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Unit Pitches
5th February 2020

GSA Metro 

Unit Pitches

Design in Remembrance

5th - 13th February 2020


CWGC Awards Ceremony

19th August 2020

Design in Remembrance - CWGC

Join us for a celebration of student award winners of the GSA-CWGC competition held in February this year. Open to all GSA past and present students and staff!

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission South African Memorial Design competition was created to invite new and innovative ideas for the design of a new standalone memorial for South Africa. Through the competition, the CWGC seeks to source a diverse range of responses that commemorate, by name, the sacrifice of the fallen and reflects the culture of the South African people. Designs were invited, that were to be site-sensitive, affordable and respond to a contemporary South African context, sited in Cape Town. They were undertaken by student groups at the Graduate School of Architecture, UJ, to inform the eventual memorial to be created by a South African architect. Event led and curated by Absolom Jabu Makhubu and Dickson Adu-Agyei, opened by Dr Finzi Saidi. 

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Graphic by © DieAteljee

GSA Retrospective Exhibition

GSA Retrospective Exhibition

17th February - 17th March 2020

FADA Gallery

In this exhibition, we reflect on the visionaries that have crafted the flagship Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg; including its staff, its supporters, but also most importantly, its student visionaries. We celebrate the stellar work that has grown, emerged and extrapolated deeply complex, trans-continental issues in spatial practice; and use it as a gaze toward a continued, and ever-expanding horizon that strives for excellence, imagination and criticality. Hindsight may certainly be 20/20, but from here we look forward into a newly created courageous space of architectural pedagogical pursuit, ever further to be imagined and fought for, ever more deeply. 

18:00, 17TH FEBRUARY 2020


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Graphic by © DieAteljee

Land, Earth, City: Masterclass

Land, Earth, City: Masterclass

24th February 2020

(Students' on-site masterclass with Paloma Torres on 4th Feb) 



In the making of form with clay, as handled, moulded and shaped, the sculpted and drawn object is a design and archive of its production and place. On the 24th February we invite you to join us for a masterclass with Mexican artist Paloma Torres, whose work is located in the territory between architecture and sculpture. The masterclass consists of a morning roundtable and evening artist talk. We understand this event as a platform for facilitating a dialogue on questions of local histories and epistemologies in relation to land, earth, architecture and the city across the global south, where the south is understood as a position, location and place.

For the roundtable, Torres will be joined by
South African artist Nolan Oswald Dennis in a conversation moderated by architect Sumayya Vally(Counterspace/ GSA). The conversation will engage with questions of memory, archiving and history through the material of the earth, land, roots and the planetary body in spatial, material and speculative terms.

This one-day masterclass is organised in collaboration with the Graduate School of Architecture (GSA) and Visual Identities in Art and Design (VIAD) at the University of Johannesburg, with support from the Mexican Embassy, UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico) and Mexican Studies Centre (MSC), UNAM-University of the Witwatersrand.

Event curated and coordinated by Dr Huda Tayob. 

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ILS with Ngaire Blankenberg


25th February 2020

‘Museum Doctor’ Ngaire Blankenberg is internationally recognised for her work fixing museums, planning cultural destinations and revitalising urban spaces through culture. She is co-editor of Museums, Cities and Soft Power and the Manual of Digital Museum Planning.

Ngaire’s work is guided by the belief that museums are too important to remain colonial, elitist and irrelevant. Yet here we are. Through her work advising over 50 museums and cultural projects in 35 cities on 5 continents, she is on a mission to diagnose what exactly is wrong with museums and how to put them right.

twitter: @nblankenberg

25th February 2020
FADA Auditorium,
Bunting Road Campus,
University of Johannesburg.

Wine Bar: 18h00
Welcome Note & Talk: 18:30 – 19:15
Q & A: 19:15 – 19:45

WINE BAR: 18h00
WELCOME NOTE & TALK: 18:30 – 19:15
Q & A: 19:15 – 19:45


GSA Reading Group
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11, 25 February & 10th March 2020

This year, we kick off the GSA Reading group in Q1 on the 11th of February, with an exciting line-up for Q1. 


The reading group is a tool that fits into the wider framework of the Transformative Pedagogies agenda of the GSA. In taking the time for close reading and slow conversation, the group will talk through ways of thinking, theorizing and practicing architecture. We will question what we consider as architectural truths, along with the modes, methods and forms of writing which give ideas shape. These conversations are  informal and open to ALL who are interested. 


