-learning processes this action is underpinned by the co-production of knowledge and information through collective and mutual exchanges. This process identifies two main sources towards the production of relevant and useful knowledge:

Existing Data – sourcing, analyzing and sharing current data about the specific area of work/study. This includes; local upgrade plans (at city level), National upgrade plans (NUSP and the like), Global references and tools (investigating ‘Global South’ relationships and networks).

Local Knowledge – identifying collective community plans and objectives through discussions and exchange with local residents. This process aims to build on local knowledge with the aim of drawing connections between bottom-up and top-down processes.

Real Projects 

AT intends to cultivate long-term sustainable relationships with the networks generated through the teaching-and-learning studios.

Real Projects refers to this intention – to identify potential roles for professionals and spatial practitioners through on-the-ground collaborative processes – assisting community action plans and governmental upgrade plans through providing relevant spatial and design services fitted to contexts of informal settlements.

AT Team: Eric Wright (BOOM Architects), Claudia Morgado (BOOM Architects), Jhono Bennett (1to1 – Agency of Engagement), Stephen Hoffe (Build A Future), Katrine Lategan (ARUP),

AT Collaborators: Tyler B Murphy (Sins of Style), Tuliza Sindi (BRN WSH), Jabu Makhubu (UJ Lecturer), Blanca Calvo (CORC), Motebang Matsela (CORC), Gloria Pavita (UJ Student), Taylor Holloway (1to1 – Agency of Engagement), Phil Astley (UCL)

Denver Leadership & Volunteers: Welcome Mchunu, Bongmus Hadebe, Bheki Zondo, Daphne Mabaso, Jabulani , Bongani

South African Shack Dwellers Alliance: Sandra Van Rensburg, Rosy Mashimbye, Maureen Sikepo, Dumisani Mathebula

Local War Councillors: Clnr Neuren, Clnr Simelane

Critical Friends: Simon Sizwe Mason (City of Joburg – Management), Moabi Pekone (City of Joburg – Region F: Housing), Nicolette Pingo (Johannesburg Development Agency), Monty Narsoo (NUSP)

University of Johannesburg Students: [2014] Ayanda Madi, Daniele  Cronje, Jade Botes, Jamela Mkansi, Martin Jones, Mitchel Thirwell, Moeketsi Phori, Mulalo Mafela, Nathan Abrahams, Lucille Jacobs, Wandile Bongwa Mahlanga, Gareth How, Mohau Moidi, Brian Maila, Victor Martins, Ashish Nathoo, Alwyn-Jay Pretorius, Musa Mathe, Joana  Ferro, Dewald le Roux, Crystal Francis, Melissa Brandt,Vikash Mithal, Tlali Nyareli, Sibusiso Lwandle, Pierre Perrault, Kerry Trebble, Isabella da Rocha, Megan Wilson, Wandile Mkhwanazi, Simone Pretorius, Siphosezwe Mahlangu, Thabang Semenya, Mohammed R Suliman, Travis Lee, Mfundo Magongo, Julian Almond, Aisha Balde, Rudelle Bezuidenhout, Kgaogelo Mashego, Karabelo Mlangeni, Binaica Morar, Kholokazi Ngoma, Ruben Smit, Jessica Rousseau, Kagiso Teke, Kyle Blake, Jaco Jonker, Maruscha Govenden, Palesa Khumalo, Ricardo De Sousa, Armand Barnard, Kagiso Bokaba, Nyasha Chirinda, Yusuf Dadabaay, Rosalie Ferreira, Lance Ho Hip, Tebogo Ntsoane, Thabo Ranaka, Mandy Shindler, Roland Britz, Llenette Jones, Lindani Langa, Tebogo Madito, Kashiya Mbinjama , Thabang Montle, Carol Phophi, Roberto Pinheiro, Leme Swanepoel, Nicholas Abrahams, Lerato Bothloko, Sanjay Jeevan, Tebogo Kgatla, Irena Konstantinova, Morena Mahlare, Tebogo Mokgwetsane, Njabulo Ndaba, Joshua Sampson, Reinhard Van Niekerk

[2015] Allen N, Da Rocha I, Erasmus C, Gama J, Jamieson R, Kubayi T, Mabaso M, Makutu N, Mamba S, Mantle W, Mokgwetsane T, Molekoa K, Mothoagae O, Msiska A, Musehane K, Naicker S, Ncube  T, Ramos D, Samsodien C, Thirlwell M, Trebble K, Tshivhase M, Vasconcelos T, Nkoana M, Moutloatse L, Adu Agyei D, Behane   M, Botlhoko L, Carstens G, Chokoe M, Dekker A, Di bon       J, Fourie B, George R, Hollis K, Jama A, Madi A, Makofane T, Malanda J, Mashinini N, Mayes J, Mlambo S, Mlangeni K, Paiva E, Perrault P, Phaladi K, Russwurm J, Saloojee Y, Suliman M, Wilmans M, Tsheoga M, Gono T, Carvalho M, Dart T, Ebrahim F, Greeff M, Isia F, Knobloch A, Makhubele N, Masango B, Mazwi N, Mntambo W, Moore    S, Murakata P, Mvakade Z, Ngobeni V, Sikepe M, Sithole     S, Tatham P, Thomas  N, Van Rooyen R, Zwane            J, Machaka M, Mahlangu R

[2016] Simon Ngubeni (UJ Student), Yoana Hristova (UJ Student), Kobus Marais (UJ Student), Tiisetso Mokgopo (UJ Student), , Tresor Mbayahe(UJ Student)

AT Organisations
AT Project Supporters
AT Funders & Supporters
Open Societies Foundation: Higher Education Support Programme

This trajectory of critical engagement builds on methods and intentions developed through earlier formative collaborative platforms;

informalStudio: Ruimsig (2011) [i]

informalStudio: Marlboro South (2012) [ii]

The core underpinnings, purpose and relevance of AT stems from and builds on the development of,and involvement in,these preceding studios

