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What Role Should Architectural Prototypes Play in the Global South?

September 14, 2022 Matthew Maganga 0

It’s an essential component of the design process, where spatial ideations are translated into built form – the design of the prototype. Architectural projects, throughout history and in contemporary practice, have been prototyped to carry out both technical and aesthetic tests, where further insight is gained into the integrity of the design. It’s the blurred line between the experimental and the practical.

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Brutalist Interiors: Inside the Buildings of Belgrade

August 24, 2022 Matthew Maganga 0

A city of electric architectural diversity – Belgrade’s Modernist structures give the Serbian capital a unique character. The grey of Belgrade’s Brutalist concrete is one of the city’s architectural signatures, existing in both complex volumetric facades and monolithic rectilinear forms. But while a plethora of architectural appraisals has been conducted on the external qualities of brutalist structures in Belgrade and beyond, photographic documentation of Belgrade’s brutalist interiors is relatively rare – something that photographer Inês d’Orey has sought to change in her most recent exhibition.

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What Will the Furniture of the Future Be Made From?

August 10, 2022 Matthew Maganga 0

In the architectural conversations we are having in today’s world, conversations on materials are widespread. There is discussion on the viability of concrete in the contemporary context, how timber can be more sustainably sourced, and on how biodegradable materials such as bamboo should be more common sights in our urban environments.

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Kampala on a Global Stage: Doreen Adengo’s Cross-Disciplinary Legacy

August 3, 2022 Matthew Maganga 0

Doreen Adengo, Ugandan architect and trailblazer, passed away on July the 22nd of this year, after battling a long-term illness. She founded Adengo Architecture in 2005, a studio based out of her home city of Kampala. A designer who studied in the United States, worked in firms in New York, Washington, and London, and was teaching at Uganda Martyrs University – her legacy is nothing short of extraordinary. It is a legacy that spans disciplines and geographies – but a legacy, too, that is deeply rooted in the context of Africa, Uganda, and Kampala.

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What Do We Do With the Houses of Empire?

July 27, 2022 Matthew Maganga 0

In June 2020, the statue of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston was toppled in the southwestern city of Bristol in England. Before this, the statue sat on a plinth in a prominent public park, before being hauled into Bristol Harbour by Black Lives Matter protestors. This act has led to a long-overdue reckoning in the UK and other Western nations, a reckoning that has necessitated a deeper analysis of monuments that line cities, and how deeply imperialism can be interlinked with parts of the built environment. The ever-green question is, what do we do with these buildings?

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Abandoned Modernism in Liberia and Mozambique: The Afterlives of Luxury Hotels

July 20, 2022 Matthew Maganga 0

The luxury hotel, as an architectural typology, is distinctive. In effect, it’s a self-contained community, a building that immerses the well-off visitor into their local context. Self-contained communities they might be, but these hotels are also vessels of the wider socioeconomic character of a place, where luxury living is often next door to informal settlements in the most extreme examples of social inequality.

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Yemen’s Ancient High-Rises: How Conflict Erases Heritage

July 13, 2022 Matthew Maganga 0

Skyscrapers are an unmissable characteristic of contemporary settlements. From São Paolo to New York, from Seoul to Dubai – these towering structures are a ubiquitous part of the urban fabric. The conventional image one has of these structures is of curtain-walled facades, but in Yemen – an ancient example goes against this trend. Central Yemen is home to the city of Shibam, surrounded by a fortified wall. It’s also home to a dazzling example of architectural ingenuity – tower houses that date back to the 16th century, stretching up to seven stories high.

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The Right to the Beach: Walling off Coastal Erosion

July 6, 2022 Matthew Maganga 0

At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, affluent Parisians flocked to second homes on France’s Atlantic coast as a nationwide lockdown came down on the country. In June 2020, as the lockdown was eased in England, residents headed to seaside towns like Bournemouth to soak in sunny weather. The former scenario reflects the widening gap between France’s wealthy and the poor, whilst the latter is a reflection of the democratizing power of public-access beaches.

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Ecological Control and the Garden City: Utopia for Whom?

June 22, 2022 Matthew Maganga 0

At the turn of the 19th century, a British publishing house would release a book written by an English urban planner – a book with an optimistic title. The title of this book was To-morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform, later reprinted as Garden Cities of To-morrow. The English urban planner in question was Ebenezer Howard – and this book would lay the foundations for what would later become known as the Garden City Movement. This movement would go on to produce green suburbs praised for their lofty aims, but it would also produce satellite communities that only catered to a privileged few.