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Dystopian narrative as a tool for the rejuvenation of brown field sites : a proposed mixed use park for Colenso.

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The main function of this undertaking is to explore the theory behind dystopian Science Fiction [SF] and to see how this can be of use in the architectural design process; this exploration will be approached based on, what began as one of the most simple observations, the visual similarity between dystopian SF and places in the built environment. The presence of urban and peri-urban dystopias in South Africa forms the basis of the research problem as well as defines the context [scope] for the research; the initial part of this research will be the setting out of the research problem, the definition of the research boundaries and the structure of research. The research will be motivated based on global trends within the built environment as well as from a South African perspective; stating why dystopian environments should be considered as a very important part of South African heritage and built environment. The method or approach to the research will be outlined; illustrating the thorough process by which the research data will be accumulated and organized within this document. The general structure of the research will be described and can be viewed as a map to the whole document; it could even go as far as being a rudimentary theoretical framework as it shows the supposed links between the research data. The rigorous examination of contemporary literature that falls within the scope of the research will form the main body of this undertaking; it will attempt to build a strong base understanding of the various theories and concepts while tying them back to the topic and sub-topic of the research. The literature will follow the research structure which will make it relatively easy to navigate from dystopia to narrative in an understandable manner. The precedent studies form the second part of the secondary research data and will be analyzed through the previous literature in a critical manner; the main limitation being the connection to the research topic. The precedents will reflect a contemporary perspective on the literature and serve as comparable data for the case studies. The case studies will make up the first part of the primary research data and will undergo a rigorous analysis that is comparable to that done with the precedent studies. These studies will place the secondary data within a new context; highlighting facts that are unique to being in South Africa. The critical analysis of the literature and precedents, carried out through the case studies and questionnaires will drive the research towards its conclusions. It is here that a more refined theoretical framework can be established which will pave the way for the design recommendations that both conclude the research and begin the design process. The aim of this research can be described in two parts; firstly it is to develop the fore mentioned theoretical framework that can be applied to the design of a mixed use park, focusing specifically on brown a field site in KwaZulu-Natal. Secondly, and less directly, the research intends to illustrate a means for architecture, which is rooted in dystopian theory and reality, to be a positive force in the built environment. Creating a dynamic and exiting architecture that can satisfy the human needs for meaning, continuity and hope.


Masters in Architecture. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College 2015.


Dystopian plays., Parks -- South Africa -- KwaZulu-Natal -- Design and construction., Brownfields -- South Africa -- KwaZulu-Natal., Dystopias in literature., Mixed-use developments -- South Africa -- KwaZulu-Natal., Theses -- Architecture., Dystopias -- Architecture.