[i]informalStudio: Ruimsig (http://2610south.co.za/gallery24.php) Teaching staff: Thorsten Deckler (principal at 26’10 south Architects), Alexander Opper (director of architecture master’s programme, UJ), Lone Poulsen (architect and urban planner at ACG Architects), Melinda Silverman (urban design theory, UJ). \Ruimsig Community: The community of the Ruimsig informal settlement, including Dan Moletsane, Dingaan Matia, the community leadership and the eight ‘community architects’: Irene Mohale, Rosalina Mphuti, Julia Mashaba, Mildred Thapeni, Albert Masibigiri, Jemina Mokoena, Watson Sibara, and Alfred Mthunzi.UJ Students: Dewald Badenhorst, Dean Boniface, Dirk Coetser, Dana Gordon, Zakeeya Kalla, Daniel Lyonga, Julian Manshon, Matthew Millar, Karabo Mokaba, Jarryd Murray, Trisha Parbhoo, Sean Pillan, Taswald Pillay, Miguel Pinto, John Saaiman, Salome Snyman.Support: Goethe-Institut South Africa has financially and logistically supported the project from its inception; Steve Topham (NUSP); Andy Bolnick (Ikhayalami); Connie Molefe (of the Roodepoort Athletics Stadium management); Max Rambau & André Mengi (CORC); Tolo Phule and Lungelo Mntambo (Delite Visual Archives Studios); Pheagane “Jakes” Maponya, Pumla Bafo & Thabo Molaba (City of Johannesburg); Lisa Ngagledla, Nomahlubi Ncoyini & Pricilla Mario (for sharing the expertise of the Sheffield Road community in Cape Town); Mzwanele Zulu (ISN, Cape Town); Thembile Majoe, Sihle Mbatha, Phiwe Makubu, Mfundisi Masithe (ISN, Gauteng); & Andisa Bidla (CoJ Informal Settlement Formalisation & Regularisation). 

[ii]informalStudio: Marlboro South (http://www.informalstudio.co.za/)
Teaching staff: Thorsten Deckler (principal at 26’10 south Architects),Anne Graupner (principal at 26’10 south Architects), Alexander Opper (director of architecture master’s programme, UJ), Eric Wright (3rd year lecturer, UJ), Suzette Grace (3rd year lecturer, UJ), Claudia Morgado (3rd year lecturer, UJ). Support staff (UJ): Melinda Silverman, Suzette Grace, Leon Krige, Amira Osman, Annemarie Wagener, Absalom Makhubu, Dr.Finzi SaidiMarlboro South Community: The community of the Marlboro South informal settlement, including the Marlboro Warehouse Crisis Committee (MWCC): Charles Gininda, Thapelo Mogane, August Tswai, Maluleke David, Loveson Motlapa, and the community architects: Winnie Ngubane, Queenie Nkosi, Happiness Nkosi, Khanyisile Soncgca, Fezeke, Baliswa Mahono, Khanyi Ncube, Nonthando Madondo, Thabo Masenyetse, Phili Thafeni, Karabo Mokaba, Promise Nxumalo, Agnes Lekgotla, Mapule Lekgotla, Anna Mathibedi, Melissa, Jabulani Dwiazawa,Thulie Shabalala, Wonderboy Butheklezi, Andries Tzumbezo, Asanda Magqabi, Ayanda Libala,UJ Students: Francois Mercer, Elaine Engelbrecht, Francisco Hamilton Alves, David Cloete, Rick van Heerden, Shani Fakir, Nakedi Nkoana, Lance HO Hip, Brent Proudfoot, Renee van Rooyen, Dylan Watkins with Steffen Fischer, Jolien Dreyer, Eugene Ncube, Naeem Kooreyshi, Katrin Tenim, Martin Bam, Philip van As, Debbie Pienaar ,Laura Strydom, Katty Harris, Dewald Coetzer, Jurgen Rubirske, Lemohang Sekhoto, Shyam Patel, Joseph Matebane, Ashlea Weaver, Calvin Copeling, Basil Moutsatsos, Nhlamulo Ngobeni, Samantha Trask, Jaco Jonker, Lungelo Zulu, Alex Verissmo, Grant Woodward, Jaques Wienekus, Motebang Matselela, Sachin Mistry, Caitlin Bell, Robin Theobald, Keron Muller, Michelle Jordaan, Thabiso Siwana, Gareth Jones, Marc Sherrat, Glen Jordan, Lucille Jacobs, Tlale Masiu, Hanle van HuyssteenSupport: Goethe Institut South Africa has financially and logistically supported the project from its inception; Steve Topham (NUSP); Andy Bolnick & Ryan Bosworth (iKhayalami); Sandra Van Rensburg, Andre Mengi, Jhono Bennett & Jacqueline Cuyler (CORC); Tolo Phule and Lungelo Mntambo (Delite Visual Archives Studios); South African Shack Dwellers International Alliance (SDI): Rose Molokoane (FEDUP), Patrick Magebhula (ISN) 

Marlboro South, the University of Johannesburg & the (in)formal Studio

The MWCC working with CORC technical member
This story covers my involvment in Marlboro South with the Marbloro South Warehouse Crisis Committee (MWCC) in 2012/2013 while working at the South African Shack Dwellers International Alliance (SASDI)


This is essentially a photo essay of the events from my perspective, with supplemented referenced links from on-line sources, that depicts my involvement in the MWCC’s processes during this period.

Socio-Technical Support – May 2012

Marlboro settlement profile from South African SDI Alliance on Vimeo.
SASDI Story HERE

I began working in Marlboro South after taking the position of socio-technical support at the SASDI. Operating through the Community Organisation Resource Centre (CORC) my task was to support the MWCC in their technical needs while they worked through the Informal Settlement Network (ISN) in lobbying local and national governments in the face of eviction threats around their rights to occupy the abandoned (some) warehouses in Marlboro South‘s industrial belt. 

   
The MWCC in action
Marlboro South Industrial Belt
The MWCC had been established after a fall out with various civil and local authority groups who had negotiated for the residents on their behalf to their right to occupy the warehouses.
The MWCC working with CORC technical member
As Socio-Technical support a large part of our our job consists of being in leadership meetings.

In total the MWCC represented 53 occupied warehouse who spatially had re-furbished factories ‘abandoned’ during the violent periods in Marlboro South during the early 1990’s.

