“Start where the system is. Have empathy with the system and the people in it, particularly as it will not like being ‘diagnosed’.” (Coghlan & Brannick, 2005)


Unit 2_A1_Neighborhood Immersion – Brief


Assignment 1 for  Unit 2: Architecture & Agency kicked off with a week long critical immersion exercise into Johannesburg’s Eastern quadrant of the city, Jeppestown; this part of the city is seeing much development and undergoing a fairly contentious transition at the moment with many new and old stakeholders adding much to it’s change.

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Unit 2 students engaging with the Neighborhood of Jeppestown


map - bjala small 
Bjala Square – Jeppestown

Unit 2 collaborated with the dynamic team from Bjala, who provided much insight into the neighbourhood around their flagship building at Bjala Square, as well as a space to live, work and present from for the week-long immersion process.


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Unit 2 settling and being introduced into Bjala Square by JJ Maia



Strategic planing for the week at Bjala Square


The assignment asked the students to expose themselves critically into the neighbourhood surrounding Bjala Square for 1 week, in order to question the pre-determined and often reductive notion of ‘community’. They were then asked to propose a short action-research exercise to engage with the neighbourhood and present their findings at the end of the week in a small exhibition.


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Unit  2 students conducting immersive day/night mapping


Discussion with local stakeholders were arranged as well as a dinner at the local Odudwa Republic Restaurant in Jeppestown to support the investigation process while students conducted their own personalised action research enquires.


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Dinner at Oduduwa Restuarant in Jeppestown

The work 

The immersion week culminated in an open exhibition in Bjala square where Unit 2 students presented their finidngs to a mixed audience of local stakeholders, users and neighborhood residents.


Ngwato Kekana- www.ngwatokektlou.wordpress.com

Directional Mapping – Ngwato Kekana


Darren Van Gool                 www.darrenvangool-unit2.blogspot.com


Layered Social Context – Luke Venter


Simon Ngubeni    www.missionarch.blogspot.com


Andrea Relling                                  www.andrearelling.com




Andrea Relling – Street Art Commodity


                                       Jarryd Bates                                      www.jarrydbates-unit2.blogspot.com


Sibusiso Lwandle            www.sbulwandle.wordpress.com


Mudiwa Kowo               www.10sqm.blogspot.com








David Spratt – “Who are you Jeppestown?”: Interactive Website