GSA Homegrown: Celebrating African Architectural Talent
Homegrown is a social media and print campaign that celebrates the African talent in our GSA-Boogertman + Partners International Lecture Series. The series is listed alphabetically and draws conceptually on the idea of the periodic table. Each description has a link to the introductions that we've made over the years, an interesting and perhaps unknown fact about the speaker and the date of their lecture. All Africans, including South Africans and Africans-in-the-Diaspora, are included. At our last count, we've had 31 African speakers out of a total of 47, which we believe is something worth celebrating.
HOMEGROWN # 16 Lemon Pebble
This brilliant duo from Johannesburg mix humour, intelligence, political acumen and design sensibilities to everything they do: housing, feasibility studies, policy design, master planning, infrastructure . . . no scale is left untouched. They brought the house down with their opening slide, reminding everyone in the last talk of the year on Thursday, 26 October 2017, that architecture matters. It really, really matters. Want to know a few interesting facts? Tanzeem lives in the same house she grew up in. Althea and Tanzeem met at Wits, where they both studied. They’ve been in practice for nearly twenty years together. They both love seafood.
HOMEGROWN # 15 Greg Katz
He runs Unit 17 at the GSA focusing on methods and materials and his practice is intimately engaged with experimentation and prototyping, anything from new programmes for architecture to new forms of plastic recycling. On Thursday, 17 May 2018 he treated his audience to an in-depth and insightful look at his work, all the way from his early experiences with Daniel Libeskind and Zvi Hecker to his current work in his native Jozi. Want to know a few interesting facts? He’s a former model. He studied at UCT and Columbia University. He has a vegetable patch and three kids (not in that order). He also makes jewelry.
HOMEGROWN # 14 Hanif Kara
On Thursday, 10 October 2019 he closed out what has been the most amazing series of speakers. Hanif’s lecture was the most imaginative and fitting end, ever. He spoke about engineering, design, architecture, thinking inside-the-box, thinking outside-the-box, about youth and profit and self-promotion, roller coasters, stealing steel . . . we could go on and on and we still wouldn’t do it justice. He’s one-of-a-kind, an original, and the engineer everyone wants to work with and whom everyone likes. What a star. Want to know a few interesting facts? He was born in Uganda and left for the UK at the age of fourteen. In his own words, ‘I left Africa but Africa never left me.’ He is still fascinated by roller coasters. He moves fluidly between the worlds of engineering and architecture. He doesn’t see them as all that distinct. He likes the colour orange.