Some warehouse were occupied with minimal changes
Other warehouse were completely adapted internally

 
While other had their internal delivery yards converted into housing.
At the time, I had just taken over from a former colleague, Jacqueline Cuyler, who had recently completed a temporary housing solution for residents under the MWCC while working for CORC in response to an earlier illegal eviction with the MWCC weeks before.
 
These temporary houses were part of the SASDI’s Community Upgrade Finance Facility (CUFF) project process, and were intended to house MWCC members while the leadership engaged the powers that be.
The idea of what is considered temporary emerged many times during my work in Marlboro South. These structures were erected in less than 3 days and were later dissembled in a shorter time, but are considered permanent by most institutional bodies for very obscure reasons.
 
What is interesting is which elements of the houses are considered crucial such as the stoep’s – an important social space – that doubles as structural stabilisation and a weather foot. As well as numbers and entrance features when built at this speed and for this purpose.
Retail and other business opportunities are quickly seized upon.
My first project was to help in a savings group that was looking to install a new toilet through the CUFF process. This involved assisting with the design, costing and facilitation through the various social processes that the SASDI work through.
Intern on site in Marlboro South
During this time I held a dual position between the University of Johannesburg (UJ) as a part time lecturer and researcher while working at the SASDI, and as part of my interest in developing and sharing socio-technical spatial design skills (1:1 Student League) I would bring interested students to various meetings to expose them to these complex spaces.
Students from the 1:1 Student League visiting an occupied warehouse
 
 
The University of Johannesburg’s (in)formal Studio – July 2012
 
Alex Opper, co-ordinator of the Masters in Architectural Technology programme at UJ has been collaborating with various professionals (26.10′ South Architects), NGO’s (the SASDI) and cultural institutions (Goethe Institute) to develop  interesting and relevant student brief’s through what they have now collectively referred to as the (in)formal Studio which include UJ staff Eric Wright and Claudia Morgado who practice as BOOM Architects.
1:1 – Co-FounderJacqueline Cuyler, with MWCC member waking the various sites in Marlboro South
The (in)formal studio undertook their first project in 2011 in Ruimsig, working with SASDI members, and sought to continue the project in 2012 in Marlboro South with the MWCC, and I was charged by the NGO with facilitating the relationship.
UJ lecturer Alex Opper and Architect Thorsten Deckler walk through Marlboro South with ISN memeber Albert Masibigiri

The challenge in developing the brief, was to satisfy the academic nature of a Architectural investigation into a complex socio-political environment with the crucial needs of such residents in their potentially un-spatial requirements.
My dual position between  UJ and the SASDI allowed me to play an important role in facilitating the needs of the MWCC while assisting in the development of the brief for UJ’s Architecture Department.
Working at the 26.10′ South Architect’s with Anne Graupner, Alex Opper, Claudia Morgado, Eric Wright and Thorsten Deckler to develop the brief
What emerged was an incrementally structured brief that broke down the site of investigation and design into 3 scales of research and intervention that eventually culminate into a potential architectural product that was the sum of an intense process of engagement with and for residents and the MWCC members.
The studio was then broken into sections of engagement on a weekly basis from large scale land use analysis to participative mapping site scale mapping all the way down to life-world analysis of individual residents of Marlboro South warehouses. This was done in mixed teams of post graduate and undergraduate students and Marlboro residents under the guidance of the SASDI Alliance.
Extract from UJ brief (University of Johannesburg, 2012 Brief Hand Out)
The studio was arranged with weekly meetings in both the settlement site and the University studio on campus, this was done in order to share the spatial realities of both participating groups.
 
Members of ISN and MWCC arriving at UJ
UJ Students arriving in Marlboro South
Mapping and measuring exercises at UJ with ISN, MWCC and students
Mapping and measuring research in Marlboro South with ISN, MWCC and students
 
Mapping and measuring exercises at UJ with ISN, MWCC and students
Mapping and measuring research in Marlboro South with ISN, MWCC and students
Mapping and measuring exercises at UJ with ISN, MWCC and students
Mapping and measuring research in Marlboro South with ISN, MWCC and students
Mapping and measuring research in Marlboro South with ISN, MWCC and students

Mapping and measuring exercises at UJ with ISN, MWCC and students
Mapping and measuring research in Marlboro South with ISN, MWCC and students
Mapping and measuring exercises at UJ with ISN, MWCC and students
Mapping and measuring research in Marlboro South with ISN, MWCC and students
Mapping and measuring exercises at UJ with ISN, MWCC and students
Mapping and measuring research in Marlboro South with ISN, MWCC and students
Students were then divided into smaller groups and asked to determine site specific design intervention solutions at a framework level and present this back to the MWCC and the residents for feedback in the scheduled workshop meetings. The groups would then begin to propose possible solutions within this framework from a small scale level of intervention to possible larger ones.
Student presentations in Marlboro South occupied Warehouses
Student presentations in Marlboro South occupied Warehouses
UJ Student presentation at UJ Architecture Department
Student presentations in Marlboro South  car wash facility outdoors
UJ Student presentation at UJ Architecture Department
Student presentations in Marlboro South occupied Warehouses
Student presentations in Marlboro South occupied Warehouses
Student presentations in Marlboro South occupied Warehouses
UJ Student presentation at UJ Architecture Department
UJ Student presentation at UJ Architecture Department
Student presentations in Marlboro South occupied Warehouses
UJ Student presentation at UJ Architecture Department
Student presentations in Marlboro South  car wash facility in Marlboro South streets
Student presentations in Marlboro South  car wash facility outdoors
Student presentations in Marlboro South  car wash facility outdoors
Unfortunately an impromptu later deemed illegal eviction of several sites occupied by residents and the MWCC by the City of Johannesburg made the issues of capacity and focus very difficult, as well putting the students at potential risk.
UJ students at one of the sites of the eviction
The studio was altered and majority of participatory work happened on the University campus and other adjacent venues.
Local restaurant in Marlboro South chosen due to evictions
From an academic standpoint the studio was highly successful in opening up student perspectives on the various forms of tangible and intangible support designers can offer, as well as exposing some of the student body to contexts and cultures not critically experienced before.

