Students from UCT's School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics have been helping to introduce innovations that improve daily life for residents of the informal settlement like Imizamo Yethu, while at the same time getting students hands-on experience for design and construction.
The project was started in 2008 and evolved from 2011 when second-year students started designing and prototyping platforms aimed at improving communal spaces for water collection and clothes washing as part of their course curriculum.
The leader of the project and senior lecturer, Michael Louw says the project came about when a survey revealed that more than 300 people in Imizamo Yethu share one water point.
The aim was to increase the number of water points in the area.
We've built really good connections with community development workers. Together we have identified these specific areas that are really in need of additional water points.— Michael Louw, Senior lecturer in the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics
We basically set up a design project in the studio with second-year architecture students where they went on some technology course and did some prototype thing.— Michael Louw, Senior lecturer in the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics
And a third of the class volunteered to go and build these platforms and water points during the June holidays.— Michael Louw, Senior lecturer in the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics
Louw says they have done about seven platforms to date and have increased water points by 50%.
He says they are involved in other projects in Imizamo Yethu and they have recently started a vegetable garden.
To hear the rest of the conversation with Michael Louw, listen below: