Bringing life to architecture

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Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University's school of architecture has been busy at work for the first few months of this year with yet another exhibition of student work under way, this time at the Alliance Française in Richmond Hill.

This past weekend saw the launch of the school’s second exhibition after their initial architectural presentation launched at the Cape Institute for Architecture (Cifa) in Cape Town earlier this year, which showcased some of the works completed by first-year students.

The Cape Town exhibition, Palladio and the Modern, runs until April 28 at The Architect Pop-up Gallery.

The latest exhibition, also showcasing works by first-year students, An Interpretation of Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino runs until May 6 and features a selection of handmade collages.

The works showcased at the Port Elizabeth exhibition were created by students who were taught by lecturers Ernst Struwig and Dr Magda Minguzzi during the course of their lectures in design and architectural presentation technique.

“Every handmade collage is a personal interpretation of one of the imaginary cities described by Calvino in ‘Invisible Cities’, probably one of the most quoted books by architects and urban designers.

“The exhibition will present to the public an incredible variety of expressions, richness of messages and reflections about the urban space which the young generation has been exposed to,” Minguzzi said.

Alliance Française director Charlotte Jarnet, who attended the first architectural department exhibition earlier this year had been impressed by how “colourful and fresh” the first year collages were – and an invitation to exhibit at the Alliance Française followed.

“Our first-year students are really great. Perhaps it’s because they arrive fresh from high school, but they are so enthusiastic and so engaged with the projects we give them. They are really serious about the discipline of architecture,” Minguzzi said.

Minguzzi said that second and third-year architecture students were also being given opportunities to showcase their skills through different initiatives.

Second-year students will be creating a sculpture at this year’s AfrikaBurn Festival in the Karoo, starting April 25, while the third year students are participating in a number of student competitions.