This studio process revealed how important it is for these processes to be managed by larger social groups, as universities do not have the capacity or scope to support such large social movements or deal with evictions and the repercussions of such an act. At first the large team sizes were difficult to manage, but put together large amounts accurate socially sensitive of data very quickly – this proved invaluable in the ensuing lawsuit against the city, while creating a large volume of work from which further exercises can be held.
Land Use Diagram that was instrumental in proving the illegality of the eviction by JMPD
 

Beyond the design studio – October 2012

While the design studio exists as one of the most flexible and adaptable spaces to navigate the intricate and dynamic world of socio-technical design processes, it needs to be considered in the larger picture of what design pre-professionals are required in the ‘real world’. If the processes employed in these spaces are not done so with an understanding of the expected role of the students then result can be defined by a product and process that only benefits an academic inquiry into development work, but not a pragmatic one.

These ‘living laboratories’ require sustainable systems of development through socially inclusive and open processes. These systems need to be clearly documented and the set up in a manner that does not rely on the individuals gains of singular entities, but speak to a larger drive of all parties involved; that of socially conscious open minded people within groups that are up front in their intentions around engagement.

The relationships that the design studio establishes and nature of the enthusiasm open minded pre-professionals carry through into the real world should be guided by a strong acceptance of these process by not only the tertiary bodies that facilitate, but by the profession that needs to look at its role in this and support those pushing through the current limitations.
The underlying ethos of these studios should not be one of design professionals entering an informal context and superimposing the values of formality in their support, but of seeking to understand and ‘un-learn’ in order to respond in such a way that works with the energies and capacities of the informal context. This approach distances the designer from control of the final ‘product’ of support, but allows for long term sustainability of support facilitating the most key aspect of design support – ownership
 
Eviction – August 2012
On August 17, 2012 I received a call from the a member of the MWCC. He was speaking fast and all I could hear over the background roar was that JMPD were evicting people from the warehouses and that a bulldozer had killed someone. Not sure what to do, I phoned the  lawyers (SERI) we were working with who told me all we could do was try and get the physical court order document and gain an interdict as soon as possible.
Armed with this knowledge and my camera I rushed to Marlboro South, but was denied access to the area by JMPD. After parking my car deep in Alexandra I ran the 2km gauntlet around the police blockade to the MWCC office, here I found out that no one was dead – but someone had fainted after a police bulldozer had knocked down her home.
Marlboro South was overrun with JMPD, a later estimated 500 plus members of orange and blue were demolishing selected sites over the industrial belt.
With the MWCC behind me I approached several official looking members of the police to try and find the court order, when I had eventually reached the top of the hierarchy I was joined by a journalist friend I called en route and the lawyers from SERI. Here we were shown the ‘official’ document for the eviction –  a handwritten note.

More pictures from Greg Nicolsan’s work in Marlboro South  
–  The Daily Maverick

 
 
There was very little the lawyers, the NPO or the MWCC could do but watch as the police demolished their homes, as the process to block the order was delayed and most of the residents were at work at the time.

some residents chose to burn their homes rather than have the material confiscated (formerly mentioned CUFF project)
Other residents attempted to salvage what they could (CUFF project seen above)
As most of the inhabitants were at work, they returned that evening to find their homes destroyed and the material confiscated along with their personal belongings and valuables.

 
Post Eviction
The evictions continued for several days intermittently, the MWCC attempted to protest by blocking JMD access into Marlboro by placing obstacles in the roadways. Which resulted in JMPD employing crowd control methods including rubber bullets.
Residents were shot with rubber bullets during an attempted protest and block of further police evictions.
After the initial eviction, the Gauteng ISN and FEDUP, the Community Based Organisation (CBO) under the CBO’s within the SASDI, assembled in Marlboro to support the MWCC.
 
Asihambe (We won’t go: IsiZulu ) Solidarity March
 
While the Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) worked to obtain the official interdict, the CBO’s under the SDI prepared a formalised march to address the City of Johannesburg around the eviction.
 
Other technical members of the SDI, specifically a planner from the U.S working at the alliance worked tirelessly to examine housing and policy law to assist the lawyers in the case, while the my most valuable skills at this stage I could offer were that of  photo-documentation and poster design to support the march.
  
Evictions in Marlboro, Johannesburg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sdinet/7781600358/in/photostream/
After weeks of court dates and legal jargon, the eviction was deemed illegal and the City of Johannesburg was under an official judgement ordered to:
  • Provide the 141 families with sites in Marlboro.
  • Provide material for the construction of temporary shelters.
  • In 4 months more land needs to be acquired if needed to accommodate the 141 families.
  • Start a meaningful engagement regarding the balance of families evicted later during the month of August.
  • Pay all legal costs.
The full story of the Asihambe Solidarity March is available here: 
 
The ‘Temporary’ Solution – October 2012
 
Several single mothers sheltered in the MWCC office during the eviction
During the process of gaining a temporary interdict for 65 families that could not be sheltered anywhere, the City of Johannesburg’s lawyers offered the residents ‘temporary’ occupation of the site on condition that they would not erect structures more than 1m high, that could not be made of ‘iron metal’ and that had no structural support – as seen here in the documentary “Landless”:
Using the South African Housing code’s stature on temporary housing as being a minimum of 24 sqm, and 2.4m high made of material that offered occupants safety and privacy. The city then replied that the structures could be 2.4m high, not ‘permanent’ and have ‘poles’ that could not be longer than 2m.
 
The SASDI offered support in providing temporary shelter for these families, but had very little money to support this. This put forward an interesting design brief for us providing the socio-technical support, as what the city had stated in writing was a clear omission of spatial and material elements and heigh restrictions.
As practitioners we offered an interpretation of that order to possibly build it out polycarbonate panels, and what if the houses were all put together in 1 large ‘tent-like’ structure maybe made of hydra form (non permanent bricks) – essentially working around the legal requirements through design.
We were advised by the lawyers to respect the spirit of the order and not be to clever in such a delicate situation.
A piece of government owned land was chosen by the MWCC and several army tents were donated by donors to the NGO.
 
These tents were an emergency solution to the temporary housing of the 65 most vulnerable families in the eviction. The names of each person was registered in the court order and were awarded temporary occupation by the court  on site until the City of Johannesburg responded. This was crucial as 1 week later Johannesburg experienced a rare snow storm that plunged temperatures to freezing overnight.
 
