Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Winner of Future African Cities Competition

Winner of Future African Cities Competition

Winners Announced

On behalf of Daniel Van Der Merwe:

A jury of eminent architects:  Sarah Calburn, Hugh Fraser, Clara Cruz Almeida and Elena Rocchi ( Spain) evaluated the work and commented on the diversity and high standard of the projects.

The following  finalists were awarded:

1.       Taswald Pillay & Daniel Lyonga, UJ: Urban Campus- which looked at re-interpreting learning through creating an urban campus utilising  recycling buildings & their context in the inner city of Johannesburg.

2.       Jhono Bennett, UP: Community Intervention- which looked holistically at a series of interventions in an existing informal settlement.

3.       Honourable mentions: Brent Clark, UFS for his vertical ‘plug-in’ housing project and Wynand Viljoen, UFS for his urban  cultural  walkway.

My Winning Entry

Unfortuneatly the prize winnings are going straight into the black hole known as my student loan, but the credit for this award goes far beyond just a simple design nod, this helps validate the work myself and my collegues have committed to with 1:1 - Agency of Engagement.

An exciting future for this type of Architecture awaits...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012



The film is essentially a passive service delivery protest, the tea behind its conceptiton did not want to play into the typical depiction of poverty and despair, but rather capture the cohesion and hope that many informal settlements and other vulnerable communities share.

*NOTE: Waterborne is currently a finalist in an undisclosable film competition, and cannot be embedded. 

To view please follow this link - WATERBORNE

Waterborne Synopsis

If you want to understand a community, ask them about their aspirations.

Slovo Park is situated in a politically and socially sensitive stretch of land south of Soweto. The community has been known by national government as Nancefield, by local council as Olifantsvlei and in the last five years as Slovo Park – named in honour of South Africa’s first minister of housing and former Umkhonto we Sizwe General, Joe Slovo. This forced changing of identity reflects an on-going struggle faced by the leadership of Slovo Park to gain recognition as a legitimate settlement to access governmental support. This battle has been fought through constant shifts in governmental policy, power and promises for the community of Slovo Park. Amidst the struggle, stories of sinister land dealings have emerged, outlining a possible truth that the ground beneath Slovo Park could have been sold from under the community’s feet. These allegations surface as the leadership of Slovo Park prepares itself to take action.

 Waterborne captures the moment of hope, held in anticipation, before the first truly concrete step towards a dignified future.


In 2011, Alexander Melck of the Pretoria Picture Company, then an Information Design student at the University of Pretoria, began working with the founders of 1:1 on a student film competition. Although the first submission was not successful, the lessons gathered and the understanding required proved to be successful in 2012 when The Pretoria Picture Company and 1:1 partnered to work on Waterborne.

The submission to the CCI in Zero Film Competition was highly successful, and shooting began in July during Johannesburg's freak snow storm, this gave the film a unique time stamp and brought home some of the most salient points of the production.

Crew list:

Director: Alexander Melck
Producers: Alexander Melck, Jhono Bennett, Ingmar Buchner
Cinematography: Alexander Melck & Ingmar Buchner
Grips: Jhono Bennett, Stefan Wagner, Michael Smith 
Editor: Alexander Melck
Sound Design: MJ van der Westhuizen
Translations: Farai Machingambi
After effects assistant: Wouter Jacobs
Production interns: Christopher Ramm, Stefan Wagner

Sponsors & Organisers:
The Cement & Concrete Institute
Tin Rage
South African Institute for Architecture (SAIA) 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Architectural Design in Response to Vulnerable Networks


Architectural Design in Response to Vulnerable Networks

Publisher/Conference Sustainable Human(e) Settlments: The Urban Challenge - ISBN: 978-0-620-54069-8

Author(s): Ida Breed and Jhono Bennett



This article maintains the importance of a contextual and humanist understanding for the design of public space through the incorporation of concrete and changing realities in the analysis of the urban environment. In an attempt to reach a greater understanding of the construction of space through social networks, qualitative fieldwork methods are used to document the flows of social process and physical matter in the immediate context of the two chosen sites for intervention. The importance of these networks for the design of built form and space are determined for each scenario.

The research underpins the design relevance in architecture (and contemporary urban life) of social activity, movement, temporality versus permanence (in form), and mobility versus fixity (in location). It places in question the traditional role and definition of architecture and their present relevance in the developing world. The result is an alternative set of considerations that define the architectural brief assuring: integration with the public realm; inclusion of emergent functions; and awareness of the importance of temporality and flexibility (with regard spatial structure and appropriation). The first case study is an urban industrial area and the second a peripheral, informal urban area. Both examples are situated in the city of Pretoria within the greater Tshwane Metropolitan Area.

Key words: Architecture; Urban Space; Emergence; Qualitative; Networks; Developing.