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Title: Towards entrepreneur-activist architectural practice
Authors: Delport-Voulgarelis, Hermie
PEROLD, Rudolf 
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: UIA 2014 Durban
Source: Osman, Amira; Bruyns, Gerhard; Aigbavboa, Clinton (Ed.). UIA XXV World Congress Durban 2014 Proceedings: Architecture Otherwise. Resilience - Ecology - Values, UIA 2014 Durban,p. 1610-1617
Abstract: This paper explores how design education and practice can address informality and poverty. Student projects at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) often engage with informality and poverty, both in the studio and on site as design-build projects. However, in relation to professional values there is still a gap between what students are exposed to during their training and the opportunities which they have to act upon these values once they enter the profession. Since the promulgation of the Architectural Profession Act in 2000, the scope of professional registration in South Africa has widened. Graduates from CPUT can now enter the architectural profession as independent practitioners. This has an important implication for architectural education: Universities of Technology (UoT’s) cannot focus only on providing technicians as employees in architects’ offices; rather National Diploma and BTech graduates must be equipped with sufficient skills to start and manage their own practices. Due to an acute awareness of the socio-economic disparities in South African society, as reflected in our own student demography, the Design-Build Research Studio (DBRS) at CPUT is developing an alternative form of work integrated learning (WIL) pedagogy which prepares students to enter the profession as entrepreneur-activist architectural practitioners. We will present a case study of one such project, focusing on a highly specific developmental problem: the upgrading of RDP housing through additions and alterations. The project explores professional engagement with low-cost housing on a one client, one practitioner basis. We conceive this as a hybrid practice: part entrepreneur, part activist. Such a hybrid practice requires a skill set much wider than what students are traditionally equipped with: knowing how to supplement extremely limited budgets through subsidies or sponsorships and designing to allow for a degree of informality while satisfying building regulations; amongst others. Rudolf Perold and Hermie Delport-Voulgarelis are senior lecturers in the Department of Architectural Technology at CPUT. They coordinate the Design-Build Research Studio (DBRS), which provides students with learning opportunities in the real world through the design and construction of architectural interventions. Their work at the DBRS informs their respective doctoral research at the Hasselt University in Belgium and CPUT.
Keywords: education; design-build; alternative practice; entrepreneur
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ISBN: 9780869707838
Rights: Copyright held by publisher. UIA 2014 Durban
Category: C1
Type: Proceedings Paper
Appears in Collections:Research publications

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