 
Permanently Temporary Solutions & The (in)formal Studio – November 2012 – February 2013
 
In the background to the eviction and court battles, the professionals and academics who had been involved in the studio were working on developing a more permanent housing solution to show the City of Johannesburg alternatives to addressing some of the major issues in Marlboro South.
The architect’s discussing a possible government owned site with the MWCC

This solution was to be part of a larger body of work, including the student’s design work, that would make up a travelling exhibition  to showcase these types of engagements and projects to a larger audience.
Graphic by the (in)formal Studio – http://www.informalstudio.co.za/images/Slide32.jpg
http://www.sacapsa.com/sacap/action/media/downloadFile?media_fileid=687
 
One of the major outputs was a participatively developed housing scheme that would re-house residents of the MWCC in a safer, more incremental pattern that worked with current spatial typologies and land use.
These possible layouts were work-shopped with various MWCC members and residents and developed into a larger development plan.
Layout plan by the (in)formal Studio – http://www.informalstudio.co.za/images/Slide28.jpg
The tools used for this larger development design, were used to attempt to negotiate a temporary solution for the tent dwellers who were occupying a different parcel land.
The 65 families were engaged on several occasions to develop an accepted layout for the City of Johannesburg to adopt in accordance with the court order.
This smaller temporary plan was put together through CORC and submitted to the City of Johannesburg as part of the deliverable from the residents side.
As the weeks went by, and the City of Johannesburg missed its court ordered dates of engagement, and the tent dweller residents began making temporary adjustments to their tent home, including a cooking area and other social spaces.
The walls get higher…
To date the tents are still up and residents are still waiting for the City to keep up its ordained mandate as local factory owners build higher walls and grow more angry at the situation.
 
The (in)formal Studio Exhibition – April 2013
“An exhibition covering the entire project was opened in the Goethe gallery in February 2012. 
 
Rather than delivering defined solutions this exhibition delivered on portraying and celebrating human engagement across a divide of one of the most unequal cities in the world. It recorded the contradictions and discomforts but also the tremendous potential which exists in seeing, and acknowledging each other as part of the solution.”

Anne Graupner, 26.10′ South Architects
 

This exhibition had two openings, one held at in Marlboro South where the members of the MWCC and residents were screened the movies that were made by local film makers Lungelo Mntambo & Tolo Pule from DeLiTe and edited by Nadine Hutton and the other at the official opening at the Goethe Institutes’ Parkview location.
Marlboro South Opening for the Informal Studio Exhibition
 
Directed by  Lungelo Mntambo & Tolo Pule of DeLite and edited by Nadine Hutton of 2point8

 
http://www.youtube.com/user/InformalStudio?feature=watch
Directed by  Lungelo Mntambo & Tolo Pule of DeLite and edited by Nadine Hutton of 2point8

 

Directed by Tolo & Lungelo of DeLite and edited by Nadine Hutton of 2point8

 

Directed by  Lungelo Mntambo & Tolo Pule of DeLite and edited by Nadine Hutton of 2point8

 
MWCC members recieving their public recognition at the screening in Marlboro South
MWCC member presenting the introduction at the official Exhibition Opening
 
 
 
 
 
 
Post Exhibition Work – May 2013
I have recently left my position at CORC to pursue a  focused socio-technical role alongside the NGO, looking more at developing role for spatial design students and pre-professionals.
Quite soon after my departure the SASDI the NGO, by a chance meeting with a non-profit social group in Cape Town, was offered the opportunity by another non-profit group of being a solution to potentially house the 65 families living in the tents nearby in Marlboro South
The conditions were that the those effected should benefit from this donation and the project should not just house, but also socially develop the inhabitants. The SASDI, the MWCC and the newly formed (in)formal Studio collective are currently working on this.
Academics, professionals, NGO and CBO discussing the oppurtunity
 

Reflection – July 2013

 
This summary has taken me almost a year to complete. Looking back at the role I played in the social development process has been quite difficult as the notable differences in the situation of those I worked with has not changed much on the ground – although larger scale shifts in approach and thinking have happened higher up in the governance structures.
The role of anyone in an NGO supportive role, let alone someone with an architectural background, is extremely difficult. Having to work across many cultural, economic and social backgrounds while supporting other people’s processes to capacitate without falling into the temptation of short cutting important and tiresome methodologies and just doing it for people is a taxing mental challenge.
I had many sleepless nights (in my own comfortable bed, that looked over Marlboro South in the distance) during the eviction feeling utterly useless in the face of such a huge destructive force. These concerns stayed with me during my time at the NGO as the issues facing these initiatives are so complex and overwhelming that is often drains you of your resolve.
What eventually led me to step out of my position at the SASDI was the realisation that the role spatial designers (architects, planners, some engineers) can play in these processes is niche – but crucial. While it’s difficult to make changes to the large picture, I felt my role could be much more effective in my own ‘community’ of spatial design students and pre-professionals. By being involved from this position I could make the difference I wanted by first bringing these practitioners into these spaces they would not normally work in, and by developing additional ways of acting, thinking and intervening in such situations.
I am still involved with the South African Shack Dwellers International Alliance in Johannesburg, working with the organisation on various projects and assisting in the support of their new socio-technical staff. I now sit part time at the University of Johannesburg and Pretoria while focussing on the role that the 1:1 Student League and recently developed 1:1 – Agency of Engagementt in socio-technical spatial design in South Africa.
End
*
Other Links:
BACKGROUND
 
(IN)FORMAL STUDIO EXHIBITION ARTICLES
 
 
ROLE PLAYERS
The (in)formal Studio 
26.10 South Architects
BOOM Architects
The University of Johannesburg – Architecture Department
The South African Shack Dwellers International Alliance
Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI)
Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR)
Marlboro South Industrial Organisation
GLOSSARY
 
NGO – Non Governmental Organisation
NPO – Non Profit Organisation
CBO – Community Based Organisation
 
SDI – Shack Dwellers Intenational
SASDI – Shack Dwellers International Alliance
ISN – Informal Settlement Network
FEDUP – Federation of the Urban/Rural Poor
CORC – Comunity Organisation Resource Centre
MWCC – Marlboro Warehouse Crisis Committee
UJ – University of Johannesburg
JMPD – Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department

South African Shack Dwellers International Alliance: A year in review

 

Socio-Technical Support
Broadly, Architect’s (in South Africa at least), are trained to translate the requirements of a client (in many forms), while taking into account as many factors (your own intuition and preferences included) into a technical product.
From my experience from working in complex developmental or advocacy environments this broad definition of the role of Architect, planner or engineer (Spatial Practitioner) as a ‘designer’ or ‘professional’ shifts more into a facilitative mode.
This position still requires the analysis, thinking and acting tools that the professional training gives, but calls on the practitioner to also transverse many different cultural, economic and disciplinary background with empathy, much patience and a willingness to let go of strategic aspects of control.

