Durban students initiate a space to foster more campus interaction

The Level Six project is the first student-led project guided by professionals to come out of Durban University of Technology.

Former Design Indaba Emerging Creative Thabiso Joyisa started an architectural student movement with his fellow students at Durban University of Technology (DUT). Called Level Six, the team wants to transform the current social and academic space of their architectural department and turn it into a space that improves and promotes the sharing of ideas and experiences. 

Joyisa and his team are aiming to create and construct a studio space by building a new floor on the existing department building. The space will feature a presentation gallery, coffee shop as well as spaces designated for music, art and performances.

In 2020, the project was adopted by the Durban University of Technology into the master plan of the institution. 

“We are in the Envision 2030 programme under infrastructure and development.Credit To the management under the stewardship of Vice chancellor T Mthembu, Dr David Mohale, Prof Moyo and lastly Prof Thwala the dean of built environment,” explains Joyisa. 

Going into 2021, the team will proceed with the design phase. Joyisa also revealed that the next goal is an exhibition, which is set to take place July  2021 where we will see a wide range of speakers and young creatives come together to celebrate design.

For Joyisa the reason why he  embarked on this project is because, “The project is about the innovative impulse that each and every one has inside them, it about a journey of how ideas are worth pursuing, an individual i Thabiso Knowledge Joyisa that stood up and asked questions in the quest to redress our struggles contextually and how i was prepared to go through all the challenges to make this dream a reality, thereafter formed a student organization that become the voice within sphere of design, a solution driven group” he explains.

Change starts where you are. I was doing my second year at Durban University of Technology 2015 when i had the idea, i had models like everyone had, this was not enough, i wanted more, i learned that it not about just having an idea but how you present it, i found myself in a business world while i was still a student, organizing the team, preparing for meetings, attending lectures at some point we had a professional team of experts in the industry to assist with refinement of our project. 

It is about fear, and how you do not get support at first, the lonely journey, persistence and endurance, finally things working out for good. This was to inspire the following generation to take ownership and stand up for what they believe in and there is no any other way but to demonstrate it more than talking about it. “Sometimes it falls upon the generation to be great you can be that generation” by Nelson Mandela. We are who we have been waiting for. It was about taking a chance and following your passion . The spirit of entrepreneurship, the courage, the burning desire to live a mark in this world. I have gained tremendous experience in the process and have grown to be a valuable person in business and relations.

After having several meetings with the Deputy Vice Chancellor of DUT, Dr D Machi, the proposal submitted by Level Six was approved by the university.

According to Joyisa, the total estimated cost of the project is R25 million.

Joyisa started this dream six years ago and in 2020, along with his partner Sphephelo Shange they have finally registered their own company.

“We will be employing students and giving them training in the year 2021. Although our project is a physical building we have had to reconsider other thingS that celebrate design and creatives, we have also successfully hosted exhibition, doing community outreach project inspiring young minds to embrace their creativity and ideas, it cool to be smart i like this term by TebogoDitshego “Intellectual Swag”

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