The reading group sessions are as follows:


11 February 2020: Queer Territories

Led by Jabu Absalom Makhubu


25 February 2020: The Friendship Apparatus

Led by Tuliza Sindi


10 March 2020: (W)rapped Space

Led by Pandeani Liphosa


All the texts are available on this google drive:


All sessions will take place at GSA Metro at 4pm. 

GSA Reading Group is organised by Dr Huda Tayob.


Graphic by © DieAteljee

Graphic by © DieAteljee

Dialogues with Dust

Dialogues with Dust: A Quarantine Online Marathon 

2nd April 2020

Venue: Online. Zoom Meeting ID 227 654 515
Time: 9am - 9pm

Originating from the 17th Century Italian quaranta giorni, translating to 40 days,‘quarantine’ refers to a period of isolation, to limit the spread of an epidemic. Yet, ‘quarantine’ has also been used interchangeably in relation to ‘cordon sanitaires’, zones of confinement and spaces of exception for demarking and limiting the movement of bodies deemed ‘other’ for reasons of race, gender, ability and health, among others. ‘40 days’ has a similarly varied history, referring to a very long time, medical isolation, periods of mourning, confinement after birth, Noah’s Ark and flooding, wandering the desert and searching for a promised land.Taking on these varied and entangled meanings of cultures, places, histories and rituals on the 2nd of April 2020 from 9am - 9pm, Unit 18 and Unit 13 have combined energies to plan a ‘Quarantine Marathon’ titled ‘Dialogues with Dust’ in response to our planned field trips to Egypt and Namibia, respectively, having been put on pause.

These ‘Dialogues with Dust’ consist of a series of curated online and offline talks, seminars, atmospheric reconstructions, concert-lectures and films interspersed with reading groups and drawing workshops. This series of dialogues raises issues and phenomena relevant to Egypt, Namibia, Johannesburg; and their hauntings, dust, spectres, edge conditions, ancient deserts and contemporary global catastrophes. The wide-spread of Covid-19 alerts us to the unavoidable planetarity of our current moment, asking us to reflect on our entanglements and impact on health, territory and climate. Through the notion of dust, we also contemplate phenomena long since dormant, against those ruptured, urgent and insurgent into atmospheres we inhabit. This marathon engages with a wide range of practices and ways of thinking and making architecture, place, and the world.

In addition to ‘staying connected’ both locally and globally, we are asking how we might understand a sense of a place from a distance, without being able to travel? How to work with the absent present? And how we can continue to develop forms of solidarity, connection and collaboration across time and place from our respective locations?

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Graphic by © DieAteljee

GSA U12R - Voice

GSA Unit 12R Performance & Architecture Workshop

عبر - Voice

Monday 16/03 - Friday 20/03

Unit 12R Presents:
عبر - Voice
Heeten Bhagat & Caryn Katz

Following the trajectory of finding the appropriate means and methods of storytelling, this first workshop, عبر (voice), focuses on one of our key investigations into modes and methods of story-telling - that of performance and voice. Leaning into the traditions of the oral and the aural, we will investigate performance as a drawing media and design tool. The arabic word عبر translates to voice, but can also translate to a crossing or passing. In this crossing, we work directly with theatre and performance practitioners to realise a new hybrid form of drawing. this will be the first of several collaborations with Heeten Bhagat and Caryn Katz in anticipation of a GSA performance, culminating at the end of the year.



Graphic by © DieAteljee

AHT Talks Q2

Architectural History & Theory Talks - Quarter 2

21st April - 19th May

Architectural History & Theory Q2 Talks Series OnlineThis short interdisciplinary series engages with architectural knowledge as situated within a broader field and wider context, including architectural practice, archaeology, literature, art, performance studies, music and history. An exciting line-up of speakers and coordinators take us through their own research and practice, engaging with different parts of the African continent, close and far. This series is organised by Huda Tayob. In light of Covid-19, this series is now online and open to all.


Tuesday 21 April 2020:

Moving Forward
—Presented by Dr. Huda Tayob

'That Space Is Creepy' 
The Role of Fear, Secrecy and Concealment in the Potency of Ritual Spaces in the Kuruman Area of the Northern Province
—Presented by Dr. Sechaba Maape (Wits)



Tuesday 28 April 2020:

Words as Objects
—Presented by Dr. Ruth Sacks (GSA)
Abjuja: An New Capital for Nigeria
—Presented by Prof. Nnamdi Elleh (HOD SOAP Wits)

Tuesday 05 May 2020:

What Do We Demand from Space(s)?
—Presented by Thabang Monoa (Visual Art, UJ)
Paradise Fallen
—Presented by Zen Marie (Fine Arts, Wits)


