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The Everyday And The Celebrated

Part 2 Project 2003
Craig Mcclenaghan
Srisaravanan Subramaniam
University of Cape Town Cape Town South Africa
By 2015, Cape Town could require 1020Ha of additional burial ground. Cape Towns’ poor (but developing) Xhosa community is expected to be the worst affected.

This investigation seeks appropriate architectural interventions for the spatial and cultural consequences of death and adopts the Xhosa philosophy that ‘death is part of life.’

A proposal for the insertion of an incremental framework into the pubic realm of a culturally active landscape that operates for both the everyday and the ceremonial [that evolves alongside cultural evolution] it aims towards re-evaluating the meaning of a cemetery as a publicly integrated ‘museum’ for collective memory.

Craig Mcclenaghan
Srisaravanan Subramaniam

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.

Craig McClenaghan's scheme is selected for its provocative and meaningful contribution to debate surrounding the post-apartheid city. ‘The Everyday And The Celebrated' evolves a thoughtful and intelligent response to conditions of change relating to the extremes of rural tradition and urban necessity in relation to burial practices in peripheral areas of Cape Town. 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 that 'death is part of life' is the devaluation of form and the elevation of rituals of everyday life.


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