+27 84 958 1969 (Sarah)
+27 82 754 4551 (Sumayya)

44 Stanley
Office F8, First Floor
South Africa

Social Media:


Counterspace is a Level 2 B-BBEE Johannesburg-based collaborative architectural studio, directed by an all-women team of Amina Kaskar, Sarah de Villiers and Sumayya Vally. The firm is dedicated to architectural projects, exhibition design, art installation visualisation, public events curation and urban design, which  are often rigorously research-based . Their work is predominantly formed with ideas towards inclusivity, otherness and future; using image and narrative as a means to deconstruct and reconstruct the city.
In 2015, the firm participated in the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, where they showcased their work ‘Lost and Found’, in collaboration with international photographer, Jason Larkin.
Counterspace has also been involved with a number of graphic and curatorial projects with the Apartheid Museum, Local Studio and various universities in South Africa; in addition to various cultural architectural projects in rural and urbanized South Africa, and internationally.

Online Media Links

#BackStoryStock – free representative stock images of Jo’burg citizens for download.

Uncubed Magazine
‘From Agency to Urgency: Experiments in the Impossible at the first Chicago Architecture biennial’

The Huffington Post: Arts and Culture
‘Chicago Shows-off; CultureZohn’

House and Leisure
August 2017
‘10 Inspirational Buildings in Africa’ 

Future Cape Town
6 April 2016
‘Counterspace: A new way of practising architecture

Chicago Architecture Biennial
23 November 2016
‘Counterspace: What is urgent?’

Design Indaba
14 March 2016
‘Architects investigate Johannesburg’s abandoned mine dumps’

Counterspace has participated in production and curation of a multitude of exhibitions, their skill set involving graphic design, technical drawing and rendering, book layout design, writing, display stand design, supplier liaison and installation & project management. They have been involved in the following projects:


‘Lost and Found’ S. de Villiers, A. Kaskar, S. Vally
October 2015 – January 2016. Chicago Cultural Centre.

‘Additions and Alterations’ Johannesburg
November 2015
Fourthwall Books Braamfontein
S. de Villiers, M. Flanagan, A. Kaskar, S. Vally
An exhibition of recent works by Johannesburg architecture firm, Local Studio.

‘Additions and Alterations’ Cape Town
February 2016
The Architect, Cape Town City Centre
S. de Villiers, M. Flanagan, A. Kaskar, S. Vally
An exhibition of recent works by Johannesburg architecture firm, Local Studio.

La Biennale di Venezia, South African Pavillion
May 2014 – November 2014
Sale d’Armi, Venice
S. Vally as assistant curator

‘Wits ArchiMart’
May 2015
Point of Order, Braamfontein
S. de Villiers, B. Hirson M. Flanagan, A. Kaskar, S. Vally
An exhibition of works by the Master of Architecture class of 2014 at the University of the Witwatersrand.

‘ShowOff Exhibition 2016’ Johannesburg
April 2016, Fox Street Studios, Maboneng, Johannesburg.
S. de Villiers, A. Kaskar, S. Vally.
An exhibition of recent works by Johannesburg collocated firms UrbanWorks, Lorenzo Nassimbeni, Parts and Labour and Counterspace.

National Corobrik Exhibition: Idea Bank
April 2015
Maslow Hotel Sandton
S. de Villiers
An exhibition of regional entry to the annual national architecture competition of competing architectural schools around South Africa.