A highlight of the year 2013 was our office trip to Port Elizabeth. We flew to PE, to attend the Milde Mac Millian Memorial lecture by Luyanda Mpahlwa at the PE Opera House. The lecture was followed by a party at Cubanas on the beachfront where our group of 27 architects disrupted all the waiters by rearranging all of the furniture and re styling the restaurant. Multiple furniture layout scenarios where proposed but we finally came to consensus around a single table to fit us all! ( this is what happens when you put architects together)
This was a unique office bonding outing, we stayed together at the Marine Hotel, wandered around PE's beautiful inner city, we were inspired by the amount of inner city public art we stumbled upon. On the second day we met local architects that led us to the Red Location Museum as well as the Ubuntu Centre offering key insights into the concept and construction of these architectural works.
DesignSpaceAfrica hosted an open office day as part of the Open Studio program during the Open Design Cape Town week. Turning our office into a giant sociable exhibition venue for the afternoon proved to be an excellent opportunity to connect with fellow Capetonian architects and the public. http://opendesignct.com
Luyanda Mpahlwa moderated a morning of the Annual AZA conference, here is is on the topic of How do we design today for tomorrow?
His answer to this lies in the idea of using simplicity in design: “Don’t complicate things; you can create brilliant designs with simplicity," he says.
The Design Indaba 10 x 10 Low-Cost Housing Project taught me how to build differently, to engage with communities and to find creative ways of using space, says Mpahlwa.
He further tells us his vision is to develop a practice that roots itself in elevating African design and African-inspired design. We need to increase our level of appreciation for design, says Mpahlwa.
Mpahlwa also advises young and aspiring architects to invest the time to become the best at what they do and to not shy away from any idea they may have; “we need young fresh minds that not only see the glamorous side of architecture but also see the social responsibility of being an architect," he concludes.
During Creative Week 2013 Luyanda Mpahlwa and transport planner Rory Williams led a group of interested citizens on a walking tour of the foreshore area.
We boarded a public canal cruise boat at the V&A Waterfront Aquarium to the CTICC Convention Centre, transforming the group into temporary tourists. From this peaceful ride, we contemplated and spoke about the issues and future developments around the canal and Roggebai developments. From the CTICC we walked to Founders Garden and spoke about the exciting new developments for this important under developed, in between city and sea space in our city.
Over the Easter Weekend 2013 Luyanda Mpahlwa took a group of 15 French Architects, builders and designers to the Ithemba Labantu Soup Kitchen, as well as the 10x10 Sandbag housing in Freedom Park.
The La Fugue group got to see and understand the sand bag construction methodology at the unfinished soup Kitchen where the sandbag walls where un-plastered and Eco-beams exposed. Then see how the 10x10 Housing had been appropriated by its residents in Freedom Park. The visit ended with a big Easter Sunday feast at Mzolies which was hailed as the best meal they had eaten whilst in Cape town!
On the 11-06 Luyanda Mpahlwa climbed into a helicopter to survey a number of the 50 Schools DesignSpaceAfrica is building for the DBSA, ASIDI. Due to the mountainous terrain and poor road conditions this is the only way to inspect the progress of these schools. We wanted to share this journey through the hills and mountains as it is so beautiful.
To celebrate the closing of a successful year at DesignSpaceAfrica, we hoped on a topless bus with groovy music for a Peninsula tour ending at the Bungalow in Camps Bay for a festive lunch.
On the 18th July 2012 The DesignSpaceAfrica team headed to Imizamo Yethu's Day crèche in Philipi. Nomakaya of Imizamo Yethu looks after 70-80 babies and toddlers everyday. Over the years DesignSpaceAfrica has been involved with extensions to the crèche as well as donating building materials and much needed resources.
We spent the day brightening the crèche with fresh paint and hugging babies!
In September 2012, our entire Studio participated in an internal design brainstorming on our new project; the PRASA Station Modernisation. Prizes were awarded to the most relevant designs, and many great ideas stemmed from this inclusive day of design thinking.
DesignSpaceAfrica set sail on the 14th December 2011 to close a successful year of designing at the office. We sailed, we braaied, and we danced!
In 2011 Cape Town was nominated for the 2014 World Design Capital at the International Design Alliance (IDA) Congress in October 2011 in Taipei.
World Design Capitals recognise the value of design thinking, and are dedicated to using design as tool for social, cultural and economic development. Previous winners have been Helsinki, Seoul and Turin, and Cape Town won the 2014 bid against fierce competition from rival shortlisted cities, Bilbao and Dublin.
Luyanda Mpahlwa as a board member for WDC was in Taipei for the conference. the pictures bellow indicate the mood before and after the announcement was made!
Upon his visit to South Africa in 2010, the legendary Architect Frank Gehry came for breakfast with Luyanda Mpahlwa and the entire DesignSpaceAfrica team.