The strange looking structures you may have passed while walking in the John Moffat building are straight from the minds of Wits’ own architecture students.
The Yeoville Studio exhibition is a showcase of the work done by the school of architecture and planning. Dr Claire Benit- Gbaffou, director of the Yeoville studio programme says one of the main themes of the exhibition involves informal trading.
“[It’s about] how it contributes to an integrated society and how it could be better managed and integrated,” she says. Other themes include aspects of living in Yeoville such as buildings and stories about people’s lives.
“[It’s] a place where people meet, fall in love, grow, mobilise and find part of their identity,” says Benit- Gbaffou.
The models on display in the John Moffat building are designed by architecture students. They are designed with Rockey and Raleigh Streets, the main streets in Yeoville in mind. “Some are proposing street vending stalls, adapted to the needs of street traders,” says Benit-Gbaffou.
The school of architecture and planning worked with organisations within the Yeoville community for two years. “About 300 students, from second year to PhD, have been involved in Yeoville research projects.”
Data collection, interviews, posters and workshops were part of these research projects.
“We thought it was nice also to expose the Wits community to the work we have been doing,” says Benit- Gbaffou. The director says she hopes to do exhibitions in other parts of Johannesburg, “as a great teaching and learning opportunity for students and also as Wits’ contribution to the broader society”.
The exhibition runs until this Friday, February 24.