Never Modern: High-rise Housing and Race in 1950s Johannesburg
|When:||Friday, 20 April 2018 - Friday, 20 April 2018|
|Where:|| Braamfontein Campus East
Anthropology Museum, Robert Sobukwe Block, Ground Floor
The Wits City Institute will host this seminar by Jonathan Cane, postdoctoral fellow at the Institute.
This seminar is based on a draft chapter which intends to account for the unique rejection of high-rise housing solutions for poor black urbanites in South Africa in the mid-twentieth century. What was then called the ‘native housing problem' was dealt with by extensive CIAM-type research into low-rise detached bungalows which resulted in the infamous 1951 design template that has proliferated across the country until this day. Whereas, internationally the mid-century high-rise block came to stand as low-income housing, including in other parts of southern Africa (Southern Rhodesia, for instance), in South African the ‘match-box' house or NE51 continues to both over-determine ways of building and has lead to low-density low-rise planning and continued urban segregation. The chapter aims to (a) account for this historical anomaly and to place South Africa apartheid-era planning in world-historical context and to respond to histories of high-rise low-income planning internationally; and (b) to extend the discourse of verticality and to provide Southern postcolonial contributions to the debate.
Respondent: Margot RubinAdd event to calendar