The role of socio-technical support is not to completely give into the complexity of social or development processes, but to look deeper and find the unseen connection between technical requirements and the larger picture while still meeting the needs of the individuals (or community) at hand.

I have recently stepped out of my role at the Community Organisation Resource Centre(CORC), where I worked as socio-technical support to the social processes conducted by the South African Shack/Slum Dwellers International Alliance(SASDI) who are the South African affiliate of the Slum/Shack DwellersInternational (SDI).

This role of socio-technical support had me advising, documenting and facilitating the technical projects that make up the 6 rituals of the SDI:


 

the rituals in action
These projects were specific technical projects put forward by residents of various informal settlements in Gauteng that required intermediary technical support in their longer development goals and varied from tap fixtures to lighting solutions to meeting halls.

the constant contrasts of working in informal settlements

the People’s Housing Process in action
Temporary housing solution after an illegal eviction

 

 

working to articulate the needs of different settlement groups

CUFF Projects in motion
These projects are funded by a trust overseen by elected members of the SASDI called the Community Upgrade Finance Facility (CUFF). Residents are required to identify a project, work with the socio-technical professional to determine a design and a cost get this initial concept approved by the CUFF board, then save 10% of the project cost as a community to be able to begin implanting such a project.

savings schemes by FEDUP ladies

This process is intended to bring residents together around a tangible output that benefits the community as a whole, and create a platform for the community to engage local council through demonstrating their organisation and mobilisation towards larger development goals in their future.

engaging community around CUFF projects
common need for water access
post eviction response

 

My year at the SASDI took me across a broad range of projects, and exposed me to the complex political and social difficulties involved in informal settlement development, as well as the working of such a large and reaching alliance of Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO’s) and Community Based Organisations (CBO’s) that make up the SASDI.

community meetings




informally squatted warehouses


temporary housing solutions



leadership meetings

 

eviction aftermath



current sanitation

I have recently, stepped out of the alliance, in order to better position myself outside the complex social and political working of such an organisation to be in order to provide the niche socio-technical support and capacitation of young professionals and students through the initiative 1:1 (1 to 1) -Agency ofEngagement while working at the University of Johannesburg as an independent researcher and part time lecturer.

 

 

 

As 1:1 we plan to not only work with the alliance and other indivuduals or organisations on specific socio-technical and research projects but also help facilitate students and young professionals to get involved with the SASDI and other NGO’s working in this sector in South Africa, while developing this additional role for Architects in South Africa.

student intern in the field
students in research

1to1 – Agency Of Engagement: The beginning

1to1 refers to a scale of approach towards design; a scale of developing solutions through active building,  a scale of an engagement that reflects humanist values in its approach and output.
www.1to1.org.za

1to1 is borne from the current gap in the Architectural education & practice of South Africa. Currently there is little scope in schools to equip Architectural students with the skills and experience to effectively operate and be of value in the country’s largest sector of development. Equally so there is little precedent of practice’s successfully maintaining a presence or producing sustainable design solutions for this area.
Stemming from lesson learnt during post graduate work undertaken by the founders of 1to1 have assembled this entity in light of the current shifts in national policy around informal settlement upgrade and a growing collective conscious in regard to socio-technical design.
*

The Story

More than half of Gauteng’s urban population live in under serviced areas of poor spatial quality and require assistance from government and professionals towards development.

 
1to1 (one to one) is founded as a Student Based Organisation, finding its origins within its relationship between the students from the University of Pretoria and residents of Slovo Park, Nancefield. 
 

What emerged from the project was a particular process of research, design and implementation that resulted in not only a tangible product in the form of a public meeting hall, but an intangible collection of energy that armed all involved with a critical knowledge and perspective of South Africa’s unique urban condition.

The project yielded the identification of a niche role for Architects in the development process, as interpretors and facilitators of develop from a grounded socio-technical stance. The process of critical engagement involved in this role unleashed a constructive energy that drove the 2010 project.
This energy formed the foundation of  1to1  – initially just a student based organisation, and now a collaborative spatial agency providing a platform of engagement for those looking to develop and connect with this area of design, research and implementation.

 

The idea is that  1to1  is not a charity, but a collaborative group of like minded individuals working through mutually beneficial relationships to ultimately add to the growing knowledge base of implementation in the developing areas of South Africa.

The ideology developed from this process states that: Through a set of criteria outlining a holistic and clear process of engagement, design and implementation – mutually beneficial relationship will be established that will allow developmental outcomes that reflect a truly South African manner of development.

 

The processes developed within  1to1  hinge on the critical engagement with the grass roots communities and community based organisations.

This initial process sparked off the first student collective group, set up at the University of Pretoria.

 

 

But only in 2012 during the Co-founders experience in various academic, proffesional and civic societal projects did the identified need for such a group in the professional and civil realm arise.

 

 

 

1to1 – Agency of Engagement: a registered Section 21 NPO

VISION

By creating a clear platform for discussion and understanding through engagement, 1to1 aims to capacitate organized developing communities in order to clearly communicate their needs and aspirations to allow for spatial academics and professional to make better informed and more appropriate development decisions while engaging.
Ultimately, 1to1 aims to see organised stable communities upgrading themselves through 1to1 relationships with spatial and governmental professionals as service providers and not project drivers.

HOW: (Long term)

Through development of research methodologies and approaches of engagement 1to1 aims to inform better design solutions and through an evaluative process enhance implementation strategies.

