Exploring the influence of traditional healing practice to space and form: a design towards a traditional healing centre in KZN.
Khuzwayo, Siyabonga Wiseman.
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The World Health Organization defines traditional healing as ‘health practices, approaches, knowledge and beliefs incorporating plant, animal and mineral based medicines, spiritual therapies, manual techniques and exercises, applied singularly or in combination to treat, diagnose and prevent illnesses or maintain well-being’. Furthermore, this holistic type of healing, which is also loosely referred to as folk medicine, ethno-medicine or native healing is the oldest form of healing in which Nguni healers relied on to treat diseases long before the era of civilization. However, due to the discoveries of African colonies which instigated regulatory laws, advances in modern technology and exposure to global trends, this form of healing carries a negative connotation of being regarded as irrational, uncertified and a perilous alternative form of healing in the contemporary era. This body of works intends to focus on deciphering the notion of traditional healing, with the aim of ascertaining how architectural design can pose as a medium for furnishing the traditional healing entity with meaningful spaces and built-form that relates to the contemporary era and also investigate how architectural design can be utilized as a tool to change the negative connotation that is associated with the realm of traditional healing in the contemporary era, whilst preserving the African indigenous values, cultures, and beliefs.