Current Institutional Affiliation
Junior Lecturer Part-time, Architecture, University of the Free State

Award Information

Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa: Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship 2014
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Architecture, University of the Free State
Spatial transformation and political change. Production of space in selected community centres built after democracy in South Africa

Community centres are at the heart of a society as platform for social interaction and to provide basic services to sustain and improve human life. Furthermore, these facilities are catalysts for economic growth, connecting underdeveloped areas such as townships1 with urban areas. But, what is the actual character of these spaces? How are they perceived by community members? Therefore, the central research question explores the spatial production of community centres built after democracy in developing areas. Through Henri Lefebvre's' spatial triad the actual lived space, the representation and inherent embedded codes thereof are explored. The three spatial concepts are mapped supported by semi-structured interviews to understand the current public space as lived by the users and designed by the architects. By understanding the public character of community centres similar public infrastructure can be improved upon, guiding future development. Key words: spatial production, community centres, democracy, townships. [1]Township: Allocation of separate residential areas for different racial groups enforced by the Group Areas Act of 1950. Townships were allocated on the periphery of urban areas. Housing in townships consisted mainly of same sex clusters or hostels providing basic services in most cases.