Sunday, 21 August 2011


I have already introduced the Gqebera Enterprise Market (see blog archive) - the existing building to house my design, Ukuba - I'm having trouble uploading my animation, but here are some still renderings I made (white model) of the building, to give you a better picture!

Still renderings (from my 3dmax animation)...

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Mood board

A mood board is a form of visual stimulus material, usually comprising large boards covered with images (often cut from magazines) and designed to represent a mood, atmosphere or feeling. They might be used as enabling materials, to explore respondents' experience of an activity or brand. They can also be used to represent the 'feel' of an intended design. These are part of the repertoire of materials often necessary to research ideas for design which are not yet made, but which will rely on their finished form for their effect. 

Corporate identity

A corporate identity is the "persona" of a corporation which is designed to accord with and facilitate the achievement of business objectives (Corporate identity 2011:1). It is also described as the way a particular business is perceived by its customers and the rest of the marketplace – its name, logo, typeface, colours etc., are all elements that help comprise a company's corporate identity (Pave Graphics 2006:[s.a.]).

Corporate Culture and Philosophy

Ukuba believes in...
a holistic approach which integrates ideas and practice
the importance of individuals and community
the importance of ecological and societal values
cultural diversity in terms of class, faith, sexuality, disability, gender differences, and ethnicity
participation and development, transition and transformation
a revolution rather than evolution
self-sufficiency and self-reliance
working with nature and for nature

Corporate Behaviour
To be...
a teacher
a learner
a cultivator of one’s land, of the human mind and of sensibilities.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Needing directions?

To simplify the naming of each of Ukuba's functions and to facilitate visitors' orientation, as well as to tie in with the concept of the compass and the origin of Ukuba's name (see 14 July post), each function was named after a root verb, combined with its co-ordinate ie position in degrees (measured from the centre - stage - of the building):

(from top tobottom, left to right) employment agency, recycling centre, crafts, funeral planner, swap shop, seamstress, woodwork shop, market square, organic plantation and toilets!

training centre, restauurant, take-away, stables, furniture renovator, shoe repair, stage, toilets

Reuse proposal = new occupants

Services to be housed in and rendered at the market centre would include:

A locavore (and seasonal) restaurant supplied by the close-by greenhouse tunnels (Walmer Hydroponics Project), with which the market centre would be affiliated with, where the concept of permaculture would be introduced (an approach to designing agricultural systems that mimic the relationships found in natural ecologies — Wikipedia 2011). The Walmer community would be taught how to grow organic legumes, herbs, fruit etc (linked to the centre’s training facility).  The restaurant would provide a place to gather, offer a wholesome local meal, and a unique (ecological) experience.

Stables would house two donkeys and a donkey cart, which would be used for the transportation of the greenhouses’ produce to the restaurant, and the centre’s organic waste to the greenhouse plantations. The donkey cart would also be used to do (arranged) pick-ups of recyclables from surrounding residences. The farm animals’ presence in the centre would also appeal to people’s inherent biophilia (instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems – Wikipedia 2011).- The stables have been relocated (will not be accomodated within the centre), due to certain legislations which states that no animals may be kept within a distance of 350m from a 'human activity' building.

An employment agency would not only address the issue of unemployment, but would also facilitate (employment) liaisons between residents of the Walmer suburbs and residents of the location. This would also be linked to the centre’s training facility.

A training centre would in turn provide a solution to the high level of unskilled persons. This would concentrate on training in domestic skills (cooking, cleaning, ironing, caretaking etc), and gardening skills. At the same time it would also be involved in the internal training of employees of the centre, concerning any ‘specialized’ skills required. The training centre’s computer facilities would also be used as an internet café; specifically for the needs of the township community (school research’s, CV printing), where individual attention and teaching would be given.

A funeral home – for the existing demand, it was decided it would be accommodated for; also to do with the reason that the centre aims to reconnect people to cultural roots, as the passing of a loved one is of such importance to the Xhosa culture and their ancestral beliefs.

A takeaway and bakery - to cater for the existing demand, for the school children across the road; with the introduction of healthy and organic foods in place of the usual fast-food takeaways children are prone to eat. This would be affiliated to the restaurant, and would also make use of the greenhouse’s fresh produce.

A swap shop would allow people to donate unwanted clothes (rather than throw them away), buy affordable items, and / or swap one belonging for the other.

A seamstress – for the general repairs of clothing items in order to encourage mending rather than throwing away. This would be linked to the swap shop.

A shoe repair shop, which proves to be a useful service to most, and is once again introduced to encourage repairing versus disposing.

A furniture renovator to overcome and counteract the disposable culture of our society and to uphold the history and connection certain old (antique) furniture pieces have.   

A wood workshop would serve to support the furniture renovator as well as produce (reclaimed) wooden items upon request.

A recycling facility which would facilitate the sorting of recyclables collected from surroundings, or dropped off by individuals. This is also in order to overcome and counteract the disposable culture of our society.

A craft workshop which would make use of recycled items from the recycling facility and be directly linked to it. This would also help to reconnect the people with their creativity and culture, as crafts is a prominent activity in the Xhosa culture.

An organic farmer’s market where the greenhouse’s organic produce would be sold in the courtyard area on weekends (when the shops are closed). The market would also be a platform for the display and selling of products produced in the centre – such as the crafts and wooden items, as well as a platform for local artisans.

Entertainment – the small (thatched) stage would be used for small-scale performances, where cultural evenings (drum circles, story-telling etc.) would be held. This would be linked to the restaurant as part of its dining experience (on occasion).

functions of the community complex’s interdependent relationship and cycles

These seemingly unrelated functions are (as indicated) all linked to one another.
In what concerns the feasibility; the ecologically designed community enrichment centre and its various functions would become a way to teach about land use, culture, and human connections and re-introduce lost values. This is an important function to a population where these lessons and values lack. There is also no other similar centre in the area.

The growing of local organic food not only becomes a source of (healthy) nourishment for the larger Walmer community, but would also inform and instruct them on soils, plants, animals, and cycles of growth and decay. Similarly, the proposed community (business) complex which functions as an interdependent ecosystem, would not only be a source of nourishment (of the body, mind and soul) and meet the community’s needs, but would also inform and instruct them on the role and influence humans have on the cycles of life on earth.

The means to control velocity can be designed into daily life like speed bumps designed to slow auto traffic. Prayer, good conversation, storytelling, music making, the practice of fallowing, shared meals, a high degree of self-reliance, craftwork, walking, and shared physical work are such speed control devices which promote a healthy culture. If done so properly; reconnecting people with nature has the potential of reducing problems concerning ethnic conflicts, economics, hunger, political stability, health, and human happiness (Orr 2002).