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The specificity of dignity. Reconceptualising gendered spatial boundaries through a water reclamation plant for Cornubia, Durban.

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The various manifestations of the effects of divisive Apartheid city planning has resulted in the city itself becoming an urgent social question - one such manifestation is the mixed-use megaproject of Cornubia. Diverse and complex as both a driver of economic growth and of social redistribution that simultaneously addresses and reproduces the unjust socio-spatial geography through the commodification of resources and the provision of housing as a band-aid solution to informal citizenship. It is here that the relocated community of the Cornubia Phase 1A: Pilot Phase Housing Settlement are further divided through large scale organisation across the division of access, labour and gender. Literature has illustrated how critical gender and water relations are, with the right to water interlinked with that to equity, dignity and life – the paradox of this relationship is made manifest within Cornubia. Deconstruction as a lens has afforded the opportunity to work with the existing, to reconceptualise citizenship, accessibility and dignity through the paradox and possibility of gender and water relations. An extended method of “walking together”, Masihambisane revealed more than just data, but insight to the way in which the lives of the relocated community are made and remade everyday. The conscientisation of the organic intelligence of the informal access, use and management of water by women in and as architecture has revealed itself as holding the potential to define a more equitable city. Unpacking the concepts behind gender and water relations has proposed a design framework that can be used to inform a socially responsive architecture through dialogue and participation, the layering of social, economic and environmental programme and the changeability of the environment within the proposed, recognising the everyday as a claim to citizenship through A Water Reclamation Plant for Cornubia.


Master of Architecture. University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban, 2017.


Theses - Architecture.