Since its inception in 2009, the AfriSam-SAIA Sustainable Design Award has grown into South Africa’s most prestigious sustainability awards programme. Most recently, AfriSam launched the AfriSam Student Design Challenge, motivating the next generation of designers to come up with sustainable solutions and designs in the built environment. An event hosted at the Johannesburg Council Chamber in Braamfontein set the scene for the announcement of the first student winner: 23-year-old Hashim Tarmahomed from Wits University.

The inaugural brief went out to architecture schools across Gauteng, who were required to take an in-depth look at Joubert Park / the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) and how to connect the museum to its immediate community and other audiences. Tarmahomed, who is currently completing his Honours degree in Architecture Studies, grabbed the opportunity to showcase his creative design and love for sustainability.

The challenge to craft a symbiotic relationship between the JAG, its rich art collection and its surrounds was interesting, said Tarmahomed: “The brief was clear: to reconsider the agency of boundaries and to create a new public interface.”

“My entry was built around the realisation that many portrait photographers come to the park to use it as a makeshift backdrop, but are not given a platform to create. My proposal was for the JAG make way for a public photography centre within its precinct to encourage greater public participation, and for the remaining space to continue as a gallery.”

In support of the all-important sustainability agenda, AfriSam and the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) is announcing a call for entries in the AfriSam-SAIA Sustainable Design Award. All architects, engineers, project managers and design practitioners are called to enter projects with a harmonious vision of shaping communities for liveable sustainability. 

 Entries for the Sustainable Design award are accepted in four categories:

  1. Sustainable Architecture; 
  2. Research in Sustainability; 
  3. Sustainable Products and Technology; 
  4. Sustainable Social Programmes.

We encourage all practitioners in the built environment to enter architecture, urban design, technological innovations, systems or research that is reshaping our environment. More than one project may be submitted (separate entries for each) and entries are free. All 2019/2020 entries must be submitted online:  before 31 March 2020