The University of Johannesburg’s Senzo Mamba is one of eight young architects from top South African universities receiving a Corobrik Regional Architecture Award in recognition of their design talent and innovation throughout 2019. In addition to a cash prize, the regional competition winners are through to the finals of the National Architectural Student of the year Award – set to be announced in Johannesburg in May 2020 – which comes with R70,000 in prize money.
Mamba received R10,000, with Sibusiso Mncwango taking home the second prize of R8,000, and Tarien Laubscher receiving R6,000 for third place. A further R6,000 was awarded to Saikumar Singh for innovative use of clay masonry in the building design.
Alternative solution for dealing with waste
Mamba’s thesis is entitled ‘Bricolage: The architecture of waste’. He says, “In the natural world there is no landfill, instead material flow. One specimen’s waste is another’s food. Things grow and die, nutrients return to the soil safely. The cycle circulates. In contrast, as humans we have adopted a linear approach; we extract, we make, we use, and we dispose. A new product comes and we dispose of the old one. This model will simply not work long term. Construction and demolition industries are one of the largest waste generators. And a significant amount of this material ends up in landfills.”
“This project proposes turning vacant buildings into recycling factories as an alternative for dealing with waste issues within our cities, processing materials on-site will reduce energy consumption, transportation and carbon footprint. This project aims to re-think waste by designing a catalogue of new material from it. Waste is not only a local resource but a natural material for practices of bricolage. Bricolage is the theory of making do with the tools and materials that are available. Reclaiming, repurposing, and retrofitting vacant buildings is the first step towards a sustainable future.”