Designing a Public Space in St Louis, USA

From 15 – 17 September VPUU’s director Kathryn Ewing led a Masterclass along with Professor John Hoal and Lecturer Matthew Bernstine from the Washington University Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts in St Louis, USA.

The workshop was based upon a real-site in the informal settlement of Monwabisi Park, Khayelitsha in Cape Town, South Africa. Participating students developed an understanding of the forces shaping informal settlements and the critical behaviors, requirements and practices of its inhabitants. The design exercise took students through a process in which they developed a socially activated, safe public space that is co-designed and understood from a variety of perspectives and conditions. The weekend also encouraged the development of a critical position on the potential role of the architect to mediate a design process within broader social, political and economic systems.


DAY 1: Informal Cities Workshop


DAY 2: Designing a public space – “I wish my public space was…”


DAY 3: Connecting the public space – building the network in an informal settlement


Understanding the street as public space


FINAL MODEL – Well done!