InCommon – The Possibilities of Collective Space
Public exhibition by FuturePart
Boogertman + Partners were invited to present the 2020 opening exhibition for the University of the Witwatersrand School of Architecture and Planning’s academic year. This invitation created the perfect opportunity to partner with FuturePart, an initiative created by the practice to do research and explore multi-disciplinary design opportunities such as this exhibition, to explore how critical reflective thinking can challenge the status quo and prompt new dialogues in the industry.
The resulting installation is interactive, collaborative and most importantly, accessible to the public. It probes The Possibilities of Collective Space by reflecting on the common ground between design, culture and context. The exhibition raises six critical questions that future architectural design will need to consider and not only puts its projects under scrutiny but has invited collaborators outside the practice to participate.
For Nisha van der Hoven (Curator of FuturePart) the theme InCommon, proposes a shift in approach that will foster the dialogue needed to imagine the practice of the future. “We need to find ways to move from the social and spatial narrative of fear, mistrust, weakening social bonds and individualism, to that of inclusion, community and participation.”
The range of participation on the exhibition includes many of the teams at Boogertman + Partners displaying the inner workings of their projects and also extends to new works. Marcus van der Hoven, (TAKK furniture ) has designed six tailor-made display cabinets that house 15 selected projects that answer to the six critical questions as one part of the exhibition. Alongside this is a display of inner-city Johannesburg street photography shot by accomplished photographer and lecturer, Sally Gaule, and a hand-drawn amalgamated projects and Johannesburg cityscape drawing on a four-meter long table by Justus van der Hoven. The drawing has an interactive component and displays new content on mobile devices when scanned.
It is a statement of hope and exploration of possibilities while reviewing and exploring the connection or common ground between selected projects and how they bring to life the meaning in the making. “It’s a process,” adds Bob van Bebber ( Director, Boogertman + Partners ) “We don’t have all the answers but want to engage with more people to explore the challenges. “
Two new public benches designed and commissioned by Bob are to be permanently located outside the building after the exhibition has closed. This demonstrates the commitment for everyone to get involved.
‘It is time,” he says, “As the leading architectural practice in Africa we have to set up the space for interaction with a broader range of disciplines and try new things.”
The exhibition is on until the 14th of March 2020 and is located in the John Moffat foyer on the East Campus of the University of the Witwatersrand at the WITS School of Architecture and Planning. It is open from 9am – 4pm during the week and from 9am- 1pm on Saturdays until the exhibition closes. Safe parking is available on campus on the Yale Street entrance to the Planetarium, Milner Park.