Gqom Soundscapes

—Presented by Pandeani Liphosa and Lnhle Mavuso 

Tuesday 12 May 2020:

Writing at the End of the World 
—Writing Workshop with Bongani Kona (Writer and Chimurenga Editor)
Exploring Responsive Practice Through Performance, Installation and Video Art

Workshop led by Farieda Nazier

Tuesday 19 May 2020:

Curating New Democracy
-Presented by Dr.Judy Peter
Epistemological Becoming – Writing as Studio Practice
-Presented by Fouad Asfour















19 May history and theory instagram post
GSA Crossover

GSA Crossover

27th May 2020

his Crossover, we prepare for some cheeky school-wide architectural match-making, through a series of curated chatrooms - based on project interests, location, and personalised bio. The event will foster encounters and curiosities shared and exchanged across the six Units at the GSA - a flirt with architectural discovery and imaginary.
We also get our first glimpse into the collective production of Units 13, 14, 15x, 17, 18 and 19 with a guest appearance of U12R.

The participants will be temporarily visible on a live website which will be shared for the duration of the last week in May, and we will be hosting a series of closed and open interaction platforms on Zoom and Instagram Live.

Stay tuned to our social media posts for join links and scheduling updates.
Wednesday 27th May 2020

Introduction and Welcome on Instagram Live @happeningatthegsa

10:15 -11:15
Closed Blind Date Chatrooms
Students, lookout for Zoom Invites on your Email

11:30 - 12:30
Open Instagram Live Chats


Graphic by © DieAteljee

U12R Seeing South

U12R Seeing South

3 July 2020

Seeing South - hosted by Unit 12R - kicking off our Seeing South Winter School, Unit 12 invites you to join our story telling circle with architectural mystics, story-tellers and stories from across the oceans.

Email for Zoom Password - please use 'Seeing South Zoom Password' in the subject line.

12.30 - Welcome - Sumayya Vally
12.45 - Maxwell Mutunda
13.45 - Joris Komen
14.45 - Ilze Wolff
15.45 - Ainslee Robson

In this project, looking South, we propose a gathering of myths from across the world. Through a documentation and overlaying of urban legends, city superstitions, folklore and mythologies.
Inspired by the form of the Alf Laylah wa Laylah, this project proposes to construct collections of archives, fables, maps, scripts, transcripts - a traffic* of ideas mutated between places, politics, relations, distances and approximations.

Following the seminar, selected GSA students will go on to hold and share intense dialogue, discussion, secrets, magic and madness; Unit12R working close with the participants, tutorialling and workshopping to find a design language appropriate for the stories that may emerge, and contribute to a greater atlas of tales that we are developing.


Graphic by © DieAteljee

GSA South North

GSA South North: A Festival of the Minds

17th September 2020

Exploring Education in Design and Planning in African Schools of Planning and Architecture: A Bottoms-Up Approach

Presentations: 16h00-17h30
Discussion: 17h30-18h00
On MS Teams

Convened by Dr Finzi Saidi, Acting Head of School at the GSA, this webinar brings together academics from African universities to share their teaching experiences in architecture and planning disciplines. The aim is to bring to the fore teaching and learning strategies that academics employ in ensuring meaningful and responsive learning for their students. We believe that by talking about lived experiences of academics we can ‘unearth’ innovative teaching strategies that provide important lessons for transforming the curriculum.

Convener: Dr Finzi Saidi is an academic from the University of Johannesburg whose research focuses on curriculum transformation in the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture and urban design.

Dr Nelly Babere is an academic based at ARDHI University in School of Social Sciences and Planning. Her research interest explores issues in design and planning in the Metropolitan city of Dar es Salaam.

Caleb Toroitich is an academic at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. His research and teaching interests are in landscape architecture of the city of Nairobi.

Goabamang Lethugile is an academic at the University of Botswana in the landscape architecture programme. Her research interests focus on utilisation of public spaces for economic activities in cities.

Jabu Makhubu is an academic at the University of Johannesburg in the GSA. His research focuses on public spaces, urban design and transformative pedagogies at undergraduate and post graduate levels.

