A reporter for The New York Times posed the question to Japanese designer Shigeru Ban: “Katrina. The Asian Tsunami. Haiti. Every time a natural disaster of this order occurs, designers present innovative ideas for shelters that never get built. Why not?”
Shigeru Ban replied: “We don’t need innovative ideas. We just need to build normal things that can be made easily and quickly. A house is a house”.
See also paper in ‘Design for Need’ re. disaster relief.
My name is Ralph Borland, and I’m an artist, designer and technologist based in Cape Town, South Africa. I am currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cape Town on the research project Global Arenas of Knowledge, which is investigating ‘Southern Theory‘. Before that I was a postdoctoral fellow at the African Centre for Cities. This site houses my PhD thesis, and my continuing research into objects (and development) – for more information, please see the About page. This is my journal, where I keep track of articles of interest to my work. You can use the ‘Categories’ menu in the sidebar below to navigate through posts – ‘Objects‘ for example. Please feel free to send me links to examples of interesting objects or anything else related to my research – you can contact me here. Subscribe to this blog by clicking here. For my wider work please visit ralphborland.net
I am currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cape Town on the research project Global Arenas of Knowledge, which is investigating ‘Southern Theory‘. You can see a review of a recent and related book, ‘Africa-centred Knowledges‘ co-authored by my research leader Robert Morrell here. I’ve been interviewing climate change researchers in the Energy Research Centre at UCT. The project runs across Brazil, South Africa and Australia. On 13 September 2015 I’ll be delivering a paper about my work on the project at the World Social Science Forum 2015 ‘Transforming Global Relations for a Just World’, in Durban, South Africa.
Most of the posts in this category of my website are from my postdoctoral fellowship with the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town (August 2012 – January 2014). The African Centre for Cities (ACC) ‘seeks to facilitate critical urban research and policy discourses for the promotion of vibrant, democratic and sustainable urban development in the global South from an African perspective’. I worked on issues around public art, design and culture, especially in the context of Cape Town as World Design Capital 2014. My position was the ‘Max-Planck/ACC Super-diversity Postdoctoral Research Fellowship’, funded by the Max-Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Gottingen, Germany.
Below are posts from my Journal related to my postdoc work.