One of the most important lessons we have learnt is that the most successful projects are those where we are able to collaborate with others on an existing project. In this way we can focus on our core competencies as architects, knowing that we are only a small part of an ongoing process. With the Hangberg project we were able to work precisely in this manner. Design activists Stephen Lamb and Andrew Lord co-designed a “Light House” together with its owner, Xoma Ayob. Using light-weight, insulated, prefabricated panels, they made an affordable and sustainable house, enabling Xoma to remain on his existing property where he has been keeping livestock and growing vegetables. During 2014, a group of twenty second year Architectural Technology students took part in a design build project where a vertical garden was built adjacent to the Light House, as well as a new external staircase, first floor deck and internal shelving. Through working together with Xoma, Stephen and Andrew, the students became aware of the social implications of the action of housing and building, and the potential which architecture has to educate and uplift disadvantaged communities.
Client: Mr. Xoma Ayob
Research Question: Exploring the role of the activist practitioner in a collaborative design process.