Mathebe Aphane is a former academic in the Department of Architecture at University of Pretoria. Her research interrogates identity of township buildings and infrastructure in Pretoria’s oldest black settlement of Atteridgeville


Graphic by © DieAteljee

AHT Talks Q3

Architectural History & Theory Talks - Quarter 3

28th July-  01 Sep

Architectural History & Theory Q3 Talks Series Online

Curated by AHT Convener Dr Huda Tayob
Open to all GSA Students 


28 July 2020:

Composing of Separate Parts

Doing Research on the Architecture of Luanda (Angola)

—Presented by Antonio Tomas

04 August 2020

Advocating for Architecture

—Presented by Doreen Adengo

Framing an Archive: Snapshots from Architectural (Hi)stories

—Presented by Kuukuwa Manful

11 August 2020

Learning to Speak: Architectures of (Post)colonial Politics

—Presented by Tariq Toffa



18 August 2020:

1st Floor North Block The Drill Hall Precinct 

14/15/16 Twist Street Joubert Park Johannesburg
—Presented by Malose Malahlela of Keleketla!Tuesday


25 August 2020:

Landscapes of leisure and colour in Southern Africa
—Presented by Pamela Gupta
Lecture by Dominique Malaquais

01 September 2020:

Spatial Inequality is the Super Spreader
—Presented by Melissa Myambo
Reading Buildings:
Using Architecture to Develop Artistic Discourse
—Presented by Angela Ferreira

GSA Transformative Practice

18 September 2020

Transformative Practices: Seminars on Design Research

An Introduction.


Mark Raymond & Dorotea Ottaviani

This seminar series to be held in October will, through conversations and presentations, address the topic of design research. The seminars will be valuable preparation for anyone considering registering for advanced research cit CSA in the MArch (Design, Theory and Practice) and/or PhD programme. GSA staff are particularly encouraged to attend. 
This introductory session will serve to introduce the theme and structure of the seminars and during which Dr Mark Raymond and Dr Dorotea Ottaviani (an experienced design research scholar) will answer any questions about the seminars and plans for design research at the GSA. 


GSA Transformative Practices is a series of lectures, and following seminars, curated and chaired by incoming GSA Director Dr Mark Raymond and Dorotea Ottoviani.


Lecture RE.1.1
Claudia Pasquero & Marco Poletto
ecoLogic Studio

It is timely in the Anthropocene, and even more so in the age of a global pandemic, to search for a non-anthropocentric mode of reasoning, and consequently also of designing. The Photosynthetica Consortium, established in 2018 and including London-based design innovation practice ecoLogicStudio, the Urban Morphogenesis Lab (Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (UCL)) and the Synthetic Landscape Lab (University of Innsbruck, Austria), has therefore been pursuing architecture as a research-based practice, exploring the interdependence of human and biological intelligence in design by working directly with non-human living organisms.

Lecture RE.1.2
Dr. Emma Nsugbe


Emma studied Architecture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. She has a PhD in Architecture from the University of Bath where she was part of the Ted Happold & Frei Otto group working on the design of bridges and long span structures inspired by nature.

Emma has many years of experience in practice working with Hopkins Architects in London and has contributed to a number of notable projects including Bracken House in the City of London, Glyndebourne Opera House, refurbishment of The Mound Stand at Lord’s Cricket Ground and two projects for the Wellcome Trust - The Gibbs Building and Wellcome Collection, both on Euston Road in London.

She is keen to maintain close collaboration with engineers engaging in research and practice that combines architecture, engineering, biology and art.

Lecture RE.1.3

Anastasia Samoylova

Anastasia Samoylova is a Russian-American artist who moves between observational photography, studio practice and installation. By utilising tools and strategies related to digital media and commercial photography, her work explores notions of environmentalism, consumerism and the picturesque. In 2020 she had her first solo museum exhibition of the ongoing project FloodZone at USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa. With over 80 photographs, the book of the project was published by Steidl in 2019. Samoylova was awarded a number of grants for FloodZone, including the South Arts Fellowship and Michael P. Smith Fund for Documentary Photography. Another of her series, Landscape Sublime (2013-ongoing), explores how social media imagery and the repetition of popular pictorial motifs inform an understanding of nature and the built environment. In 2020 her work will be presented at the Kunsthaus Wien, as well as Wilhelm-Hack-Museum and Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany; as part of the Biennale for Contemporary Photography. Her work is in the collections at the Perez Art Museum Miami, Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, and ArtSlant Collection in Paris, among others.

Lecture RE.1.4

Sean Canty

Sean Canty founded Studio SC in 2017, a design practice that activates environments by conjoining discrete geometries, materials, and architectural types. Canty is a Designer and Assistant Professor of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he teaches architectural design in the Core Design Studios. Prior to joining the faculty at the GSD, Canty held teaching positions at the Cooper Union, University California Berkeley, and California College of the Arts.

