News 08 Jul 2019

Counterspace is a Johannesburg-based collaborative architectural studio, directed by Sumayya Vally, Amina Kaskar and Sarah de Villiers. The firm is dedicated to architectural projects, exhibition design, art installation visualisation, public events curation and urban design, which are often rigorously research-based. Counterspace uses Johannesburg - its landscapes, systems, people and rituals - as their main inspiration for creating and approaching projects, with an aim to developing a uniquely Johannesburg and African design language. Their work is predominantly concerned with identity, otherness and imagining new futures; using image and narrative as a means to deconstruct and reconstruct their city. Counterspace has recently completed Folded Skies, a landscape installation set in Stellenbosch and executed in collaboration with StayEvlKids. The installation featured on Dezeen, and the practice on Domus’s Top 100 Architectural Firms of the Year for 2019. Counterspace’s practice also involves an intrinsic relationship with post-graduate architecture schools in Johannesburg: Sumayya as Unit Leader in GSA Unit 12; Sarah as a tutor in GSA Unit 14; and Amina Kaskar at the University of the Witwatersrand School of Architecture and Planning.

News 06 Jul 2019

This coming semester, the GSA will host an exciting line-up of local and international practitioners, thinkers and makers - sponsored by Boogertman and Partners. Look out on our social media channels for details and updates!

News 23 Jun 2019
Forgetting Architecture 2019

Forgetting Architecture is a three-day event held from 29 July - 1 August which sees four international guests join Prof Lesley Lokko, Dr Huda Tayob and Craig McClenaghan for a series of talks, students reviews and discussions on the theme of memory and architecture, specifically on the role of practices at the edges of architecture (film, performance, landscape and narrative). Over the next three weeks, we’ll be profiling our speakers and sharing details of this exciting event. All talks are free and open to the public, and will be held at GSA Metro at 68 Juta Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Click here for more details!

News 12 Jun 2019
Unit 12 Goes to Morocco!

Acting simultaneously as story tellers, architects, time travellers and choreographers of history, students in Unit 12 at the Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg, visited a Morocco, looking specifically at the Atlantic Coast as a site of historic significance in the histories of migration and settlement. Continuing the Unit’s interests in cultural identity, race, gender and architecture, students this year are tasked with developing new architectural and spatial vocabularies that speak to the rich themes of migration, diaspora and hybridity. The Major Design Project of the year is a New Port Authority (NPA). In different forms, ports are the earliest point of contact with a new region for migrants. The history of the establishment of ports is also intrinsically linked to the history of slavery and of the formation and policing of borders. The port is a space of crossing, of transition, of crossover.

News 12 Jun 2019
New Ways of Site-Seeing: A Collaboration Between GSA Unit 14 and UTS Cities Under Surveillance

Ways of Site-Seeing, a one-week collaboration between Unit 14 of the Graduate School of Architecture (GSA), University of Johannesburg (UJ), and University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Master of Architecture Studio: Cities Under Surveillance, concluded in April 2019. The project paired students from both schools, with Johannesburg-based students presenting a range of sites and their Sydney counterparts offering instruments with which the sites could be read. Drawing on both cities’ preoccupation with security and surveillance, the project sought to ask: what does it mean to read one situation through the lens of another? At the culmination of the exchange, each pair exhibited two drawings and ‘evidence’ to form an installation. Some particularly notable projects which emerged from the collaboration included those which concern thresholds and spatial systems of control on entry (Mkansi, Ndebele and Marjan), atmospheric controls of surface (Bhyat); the control mechanisms of the automatic teller machine and betting units (Chanje and Cheang); and ability of the crop frame to change the nature of the perceived story (‘3rd Image, Crop Frame by Piscopo and Moumakwe).

News 10 Jun 2019
Matri-Archi(tecture): a collective challenging mobility and locality through digital media

Matri-Archi(tecture) is an intersectional collective, that is pro-African women, and looks at urban development and spatial education on the African continent. Matri-Archi is co-directed by two women of colour with architecture backgrounds who consider themselves spatial agents - Khensani de Klerk and Solange Mbanefo. It works with 12 young pluri-disciplinary creatives and is active in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Switzerland and California. It publishes multi-media research via its webspace; engages in built work through projects and exhibitions, and brings its members together through live events, workshops and initiatives.

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