Friday, March 17, 2006

You Missed Out!!!!!


Much debate is entered into among architects and students alike, about the status of architecture in South Africa. Tuscan design, the new Joburg Precinct, Newtown development.. The list goes on and on. Up until today, I saw architects as the purist with utopian ideals who have declared change on our wonderful city.

Today (Fri 17 March 2006) was the Corobrick Architectural Student of South Africa do. Basically 6 Universities were represented by their top thesis student of last year; all compete for the coveted award of South Africa’s top student along with a check of R32 000. Brett Wilks represented Wits with an amazing program that seduced viewers as they entered the Sandton Convention Centres allocated room. The peak of today’s presentation was a truly inspiring talk by Henning Rassmus. The last talk that I was privileged to hear last year at congress, inspired me like no other.. This talk I’m sure will keep me going until my next does of Henning.

I'm sure by now you are trying to link my first paragraph with the second.. Well, please allow me to do it for you. When I arrived there at 9:30, I was sure that I would have to push and bump to even get close to see and speak to the top 6 archi students of South Africa. To my surprise, I walked in, to be met by a large hall scattered with not even 20 people. “I’m early,” I thought.. Henning’s talk was scheduled to start at 10:30; we started at 11:10. If all that were there decided to try fill the three front rows of the perhaps 30 that were set out, we would of battled..

Hold on to your boots because here is the link. I think that it is disgusting how a university is represented by an amazingly inspirational student with an equally brilliant project, gets the support of 1 lecturer and possibly 7 or 8 students. Do archi students not want to know what calibre is required to be regarded at the top 6 students in the country? Do Wits lecturers educate us for 5 years and not want to see how they have influenced a nationally recognised designer? It was sad and embarrassing to sit in a empty hall, to listen to a talk that every single student from first year till thesis year should have heard. Considering that Sandton is on Wits’ doorstep, if not to come for the lecture, each student and lecturer should have been there to show support for Brett’s superb effort!

When architects and architect students get off there intellectually high horse and realise that we need to support each other and learn from each other, then we will have the licence to discuss all the high profile issues of Joburg and South African architecture.

If you were not there today for either the exhibition or the lecture, you should be embarrassed and ashamed that you don’t show support for your fellow student, or you as an archi student/lecturer missed out on a fresh and vital understanding of the direction of Archi Culture in South Africa!

1 comment:

Marco Valente said...

I actually felt bad for the organisers becuase of the tiny turnout. At the end of the awards my friend and I were speakin to the organisers and they were saying that apparently becuase of the poor turnout this would be the last time they hosted the event this big!