I was interviewed by an Etv news journalist about the campaign to save Princess Vlei from a shopping mall development, and the bid to have plans for a People’s Park on the vlei recognised as a World Design Capital project in 2014. There’s a short article and a video on the ENCA website at the link below:
Dispute halts World Design Capital event
Tuesday 7 January 2014 – 8:17am by Roderick MacLeod
CAPE TOWN – A small vlei on the Cape Flats is again at the centre of controversy.
Developers have been trying in vain for the past 15 years to build a shopping centre on the wetlands.
That dispute has now created another problem… It’s put a project for the prestigious World Design Capital event at risk…
I’ve been working with the Princess Vlei Forum as part of my postdoc and wider work. The PVF is running a campaign to save a lake and wetland in the Cape Flats from a shopping mall development – they want to keep it public land, and develop it as a ‘people’s park’. As one of the strings to their bow in their campaign to save the Princess, the PVF entered their plans for alternative development on the site to World Design Capital 2014 for recognition – you can download their WDC2014 submission, which has been shortlisted.
As a contribution to imagining what shape some of the elements of the park could take, I worked with design company ThingKing on an entry to the competition PlayScapes in August 2013, commissioned by the Princess Vlei Forum. We developed the idea of four interrelated installations on the site, playing on the idea of the archetypal ‘4 elements’ (air, water, earth, fire). For fire we designed a communal story-telling fire site; for earth a playground incorporating planting; for air a wind-activated sound sculpture and climbing frame; and for water we suggested options from a floating bird habitat island to baptism facilities (church groups use the lake for ceremonies).
WindScape – the element of air
You can download a low res version of our competition entry (11 MB).
And you could like our entry on the PlayScapes Facebook page.