- Counterspace’s Sarah de Villiers was selected as entry to the 2017 Archiprix event, held in Ahmedabad for the University of the Witwatersrand. The project emerges from preceding research from her earlier thesis work, Idea Bank, and illustrates through simple interactions over a table, the aggrandisation of creative capital to permit access for an entrant into the formal finance arena. The project is set in Alexandra, Johannesburg, and follows the particular interactions of a woman with an idea to sell groceries door-to-door in Alex’s complex street network. The project conceptually includes the process of social-media vetting, legal and business-savvy ‘servicing’, tool-workshopping, crowd-source trading floors and finally context-sensitive pop-up stores. The project also critiques the impersonal quality of modern-day formal bank and loaning systems, which often wall out people who could benefit from their services most.
The trade-table, as illustrated , may therefore represent a larger abstract system of spatial and social relationships. It becomes a meeting point of the opportunistic with opportunity; where intellectual capital may be serviced and brought out to be realised into physical form. One may negotiate, argue, or trade experiences or goods across this simple item of furniture which has produced a threshold for interaction, while creating a world within itself.
Across a table, no one is ever too far too shake your hand.
This project is resultant of research made through the School of architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand, the publication of which may be found by clicking here.