democratizing placemaking: affordances and [fab]rication
My research is an exploration which highlights the tension between architects in the state-driven formal building process and the spatial practitioners of the informal settlements who have built their own communities with the makeup of a functional city. Residents of Informal settlements produce housing at a rapid rate, but the state is directing its resources to eradicate informal settlements while fighting an uphill battle to deliver on South Africa’s Reconstruction and Development Program at a reasonable pace.
In the global north, and parts of the global south, this same problem has been identified and the state has responded by creating modes of support for these communities. They call themselves self-build communities and receive resources which aid the people to create their own relevant architectural responses. State resources are not directed in fighting slums, but rather to teach people to create architectures better than slums. My research explores what a state-supported self-building initiative might look like in South Africa, not only as a system, but as a built institutional form which can help generate autonomous architectures and communities. The outcome of this project will be the adaptive reuse of the old Philippi Cement Factory in Philippi village into a Fabrication and upskilling center which acts as a catalyst in transforming informal settlements of Philippi into self-build communities.