Traditional southern African dress and architecture : towards the design of the Durban Institute of Fashion.
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Traditional African dress is a wide subject area. This study focuses on the influences of art forms such as fashion design on contemporary architectural design. There is past historic influence that can be identified in creating an identity for contemporary clothing and architectural design. Studying South African traditional clothing and architecture will inform the design for the Durban Institute of Fashion. The historic focus on dress has been limited to that of traditional South African origins and evolutions. This study will seek to identify the traditional aesthetics that were used in the history of dress and architecture whose details will be studied to explore the identity that the aesthetics present. The South African cultures studied include the Zulu, Tswana, Ndebele, Swazi, South Sotho, Xhosa and Cape Dutch. African traditional architecture is the main focus of this project. This study will seek to determine the relevance of African methods for a new architectural approach in South African architecture. The study of traditional building decorations will show how the aesthetics are transferred to architecture to express identity. To support this, a study of building technology and culture has been included. A review of contemporary architecture in South Africa studies and observes how the inclusion of tradition African architecture and decoration can address current issues. The link between studying clothing fashion and this architectural project will be achieved by addressing traditional dress, contemporary fashion designs and African identity. This will include an understanding of traditional African influences on dress from historic times to the present day. The cross-cultural influence focuses only on the western immigrants’ influence. The aim of this document is to obtain from the above an informed approach to the design expressing African identity for the Durban Institute of Fashion.