HOW: (Medium term/Short term)

By applying grounded research data, more appropriate and informed developmental design solutions will be developed.
WHY
Currently spatial academics and professionals have only the traditionally established tools to respond to the design problems in informal and developing urban areas.
These methods and products often do not fully take into account the nature of social capital, a resource that spatial academics and professional have been neglecting not only in their research, but also in their products.

 

The underpinning aspect of 1to1 is that all research, design and implementation is documented and fed back into the current pool of knowledge and shared among stakeholders.

 

 

Slovo 2.0 – 1to1 Pilot Project

 

1to1 supports students within academic institutions by existing parallel to current teaching procedures in order to assist and support the current body of developing students. 1to1 provides assistance in the form of direct consultation, information sharing and access to the 1to1 Design/Build Development Network in support of students/individuals looking to start their own design/build projects.

 

1to1 has set up its first Pretoria Chapter of its student league. These students work independently from the University to grow their own perspectives of an Architect’s role in informal settlement upgrade and the nature of South Africa’s developing Urban Landscape.

To set up your own chapter of 1to1 in your Tertiary Institute  CONTACT 1to1 NOW
 

THE ACTION RESEARCH STUDIO

These chapters exercise their own iniatives through Action Research Studios – multidisciplinary active building/design projects.
  

This involves engageing directly with other Community Based Organisations, researching contextual and social paradigms and proposing innovate and appropriate solutions hand-in-hand with communities.

This chapter has completed its first project in Slovo Park during the 2012 July holiday break:

 






 

*

1to1 Moving Forward

Currently 1to1 is in a developmental phase of its growth. Having completed its first student project, the group is expanding into more professional role under the guidance of its executive board and partners.

The Slovo Park Project – The Story

The Slovo Park Project 
 
The Slovo Park Project began as a small research project in the University of Pretoria’s Housing and Urban Environments module of the Architectural Honours Year. 
 
It quickly gained momentum in its relation to the community it desire to understand the problems faced by South Africa’s Urban Poor. The process culminated in a joint project towards a built goal with not only a physical product but many intangible outcomes that extended beyond simply ‘another community project’. 
 
The streets are your playground in Slovo

 
Introduction 
In 2010 the University of Pretoria Architecture Department, Boukunde, offered its Honors year students the opportunity to work with a small informal community located 10km south of Soweto named Slovo Park.
 
Location of Slovo in relation to Johannesburg City
 
The Research


The student group of Bennett, Casson, Fillipe, Hattingh and Makgabutlane, began the project with a sensitive and holistic research process to try and comprehensively understand the socio-economic context of day to day life in Slovo Park.
 
*This article features snippets from the first draft of the book Slovo Park Project: A process of understanding.
Edited by Claudia Filipe and compiled by Bennett, Casson, Fillipe, Van Wyk 
contributions from Makgabutlane and Hattingh
 
 
This involved several mapping exercises, interviews and detailed sketches of the local housing typologies. 
 
(To be Published, Bennett, Casson, Fillipe, Van Wyk)
 
 
Measuring up the existing
 
Discovering the world inside Slovo
       
(To be Published, Bennett, Casson, Fillipe, Van Wyk)
 
 The residents of Slovo opened their doors to the research team’s questions

(To be Published, Bennett, Casson, Fillipe, Van Wyk)
Playgrounds of Slovo – an electricity pylon
(To be Published, Bennett, Casson, Fillipe, Van Wyk)

  
 


The myriad of faces in Slovo, a traditional healer and a struggling, but happy couple
 
The communities association with the Federation of The Urban Poor (FEDUP) and C.O.R.C was crucial in this process as they were instrumental in arranging and facilitating the research trips as well as bringing forward extremely helpful and willing community members.
 
Mapping Slovo through the community’s eyes
(To be Published, Bennett, Casson, Fillipe, Van Wyk)
(To be Published, Bennett, Casson, Fillipe, Van Wyk)
 
The Individual Proposals


From this process a larger urban framework was proposed that sought to link Slovo to the neighboring community of El Derado Park while developing Slovo from within and maintaining the existing sense of community that the township demonstrated to the students during the research phase. 
 
(To be Published, Bennett, Casson, Fillipe, Van Wyk)

From here the students were required to propose their own individual theoretical projects that they felt would aid in the development of Slovo Park.



The responses were dynamically varied in nature with some designing a processional route from the township to the adjacent cemetery, incorporating the myriad of African cultures and their relationship to death while others focused on development around housing with titles such as ‘Housing Clinics’ in an attempt to capture the humble manner in which the inhabitants throughout south Africa possess the power to build their own houses but require some assistance and knowledge sharing.

 
The Housing Clinic
 
The project was well received by the University and was presented to the Department of Human Settlements at their Indaba in September of 2010 as well as presented to the community themselves during their meeting with government on site.
 
Presenting to the community of Slovo

 

 
Garnering community feedback with an informal presentation to an informal audience
The Built Intervention
 
The university then offered the students the further opportunity to fund and construct a small portion of the proposed design and build it over an allocated period of 8 weeks.
 
(To be Published, Bennett, Casson, Fillipe, Van Wyk)
 
As the designs proposed over the research period were far too large and costly to build in the 8 week period the student group decided that they would pool together the principles from each design and with the addition of a new student member, Van Wyk, would design a small intervention within the earlier proposed urban framework.
 
Planning the build with the local business forum
 
 
The site as we found it. Waiting to be unlocked
(To be Published, Bennett, Casson, Fillipe, Van Wyk)
 
The resultant design was a proposed community center, which fitted into a civic space. This center and civic area would provide the people of Slovo Park a place for the community to meet and determine the future for itself. An existing dilapidated structure that housed the 1994 Election Station was chosen as the team felt that this was where the change began and should be respected so.

 

Proposed Slovo Hall – Community Meeting Center

 

Proposed Civic Center



The center was specifically designed with the larger future in mind and phased into 5 early construction phases and 5 later larger future development phases. 

Community poster to explain the process over the Build Weeks (3m Long)
Early construction phases allowed the functions of the future development phase to still operate on site without the actual infrastructure of the later development.
 
(To be Published, Bennett, Casson, Fillipe, Van Wyk)
 
This scheme was presented to the community for input and design assistance at the future Slovo Hall.
 
