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Locating Displacement | Representing Difference

Part 2 Project 2003
Dieter Brandt
Deokjae Kim
University of Cape Town Cape Town South Africa
Passing migrants, refugees seeking refuge, and host communities fighting to sustain themselves against local and global forces, all share the experience of Displacement.

Physical space can play a role in facilitating change and lessening the harsh effects on displaced communities. The premise of my project is that the establishment of a “third space” in an attempt to alleviate this condition.

To this end I have inserted a Gateway House for Refugees in a selected Host Environment that will provide access to basic needs, in turn supporting the ideal of integration between groups that might well be in contest with each.

Dieter Brandt
Deokjae Kim

TOPICAL THINKING - frames discourse in the B. Arch thesis program. Whilst ‘design discourse' in the School of Architecture is directed at independent inquiry, current investigations by thesis candidates tends to reflect the events and concerns in the contemporary SA city. The city, as perhaps the highest form of built human expression, therefore, becomes a natural locus for speculation and thinking topically. Individual topics have been specifically identified through a process of research around issues of transformation in relation to emerging political processes, as well as to contemporary architectural theory. In particular, the critique of type and its associative limitations in relation to the assumptions and certainty associated with the <western|apartheid|colonial> position have predominated. Site and Program have been interpreted as verbs demanding a researched and argued uncovering of ‘siting and programming' as core design generators. These issues have been re-interpreted through a ‘narrative process' whereby interactive exercises sought to provoke difference and effect new sets of social arrangements. Consequently, process has been privileged above that of final product, in an attempt to overturn the other hegemony of material culture which seems to be the predominant global value. Phenomenal experience and temporal possibility have become checks for developing a thoughtful and resilient material culture within the architectural inquiry.

Dieter's scheme is selected for its provocative and meaningful contribution to debate surrounding the post-apartheid city. ‘Locating Displacement|Representing Difference' evolves a thoughtful and intelligent response to conditions of change in the inner city of Capetown. Through in-depth readings of cultural constructs in the emerging city, his project posits new spatial relations for addressing the condition of the transforming city. With this submission, it has been the topic and the thinking process, as opposed to formal resolution that premiated selection. Essential to its premise, ‘the making of a third space' is the devaluation of form and the elevation of space, or that emptiness wherein difference can be encountered.


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