Semester one in the second-year design studio has just flown by; who ever said that studying architecture was not fun? I think it was Voltaire who said “The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.” I certainly enjoy teaching due to the fact that I get to “study” architecture all over again!
We kicked off the semester with a three week project aimed at portable architecture: Reinventing the Vendor. The most successful interventions were definitely those who allowed their users the most flexibility in use and of course mobility. The Shoe Shine Sculpture, The Walk-In Wardrobeand the Backpack Bench Boxfor the newspaper salesman were definitely among the favourites.
For the next project entitle Interchange, a Facility on the Fringe, the students had to create their own program for a building. Set on a busy Okuryangava corner; there were certainly enough activities on and around the site to generate a program for a building. Interventions ranged from nursery schools, taxi ranks and informal markets to some interesting mixed-use schemes, community medical facilities and a bathhouse. The only prerequisite was that the buildings maintain a very strong public interface, be fully inclusive and well integrated with the context. All-in-all we’ve been blessed with an extremely great year so far and look forward to the next semester in the architectural design studio.
Phia van Greunen
*Originally published on 1 May 2013