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South Africa’s Waste to Wonder Pavilion Transforms Public Space with Upcycled Trash

South Africa’s Waste to Wonder Pavilion Transforms Public Space with Upcycled Trash


South Africa’s Waste to Wonder Pavilion Transforms Public Space with Upcycled Trash

Architecture studio theMAAK has unveiled a new installation as part of the 2019 experimental Design & Make program Follies in the Veld (FITV) in Cape Town, South Africa. The team worked with makers and the community to collectively design and build a large scale ‘Folly’. Each year, a specific site and a unique material is used as the departure point for the hands-on creative program.


© Sophie Zimmermann


© Ella Petousis


Courtesy of theMAAK_FITV 2019


Courtesy of theMAAK_FITV 2019






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Courtesy of theMAAK_FITV 2019
Courtesy of theMAAK_FITV 2019

This year, an open public space next to the Old Pass Museum in Langa was chosen as the site, and the full project team worked with Tetra Pak to build this year’s Folly. Langa-based creative collective OurWorkshop and Cape Town based artist and educator Amy Rusch were included as co-facilitators of the FITV 2019 course. Working with theMAAK, there was an overarching theme of ‘working with waste materials’ (hence the decision to use Tetra Pak as the primary building resource). The process and outcomes of this years program aimed to illustrate a more proactive approach and understanding of what is ‘waste’ with the idea of empowering, educating, and prompting dialogue with others around the topic.


© Ella Petousis
© Ella Petousis

As the team explains, as part of the broader social agenda of theMAAK ‘to help make quality design more accessible and inclusive in SA’, this year’s FITV program was hosted in Langa (a low-income area in Cape Town), with half of the workshops participants being creatives from the local community. Together with a range of other collaborators, the mixed crowd created a platform for like minded people of different skills, background, class, and race to exchange, share, and learn together.


© Sophie Zimmermann
© Sophie Zimmermann

A priority of this year’s course was to help foster a more dynamic ‘culture of use’ for public spaces in developing communities. Even though the outcomes of this years FITV are temporary, the project team hopes that the final build will prompt positive attention toward how to better address public spaces and embrace them as community assets. The swooping Tetra-Pak canopies that were built this year were made to reflect this attitude, and this year was the first sojourn of FITV into an urban/public arena.

theMAAK primarily works in low income areas and developing communities with the aim to help deliver “World-class architecture for those that need in the most”. They believe that more inclusive, purposeful, and beautiful public infrastructure, spread across the full range of our cities, has the ability to better resource South African communities whilst providing opportunities to better connect and learn across our many social, cultural, and racial boundaries. Individuals and organizations interested in partnering with theMAAK can get in touch here.



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