From the Series
Architect Luyanda Mpahlwa is the principal and director of the architectural firm Design Space Africa. The Cape Town-based firm provides architecture and design solutions for sustainable buildings, creative interiors and transformative urban spaces. Mpalhwa’s work is characterised by attention to detail and a quest for excellence, striving to provide clients with a quality product fit to their unique needs and expectations. At the 2013 AZA Architecture Conference, he speaks about his Design Indaba 10 x 10 Low-Cost Housing Project and what he believes the future of architecture should be.
For Mpahlwa the biggest question is “how do we capture tomorrow, today?". His answer to this lies in the idea of using simplicity in design: “Don’t complicate things; you can create brilliant designs with simplicity," he says.
The Design Indaba 10 x 10 Low-Cost Housing Project demonstrates Mpahlwa’s design philosophy of undertaking projects that try to solve problems at a social level. The project aims to stimulate alternative solutions to housing and offers affordable, attractive and innovative responses to the urgent need to house the urban poor. Using sandbags, timber, wire mesh and cement, each house is both sustainable and eco-friendly.
The Design Indaba 10 x 10 Low-Cost Housing Project taught me how to build differently, to engage with communities and to find creative ways of using space, says Mpahlwa.
He further tells us his vision is to develop a practice that roots itself in elevating African design and African-inspired design.
We need to increase our level of appreciation for design, says Mpahlwa.
Mpahlwa also advises young and aspiring architects to invest the time to become the best at what they do and to not shy away from any idea they may have; “we need young fresh minds that not only see the glamorous side of architecture but also see the social responsibility of being an architect," he concludes.