First formal presentation to the community
 
 
Presenting the ideas to people of Slovo using models proved to be the most effective way of community
These were some of the steps taken in an attempt to construct an effective space and building in a very short period of time. The team’s motto became “Do the most, with the least”.

(To be Published, Bennett, Casson, Fillipe, Van Wyk)
 
The Construction Process
 
Building began in September and the support received from the community themselves and the local business was overwhelming with each day as varied as the next. Daily more people would join the workforce and get involved in some way.
 
Employing local help in measuring the site
The first site work informally done by help found on site
(To be Published, Bennett, Casson, Fillipe, Van Wyk)
 
Clearing the site with more ‘help’
 
(To be Published, Bennett, Casson, Fillipe, Van Wyk)
The core team getting the work ball rolling
 
Laying the foundation for the center
 
 
 
 
(To be Published, Bennett, Casson, Fillipe, Van Wyk)
As the project gathered momentum the team began to see the relationships with these donators and consultants were going to be the lifeblood of future development in Slovo Park. 
 
(To be Published, Bennett, Casson, Fillipe, Van Wyk)
 
Getting into the swing of work
 
Slowly the site started to take shape
 
 

 

 
(To be Published, Bennett, Casson, Fillipe, Van Wyk)
 
 
 
 
The building team discussing how the future wall will look
 
 
 
Meals, donated by local business’s on site, became a key time to reflect and build bonds between the team
 
 
Flood damage slowed the progress at points
 
 
But behind each setback were some truly inspiring moments
 
 
 
 
(To be Published, Bennett, Casson, Fillipe, Van Wyk)
 
 
 
 
The ladies working on site working on the reeds added a rich dimension of song and colour to the long day    
 
 
 The reeds on site went from being a element of contention to a point pride assembled in some way by all members of the team
 
 
The paving arrived, late, but well received as it drew the elements of the center together
 
 
 

As the final touches began to be applied the energy on site was electrifying as the team neared their goal

The Slovo Park Project – The Beginning

Quarter 4

The final quarter at the University of Pretoria allows for the students to select one project undertaken in the year under: Housing and Urban Environments, Heritage & Cultural Landscapes and Environmental Potential.

The intention is for the student to take the proposal further into a design detailed level of resolution. This project then is detailed through to much more holistic architectural level. This quarter is also supplemented by an elective theory course in order to prepare the student for the Thesis Year ahead.

*

Elective
My choice was the Housing and Urban Environment  project, as I felt there was still much to do and learn in Slovo Park.
The initial research group remained the same with the inclusion of a new member who worked on a different site, but whose design was not site based.
 
The Plan
Our lecturer’s offered us that, due to the level of community interaction, we could build a part of our intervention. But we would have to fund, manage and build the design with the community over the next 6 weeks. This built product would then be assessed on site and would be our final mark.
Getting Started
The first task was to decide which project to go through with, as the other students in the class would take forward their individual designs done over 8 weeks in the previous semester, we as a group would take further a group design, as our individual proposed designs were much more ambitious than we could possibly build with little to no money and in the time frame we had.
Choosing a Site
After we presented our individual work to the community during one of their official meeting we understood that their was no formal meeting spaces and the informal spaces did not work very well.
We chose a site, identified in Urban Analysis framework, as a key point at which the development of Slovo would take place by creating a platform for people to meet and discuss the future of their community.
(Bennett, Casson, Makgabutlane, Fillipe , Hattingh ; 2010)
 
The Project In Brief…
After being contacted by the community of Slovo Park the University of Pretoria with the community have been researching and designing an upgrading and development plan for the settlement over the last few months.

The research team, made up of the community and the students, have identified a small portion of their proposed design in the form of a Community Center that will be built over the next six weeks.

The team has to arrange the funding, build the project and manage the entire process.

A comprehensive information pack is available on the Slovo Park Project Website

The Built Proposal
The design put together was infused with the principles learned during the individual proposals and seeks to provide the first step towards a much larger development.
This pilot intervention will lay the framework for the future development by uniting the community under a common goal and using that energy to project the project past our interaction with the community and make the design a true bottom up initiative.
Each built piece is intended to provide the necessary infrastructure for the community to use as its intended function now, without compromising its adaptability in future:

e.g.

The design of the paving with the intentional space for future columns to build the ‘future blue print’ for the community
or
the low seating walls for the mobile clinic waiting area will become the foundation walls for the proposed clinic in the future phase e.t.c

Built Phase & Future Phase.
The Built Phase will be the re-refurbishment of the existing community structure over the 6 weeks, this will set up the construction sequence for a much larger project development which we designed with the community.

The Future Phase is designed on a much larger scale and  requires more infrastructure and time than we have, but is outlined by the Built Phase
Each phase is incrementally designed so at each point the design can be critically reviewed by the community themselves to ascertain the most effective path towards the built product.’

Diagram of Building Phases – Presented to Community

Current State
The Slovo Park Project Team have begun site works, and are constantly seeking more funding and donations.
Below is the current program for the community building team.

The Slovo Park Project team has received overwhelming support from the community and is busy with site works at the moment, and moving swiftly along the scheduled program.

Katatura – Special Olympics Sports Center

The Special Olympics Project I worked on with Architecture for Humanity (Special Olympics Namibia) has gone ahead as planned. Tommy Calhoun took over from me during the tender phase and has overseen the project brilliantly.

 

This will be one of my first projects that I personally was involved with in the design go up. Really excited to see how it goes, below is the link to the project site.

CONCEPTUAL IDEA
 BUILT DESIGN

Architecture Practice Work: Eco-Design Architecture

ECO-DESIGN ARCHITECTURE


House Morris, Barrydale, Western Cape: April 2009
My role:  Construction Phase – Volunteer builder

While staying in Cape Town, Andy Horn from Eco-Design Architects was extremely generous in sharing his knowledge around sustainable construction and design and offered me several oppurtunities to learn and be involved in some of his projects as a volunteer.

Architectural Practice Work: Open House Architects

I did some brief 3D modeling work with Ilze Wolff and Ches Bedara at their practice of Open House Architecture for the Sarah Bartmann Competition in 2009.

Sarah Bartmann Competition – Hankey, Eastern Cape
My role: Design Concept Phase – 3D Modeling, drawing production