Lesley Lokko on the origins of the GSA for #Bartlett100
The GSA is the only architecture school in Africa offering the unit system, where the learning environment is organised around year-long design studios or 'units'. Lesley Lokko, Director of the Graduate School of Architecture since 2014, writes for the #Bartlett100 archive on the inception, growth and meaning of the Graduate School of architecture at University of Johannesburg South Africa. Click here to read the full article.
Crossover #1: First Date
"My love for you isn't less, it's more" First Date Six Units One Foreign Affair... This Wednesday, we have the opportunity to find new objects of affection - through the eyes of 6 other ways of seeing, doing and thinking. Set in a speed-dating format, students will be invited to seduce their dates with their architectural propositions. Following what is likely to be a most animated occasion, the Crossover will open up into an exhibition walk-about and wine-bar. Join us for an afternoon of architectural flirtation...
GSA-BOOGERTMAN+PARTNERS ILS # 6 - JEANNETTE PLAUT
Jeannette Plaut graduated from the University of Chile. In 2008, together with her partner Marcelo Sarovic, she founded Constructo. She has worked as an academic at the Catholic Universities of Chile and Andrés Bello, and has given talks at various institutions such as the University of Leipzig Germany, and the Universities Diego Portales, Concepción, Federico Santa María and San Sebastián, in Chile. She was a consultant for the Sustainable Development and Human Settlements Division of ECLAC (2004-2010). In her work as a curator, she stands out as director of YAP_Constructo in Chile (Young Architects Program), an annual competition to promote innovative architecture in young architects, associated with MoMA (New York), MAXXI (Rome), Istanbul Modern (Istambúl) and MMCA (Seoul). She was the director of the national exhibition of the XV Architecture Biennial of Chile in 2006, director of the international meeting of architects of the XIV Architecture Biennial of Chile in 2004 and 2002. She has been a curator of exhibitions such as the "Architectural and Urban Case Show", exhibited at the Chile Pavilion at the Shanghai Universal Exhibition (2010), as well as the exhibition "Extraordinary: New Practices in Chilean Architecture" at the Center for Architecture AIA in New York in 2016. Plaut is part of the jury of the Rolex Mentor & Protégés Arts Initiative (Switzerland), jury of the Ibero-American Biennial 2014 / BIAU organized by the Spanish Government, nominator of the Mies Crown Hall of the Americas Prize of the Illinois Institute of Technology (2014-2016), and selected in 2016 to be part of the MoMA International Curatorial Institute in Modern and Contemporary Art. She is also the author of PULSO: New Architecture in Chile (Editorial Constructo, 2008), Rafael Iglesia (together with Sebastián Bianchi, Ediciones Universidad Andrés Bello, 2011), CEPAL 1962_1966 (together with Marcelo Sarovic, Editorial Constructo, 2012), PULSO 2: New Architecture in Latin America (together with Marcelo Sarovic, Editorial Constructo, 2014).
A group of staff and students (Unit 15X) at the GSA is working with counterparts at ARDHI University, the Tanzanian government and the World Bank to upgrade open public spaces in the capital city, Dar-es-Salaam. Larval Landscapes explores landscape design in three pilot sites: Mnazi Moja in the inner city; Mangomeni located along a bus transit route; and Mwembe Yanga in Temeke, in a residential area. Drawing on Tanzania’s rich cultural heritage, Larval Landscapes hopes to challenge current municipal legislation by exploring alternative design frameworks that offer new identities and opportunities for the city’s open spaces.
'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