Building Africa: Attending the signing were (top, from left) Piet Barnard and Dr Robert Morrell of UCT, and (front, from left) Monwabisi Park representative Ntombiyakhe Zepe; SUN representative Dr Kathryn Ewing; and research project team leader Dr Tom Sanya.
Design and Making Through Community Participation is a new collaboration between researchers in UCT's School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics, SUN (Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood) Development, and the Monwabisi Park community of Khayelitsha to execute participatory design and construction of a public space in the area.
"We aim to investigate design as a way of knowing," said UCT research team representative Dr Tom Sanya, at the official signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 31 May. "One of our main objectives is to make a contribution to global understanding of design knowledge with our unique African circumstances as a point of departure."
Funded by the Carnegie Corporation through the UCT Research Office's Programme for the Enhancement of Research Capacity (PERC), the project is an avenue for proactive Afropolitanism, in which simultaneously with fulfilling the above academic aims, a local community (in this case, the informal settlement of Monwabisi Park in Khayelitsha) will benefit from a design and build project.
The MoU makes this possible by giving UCT researchers access to the community and the possibility of tapping into the extensive urban planning and design work that has been undertaken by SUN in the area.
"This is an important moment for our programme", said PERC co-ordinator Dr Robert Morrell. "The agreement brings UCT together with a community organisation to look at a new way of exploring social issues in developing Africa."
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