African Renaissance Festival 15-16 August 2019



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Kyria van Soelen, Durban University of Technology - Imphendulo Workshop

The Department of Architecture at the Durban University of Technology hosted an International iMphendulo Workshop in May 2017, which brought academics and students from Gdansk, Poland, and Koblenz, Germany
to Durban, working together with architecture students from the Durban University of Technology and the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The focus of the workshop was Contextuality and Public Space and the site was situated in the peri-urban area of uMbumbulu, south of Durban.

The aim was to explore a variety of possible interventions to assist in creating a self-reliant and sustainable community. The proposed interventions included, but were not limited to, the following:

Agri-hub for collection and subsequent delivery of agricultural goods at a micro level
Children's playground/play space
Wi-Fi hub
Community notice board
Performance space
Energy production/kinetic energy
Outside gym
Community gardens
Opportunity for interpretive space
Local craftspeople
Spaces for security
Integration of social, physical and play space
Small amount of economic generating spaces

The final presentations of the interventions took place at the KwaZulu-Natal Institute for Architecture on 8 May. Students received feedback from the visiting professors from their respective institutions and an awards ceremony concluded the workshop. The Polish Honorary Consul Mr Andrzej Kiepiela was present, meeting with the Polish delegation and articulating his support for greater academic mobility and exchange between
the two countries.

This workshop followed on from previous international engagements involving the mobility of staff and students of the Durban University of Technology, including a Virtual Studio with Höchschule Koblenz, Germany in 2014, an Immersion Studio in Durban with students from Durban University of Technology Department of Architecture and students and professors from Höchschule Koblenz in 2015, AGORA 1 in Gdansk, Poland in 2015, and AGORA 3 in Erfurt, Germany in 2017. Both of the latter workshops exposed the Durban University of Technology staff and students to the ideas of delegates from eight universities from Europe, Turkey and the United States, and centred on mutually derived approaches towards solving problems involving public participation in the creation of public space. As academics at the Durban University of Technology we recognise the value that these exchanges and workshops have had for our staff and students, and we shall try, by all means, to continue these liaisons and deepen the existing engagements.

 Kyria van Soelen Durban University of Technology Imphendulo Workshop.JPG

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