eThekwini Sustainable Living Exhibition

KZNIA was right at the front door to welcome the crowds to this year’s sustainable living exhibition. On show were a few of our members projects and general information for the public on sustainable building. Interestingly the focus this year was very much toward people-centred organisations: NGO’s, schools and skills-development projects took the majority of the stands while building and energy-related stands filled in the rest of the gaps. There were also a few quesitonable fillers too: who knew AMC cookware was sustainble? When queried the stand host explained that because you use less electricity and water with these pots they are better for the environment.

I am not quite convinced about the cookware, but it was an informative and interesting afternoon overall.

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UIA Task groups taking shape

This is an exciting time for the KZNIA: with exactly 2 years to go until 10 000 architects from around the world descend on Durban for conference, exhibition, work-groups, competitions, awards and general architectural good times. Plans are moving along with the formation of various portfolio committees.

1. Cultural & Social Activities

Proposals on pre & post congress tours, alternate congress meeting venues in the City, cultural and social activities related directly to the UIA 2014 event

2 Related Activities

Events in the City which happen simultaneous to the event: exhibitions, performances etc which are curated by others

3 Urban Forum Close ties to Transformation & Social Cohesion

Potentially establishment of a Durban Urban Forum; spatial UIA 2014 legacy project Andrew Makin, Rodney Choromanski

4 Promotions

Making sure that all Durban/South African architects go to the event.

5 Publications &Documentation

Best opportunity to showcase our thinking, our objectives, our passions.


If you would like to get involved in any then give us a ring at the KZNIA!

u and i

Tonight at the KZNIA we look forward to opening the UKZN students exhibition. The exhibition comprises primarily fourth year Shift housing projects 2012 but also a creative project undertaken by the whole school which has produced some pleasing results.

As a pre-exhibition celebration KZNIA invited UKZN staff to share a lunch at 160 Bulwer Rd today. There was a great turnout and Nina Saunders  (KZNIA President) had a few things to say about the university’s role in the KZN architecture community.

Many of the members have a sense of connection to UKZN because it is our alma mater. The New Paradigms video highlighted the new directions in the built environment and how much architects are thinking about their role in relation to this. UKZN has an aspirational role to play in twinning practice with research and drawing on the experience of established professionals and the exploratory thinking of young students.

Another positive development is the appointment of a new Head of Architecture at UKZN, Mthembeni Mkhize, who brings several years of experience in architectural research and practice with him from around the world. But that is for another post.

More pictures on our facebook album:

The final container

Wesley van Eeden, the artist behind the painting on the KZNIA shipping container, gives his finished project a high-five. You can find out more about Wesley and his works at his website, the Hope Project. He recently did a PechaKucha presentation entitled “We need a creative centre in the city” which I would tend to agree with. Lets see how this campaign goes – and if you would like to support his campaign you can contact him through his website.

Also check out his statement on turning the brief of “I’m a city changer” into the design you see now [here].



Film takes flight

The container is complete and the film is finito! We have had such a good time putting this together.

My only regret is that we have so much great footage of the 25 or so people who gave of their time for interviews, and unfortunately had to be ruthless when cutting it all into 3 minutes! The upside is that there may be another outlet… you’ll have to come to the conference to find out!

What’s going on with that container?

We’ve had some interesting visitors recently at the KZNIA. As part of the New Pardigms conference we have taken the liberty of having some fun with architectural concepts and film-makers. First we had a vox pop series where we subjected innocent archi’s to the probing interviews of Shelly Nel, then we got Wesley van Eeden, a local Durbanite, to add some life to our container on Bulwer Rd, which we also filmed. The container is to be completed next Saturday. Watch this space!!

Olympic highlights

With London 2012 starting in a week we thought some Olympic ogling was in order. These pics below come from an email that’s been doing the rounds.

For more info on the buildings (who, what, where and how) check out [this link] 

And also an interesting new concept to come out of all these architectural gymnastics: boutique engineering 



Cameras and animals

We had our final instalment of Architectural Cinema Thursdays last week and despite the cold front about to hit town we had a pretty decent turnout! An unusual visitor who took up most of the lawn was the KZNSA’s new rhino, who rudely attempted to steal the limelight as the Sunday Times photographer and her assistant photographed the audience. I had a fight with my own camera and was kindly shown the “program” button by the photographer. This was of course very embarrassing and I slunk back to my picnic blanket and made a mental note to check out the professional photos in the weekend paper.

A huge thanks are due to all those who helped make the Archi Cinema Thursday series run smoothly:

  • Marc Oswell and Jack Chiang for the generous loans from their film libraries,
  • Lauren Haiden and Jono James for stepping in when I was on leave,
  • Vera Platt, our archi-student who is an absolute whizz at technicalities and theatrical details,
  • The KZNSA gallery for all their assistance in hosting and spreading the word,
  • and of course our sponsors DormaMouldings and Frames International and the Cement and Concrete Institute

These are some snippets of the last Archi Cinema Thursday. There are also a few nice ones on our facebook page.

Guess who got here first and took the front row!

Some regulars below…


Wouter Malan… of Springbok Heights.

Architectural Cinema Thursdays

The past few weeks’ Thursday evenings have seen the KZNSA Gallery garden packed with picnic blankets. We’ve had great support for Architectural Cinema Thursdays, a series of film nights highlighting architecturally slanted films. The series will continue for the next 4 weeks with the programme updated online every week. Each wek a short film or documentary is shown at 6:30, followed by a feature-length film at 7. This week’s films include a short documentary from the Smithsonian Design for the other 90% followed by Visual Acoustics, a look at the works of Julius Schulman, the animated photographer who brought the case study houses to life.

Thanks to the sponsors DormaMouldings and Frames International and the Cement and Concrete Institute event is free for all, and CPD points will be awarded.


Rodney Harber’s introduction at the Exhibition Opening on 12th April 2012:

Diaspora is a consequence of an architecture education crisis in KZN, arising from the possible suspension of validation at UKZN, DUT courses ending after only four years as well as the severely reduced capacity for students to get a place in the Masters programmes leading to professional qualification. Many students have applied up to three times!

Diaspora is about our local students having to fan out all over the country, and as far afield asNew Zealand, to further their careers. A DUT student is accepted at UCT this year – he was offered a place at UJ,PretoriaandCape Town- there was no space for him locally!  Every school of architecture inSouth Africacurrently has UKZN students enrolled from this Diaspora.

The problem is that a significant number of these are likely to remain elsewhere, thereby draining our local pool.

In 2010 when I was on the thesis panel atPretoriaI realised that I had taught 18% of that group in first year at UKZN!!!! A huge proportion of that class, who had been forced to relocate to complete their studies.

This is when the idea of holding this exhibition took root. It is to express a sincere thank you to theSchoolofArchitectureat theUniversityofPretoria, in particular, for helping the KZNIA. During the 2011 thesis examinations two students, also from the same first year at UKZN, achieved outstanding results. We are very grateful to Jhono Bennett and Byron Snow for displaying their output of this Diaspora here this evening. It illustrates what has been lost toDurban!

Jhono thesis tackles housing, informality and incremental growth and Byron’s the development of the market atMaputo, a significant design of a complex urban building in a developmental situation with co-operation between Eduardo Montlane University in Maputo and Delft.

Prof Karel Bakker wanted to open the exhibition but couldn’t make it.