- Published on Monday, 16 April 2012 09:56
- Written by Chisanga Mukuka
For the first week of 2nd quarter, the UCT architecture students have temporarily taken over the east city, otherwise known as the Fringe District. Serving as Cape Town’s design and informatics hub, the area is this year’s venue for their annual Vertical Studio.
The Vertical Studio is a teambuilding project with an “emphasis on forwarding participants' architectural and conceptual thinking” explained George Safi, one of the master’s students organising and coordinating the project. Speaking from Vertical Studio Headquarters, a disused factory space at 63 Buitenkant Street, George and Warren Papier discussed the details.
The organising committee picks a portion of the city in which the various groups, made up of students from 1st through to 6th year, are expected to produce spatial interventions aimed at a specific goal. This year, their task is to “use discarded materials to bring life back to discarded sites” and capture the process and final interventions on film. The short films will be shown in a public exhibition at Headquarters on Friday April 13th.
Vertical Studio HQ contains interesting collections of items; evidence of the architectures' activities over the past few days. A “tree” made of old newspapers, a sculpture built from worn out pieces of wood and an old metal wire door are just some of the objects encountered around the room.
A second year student, Tim Mugara, is part of a team that spray-painted human silhouettes onto cling wrap with which they covered a pair of two-metre high electric poles. “It’s the only project were we can literally do anything and people accept it. There are no limits”.
Team “FanPlastic”, led by Ryno Zwarts collected dozens of plastic containers and created what could be described as a giant welcome mat for Vertical Studio HQ, complete with V.S lettering. The team’s film focuses on the journey of these bottles from their site to their final destination on Buitenkant street.
Another team, called “Parallel Park”, took up the task of turning a parking lot into a space for people. Using their wood, their given material, the team intends to document it’s natural beginnings and eventually show how it takes over and inhabits the parking space, literally pushing one of the cars out.
With 15 teams in total, these are just a few of the interventions built by the aspiring architects. Aside from team building and creating an equal space to interact in, Vertical Studio gives them a chance to get away from campus, have fun and to create outside of the lecture halls.