Thursday, January 12, 2017

why not create a design school in Khayelitsha ?

Apart from being heavily involved with QJD design studio and Wildetecture, (evidence of these 2 studios work is very much available on the net.)  What folk might not be aware of is  i am also a teacher. i have been a contract chalk and talk teacher since 1994, when i worked as a lecturer for the CAD training center, teaching multi disciplinary draughting skills on the drawing board and CAD.

To be brutality honest about my experience as a chalk and talk teacher. the real value for me is the process of teaching itself , the passion of making a very small difference in a students life. because in my experience there simply aint no money in teaching. so if your thinking of taking up a profession in education to make money - you might want to re-look at what makes you really happy. and if its making moola - i would suggest finding another profession.

moving on -

Having facilitated classes in multi disciplinary draughting, CAD driver skills and design over the years since then. i have been part of the teaching set up in several draughting training facilities since 1994 here in SA.

listed below are a few of the learning institutes ive been involved and am currently involved in.

CAD training center , academy of draughting , intec colleges group, Damelin, Northlink colleges, i am currently on the academic board and a lecturer at the academy of inventive design and technology. Academy IDT. i am also an examiner and a moderator for the DHET TVET colleges here in SA. since 2008 i have set exams, ISATS and moderated papers for Achitectural graphics and technology L2,L3,L4 , CAD, drawing office procedures and techniqus L3. i have also been privileged enough to advise on the compilation of unit standards.

I  was invited to facilitate a 2 week basic NQF1 sustainable community housing course in Khayelitsha informal settlement by the sustainability institute,  the department of human settlements & juta books awhile back.  held at the library and on a site where we could practice actually building foundations and plinth walls and cast concrete floors. - the students where mostly Xhosa speaking and of varying ages. because of the language issue it was easier for me to communicate in hand drawn  pictures,  i compiled these lessons on A1 paper in front of the class. which powerfully illustrated the concepts being taught without 2 much verbal dialogue. trying to overcome the obvious language barrier. the amazing thing was the pictures i received back from the students after the lessons. bearing in mind that these students had no formal artistic or draughting training. the natural ability was astounding for me and i realized the talent within this community for design and communicating using sketch is to my mind untapped. 
Schools are set up that force a particular way of thinking, the student needs to fit into the framework of the educational system, adapt or fail.  this is the exact schooling system i struggled against when i was learning - by me trying a different less stressful approach to teaching for me had incredible results. below is 2 of the architectural 3d sketches given to me by 2 students after a lesson. this they did on their own after watching me sketch 3 dimensional drawings of foundations , houses , walls and plinths.

why am i writing this blog - well

I just read Mr Gates and Mr Zuckerberg are not funding a few schools in Africa anymore. this is very sad,  as education is definitely something that makes a massive difference in  lives. if these 2 gentleman want to discuss funding a Pilate design school option here in CT, for folk living in informal settlements - i would be very happy to work on the DNA for the first design school. i have a passion and experience to make the graduates of this learning facility punch way above their weight in the world of work. the school can act as a bridging course to further engineering studies once the graduates have added value  and gained experience in the world of work. 

i feel i am perfectly placed to create a meaningful interaction between the various role players across the world of work platform. from the informal settlement student to the various industry controlling councils, voluntary associations (i have been an exec member of the SAID since 2001)  and the possible design learning facility.

please see the 2 passionately draughted pictures from the 2 students who completed the 2 week sustainable building course i facilitated. all the other drawn work i handed in to be moderated by the institution running the course. these 2 pictures where done for me to say thank you and after just 1 week of teaching.  they where inspired to use their entire set of donated crayons on these pictures. they are extremely bold, vibrant and exciting - exactly what Africa stands for - however the learning facilities are out of these peoples grasp. creating a design school that instills a passion is how one would look to bridge the divide between and informal settlement dweller and first world professional practice.

So to Mr Gates and Mr Zuckerberg why dont you take a chance on a small design school DNA venture project. im sure you would know how to reach me and what i would need to bring to the table in order to show suitable commitment.