WeTheCity: Whose identity, what identity?
The 75th Birthday Exhibition of the Department of Architecture at the University of Pretoria was crafted around the embedded intersections between identity, space, context and politics. The agenda was to explore the disciplinary design constructs of space and identity within the context of the city as the place of social and economic exchange that constitutes the political life of its citizens. Built by Boukunde’s third year design factory, the exhibition creates “places” from which arguments can be discovered or even invented with regards to the idea of identity. Ultimately, it enabled the school to ask: what should the architecture of our city be at this time?
PPC Imaginarium Awards for Architecture
In 2014, PPC extended its existing sculpture, fine art and industrial design competition to include the creative disciplines of jewellery, fashion and film – and the PPC Imaginarium Awards were born. In 2018, the new PPC Imaginarium Awards for Architecture were launched, and all architecture schools in South Africa were invited to take part. The PPC Imaginarium Awards for Architecture will take place annually and will remain a stand-alone event held separately from the rest of the PPC Imaginarium Awards. The work of all entrants will be displayed at #AZA18, and the winner and runner-up will be announced on 3 May 2018.
Street Furniture Installation in Concrete
TUT 4th year students have been creating concrete furniture since 2014 as part of Pretoria’s Cool Capital Biennale. Design and sculpture studios worked together to produce concrete benches sponsored by PPC. Small, modular units were designed that would be cheap and light enough for each individual student to create and, when arranged collectively, would read as a whole installation. The 2018 exhibition pieces will first be placed at the 012central entrance and will then find a permanent place of exhibition at bus stops on George Storrar drive in Groenkloof, Pretoria.
Top Final Year Students Exhibit
The top 2017 final year students from UP and TUT will exhibit their thought-provoking work that responds impressively to local contexts. Renée Minnaar (UP) sought to investigate the potential of redundant industrial sites like the old Johannesburg Gasworks to mitigate the environmental and social issues resulting from the past, in an attempt to reintegrate the site back into the surrounding urban fabric. Reply Mahlangu (TUT) designed an auto¬mobile assembly plant suitable for the South African context, to address the financial burden for potential local car manufacturers of entering the sector with a smaller assembly plant that can later be retrofitted to perform other functions, and by using labour to offset the massive capital required for complete mechanization.
Inspired by the Miniatures Exhibition by Vitra, UP’s second year History of the Environment students were assigned chairs as artefacts from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Students were required to research the historic environmental context, the artefact in terms of its cultural and social purpose, and its characteristics – components, joinery, materials and ornament. Two accurate models of each chair were built – the first being an exact miniature replica of the original; the second, built in crisp white materials, designed to convey the essence of the chair in form, proportion and surface elaboration.