In addition to architectural design, Canty has taught classes on descriptive geometry and design media.
Studio Sean Canty, approaches architecture through an interest in thoughtful engagements with building typologies and geometries. Through combination and juxtaposition, the projects of the studio aim to rethink the spaces of ordinary life. The work of the studio materialises at a variety of scales—from objects to interiors—and explores a range of programmatic types—from domestic environments to cultural spaces.

Canty is one of the founding principals of Office III (OIII), an experimental architectural collective that spans New York, San Francisco, and Cambridge. Selected as a finalist for the 2016 MoMA PS1 Young Architects competition, OIII has completed a Welcome Center for Governors Island and exhibited work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Instagram: @studioseancanty

GSA Transformative Practice 

1, 15, 22, 29 Oct,  2020


Graphics by © DieAteljee

GSA Other Myths

GSA Unit 12R Other Myths

9 October 2020

Other Myths City Planning and Other Myths A Cross-institutional research group between the GSA University of Johannesburg and Royal College of art, London. 
Look out for our events, dialogues, discussions, fieldnotes and more.

Led by Sumayya Vally, participants: Thandi Lowenson, Kuukuwa Manful, Maxwell Mutanda, Paula Nascimento


Graphic by © DieAteljee

GSA at the 15th Forum de Arquitectura

GSA at the 15th Forum de Arquitectura

8th October 2020

5th Fórum de Arquitectura, Universidade Lusíada de Angola.
Filmed contributions from GSA staff and students on our School, for the feature under ‘Schools of Architecture - African Perspective’.

Thursday, October 8
11th Session. 3pm - 3:45pm (4:00pm-4:45pm SAST)
Architecture Schools - African Perspectives
Video Presentation by Mark Raymond (incoming Director of the GSA) and Dr Finzi Saidi (Acting Head) with staff and students of the GSA.
Presentation of works by students of architecture schools, their trends, specificities and main pedagogical challenges.

Film by © One Way Up Productions

GSA Corobrik Awards Ceremony

GSA Corobrik Awards Ceremony

27th Nov 2020

It’s that time again!
GSA Corobrik Awards Ceremony 2020

2020 was a challenging year for many but that did not stop the country’s architectural students from producing some of the finest works and dissertations in many major universities. Corobrik has consistently awarded this hard work and 2020 is no different; giving students the opportunity to compete for the national title. Please join staff and students of the GSA in an online exhibition and prize-giving ceremony of our top final year students entered for the 34th Corobrik Student Architectural Awards.

Award Winners: 

Best USe of Clay Brick Award:

Leo Da Silva Chicwambi

Corobrik 2nd Prize (joint recipients): 

Sarah Harding

Karabo Moumakwe

Corobrik First Prize (Regional Winner):

Kamal Ranchod 


GSA Lecture: WAI 

27th November 2020

GSA Lecture WAI Architecture Think Tank

GSA Lecture
WAI Architecture Think Tank
with Cruz Garcia and Nathalie Frankowski

Cruz Garcia and Nathalie Frankowski (WAI Think Tank) are currently Associate Professors at Virginia Tech. Their recently published Manual of Anti-Racist Architecture Education ( posits a powerful and timely rethinking of how contemporary architectural education is observed to embody issues of social injustice and institutional racism. Architectural history and theory is critiqued through the deployment of subverted seminal modern graphic motifs to reframe commonly accepted premises. The GSA hopes to be engaging closely with WAI Think Tank next year and this lecture will serve to introduce and welcome this important new voice to the GSA.


Graphic by © DieAteljee

Graphic by © DieAteljee

Intimate Frames: GSA Summer Show 2020

26th November 2020

Summer Show 2020

This year has seen spatial spillages of the world into our homes - the home holding as a loose epicentre for drawn in spatial imaginaries. Mothers bring in fruit during our Zoom calls, hadedas croon in over the microphone. This, while we pursue Namibia, Dar Es Salaam, the City of Tshwane, Cairo, and inner-city Johannesburg through our laptop screens, our Instagram reel while sitting at the dinner table, on our beds or at our home work-desk. Domestic life spills over into conversations concerning political frameworks, gender equality, identity, edge conditions, economies and all sorts of global processes at play, in space.

GSA Summer Show retreats into intimate views: Celebrating the immense resilience and ingenuity of our students, and the care of our staff, we invite you to share, from your own bedrooms, lounges or kitchens, in this year’s show, promising to be a digital collective experience like no other!

Intimate Rooms

This year, as part of the Summer Show programming, Intimate Rooms provides a series of cross-unit engagements which host discussions about student work and themes of interests, in the week after the Summer Show launch. 

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