'Folded Skies' by Counterspace
Folded Skies is a landscape installation, recently executed by two GSA lecturers, Sumayya Vally and Sarah de Villiers (Counterspace), in collaboration with StayEvlKids. The installation ran from December 2018 to end January 2019 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. An excerpt from the architects’ press release reads: “For an instant, a drop of sky lands in the landscape - each an instant in time. Our installation captures colours of the South African light – dawn, dusk, sunsets. We are inspired by the iridescent qualities of our cities and landscapes – sometimes this is heightened by the chemical compounds in our cities’ mining dust. We worked with the same pigment compounds (copper, aluminium, cobalt, ferrous) from these dusts to create instances of South African skies – a snapshot of light conditions at different times of the day. The shapes fold light, perspective and earth into each other, producing a blurred enmeshing of up and down, inside and outside, real and unreal”. Counterspace and Stay Evl Kids are currently working on a scaled-down series of Folded-Skies, intended as set pieces to form part of an ‘other landscapes’ photo essay, captured on Johannesburg’s mine dumps, amongst other other-worldly industrial and natural landscapes across the country. Images: © Caitlyn Warther & Counterspace.
GSA-BOOGERTMAN+PARTNERS ILS # 5 - MAE-LING LOKKO
Coconut Coup d'État: On Activating Generative Justice through Design Dr Mae-ling Lokko is an Assistant Professor of Architecture and Director of the Building Sciences Program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her research centers on the upcycling of agro-waste and bio-polymer materials into high performance, clean building material systems for humidity control, indoor air-quality remediation and water-quality control applications. Lokko holds a PhD and MSc in Architectural Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a BA from Tufts University, USA. Her research integrates a broad range of technical, environmental, social and cultural criteria that questions contemporary material value systems, business models for upcycling and evolves material life-cycle design criteria to meet generative justice criteria Lokko’s work has been exhibited at Istanbul Design Biennial 2018, Liverpool Biennial 2018 at RIBA-North, Biodesign at the Rhode Island School of Design, ANO Institute of Contemporary Arts (2017); Mmofra Foundation, Ghana (2017); Chale Wote Festival Accra, Ghana (2016); Rotch Golden Cube, Troy, USA (2016) and Advanced Energy Conference, New York, USA (2016). She is the founder of Willow Technologies Ltd., based in Accra, Ghana, that upcycles agrowaste for water-quality treatment and affordable building materials from agricultural waste and emerging bio-adhesives
Bob van Bebber of Boogertman + Partners wins SA's Best Professional Award!
Longtime supporter and friend of the school, Boogertman + Partners' Bob van Bebber was crowned SA’s Best Professional at last night's South African Professional Services Awards! Professionals from various organisations (from commerce to built environment) gathered at a gala dinner in the Montecasino Ball Room on the evening of 14 March 2019 to honour the best among them. Boogertman + Partners also received an Architecture Firm of the Year Award for 2019. Enormous congratulations to Bob and Boogertman + Partners from everyone at the GSA on this marvellous achievement!
Prof Lesley Lokko at Aura Istanbul
On the 4th of March, GSA Director Prof Lesley Lokko presented #ALLMUSTFALL, a lecture on the pursuit of transformative pedagogy in the African context, at Aura Istanbul! Architecture and Urbanism Research Academy Istanbul (AURA Istanbul) is an academy operating to foster cooperation between interdisciplinary programs and practices, across various urban environments and phenomena. Click on this post to access a link to the lecture online.
TRANS-- (We Should All Be Feminists)
Following an invitation by ArchiteXX (www.architexx.org), we are looking for eight dynamic students (male, female, non-binary) to participate in this ground-breaking project. The competition organisers are calling for 1-2 minute films about gender and architecture, continuing global efforts to write women into architectural history, this time via film. To take part, you should be interested in ideas about gender, sexuality, women in architecture, identity and feminism. We have a spectacular line-up of African women architects whom we would like you to interview. Prof Lokko, Counterspace, Steffen Fischer and Zaheer Cassim will work with you to develop your film(s). Each of the finished films will be reviewed by an esteemed jury of architects, design professionals and industry leaders. A selection of films will be publicly screened during New York’s Archtober month-long focus on architecture and will be available online once they have been screened. Watch your e-mails and look out for our call-for-participants in the next couple of weeks!
Prof Antonio Tomas to join the GSA!
Prof António Tomás will be joining the GSA as Associate Professor/Programme Convener in May 2019. He is currently a Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of MA in Southern Urbanism at the African Centre for Cities, at the University of Cape Town. His PhD in Anthropology from Columbia University was a study on Refracted Governmentality: space, politics, and social structure in contemporary Luanda. He has done extensive fieldwork research in Luanda (the capital city of Angola), focusing more specifically on the modalities of urban transformation from the city’s inception, during the Portuguese rule to postcolonial times. The main findings of these research projects are at the centre of his forthcoming book, In the skin of city: Luanda or the dialectics of spatial transformation (under contract with Duke University Press). He authored a biography of the Guinéa-Bissau-born nationalist Amílcar Cabral, with the title Amílcar Cabral: O Fazedor de Utopias, published in Portugal (Lisboa: Tinta-da-China, 2008) and in Cape Verde (Praia, Spleen 2009). He is now working on an updated English version to be published in 2019 by Hurst, in London, under the title Amílcar Cabral: the life of a reluctant nationalist. Tomás has worked in various capacities in institutions of higher education such as École Superieure des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and Sciences Po, both in France, Makerere University and Stellenbosch University, in Uganda and South Africa. He is currently the recipient of two residential fellowships at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies (STIAS) and at the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) where, among other things, he will be working on turning his book, In the Skin of the City, into an architectural exhibition on Luanda. As Associate Professor/Programme Convener Prof Tomás will be responsible for shaping, managing and delivering a cutting-edge programme suited to the inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary context of African architecture and urbanism. He will also supervise students enrolled in the faculty-wide PhD in Art & Design (with a specialisation in architecture or urbanism). In addition, he will assist with history and theory teaching for M1 and will act as critic and reviewer for the Design Units in the same programme. Text by Leslé Ince-Garcia