Almost 300 professionals attended the DAS Johannesburg Conference, an annual event by Media in Africa which is helping industry professionals to enhance their work, at Bytes Conference Centre in Midrand on 10 March. The theme for this year’s event was “The power of architecture and design: Conversation on the creative process, materiality, cities and building design”.
Marlene van Rooyen, managing director of Media in Africa and founder of the event, says DAS is a multi-faceted event with expert speakers, exclusive product exhibitions and networking opportunities. She says experts share their knowledge on speciality topics, as well as educate, inspire and address issues facing the architectural and construction industry.
Inspiring speciality speakers
• Catharine Atkins, director at Co-Arc International, and Malika Walele, architect at Co-Arc International, discussing the story of The Leonardo.
• Charrisse Johnston, director of the African Institute of the Interior Design Professions and Studio Salt, talking about the blurring lines between commercial and residential design.
• Marc Sherratt, managing director MSSA, speaking about “Fire House: How net positive design can create a socio-economic opportunity in informal settlements”.
• Juliet Kavishe, IID Johannesburg ambassador, sharing more about “Design ID vs EGO: A creative process”.
• Peet van Straaten, product designer at Raw Studios, discussing “In-house: Furniture you can live in”.
• Thulani Vuyo Kuzwayo, co-founder of Paper Think Lab, speaking on “Reimagining sustainability in leadership in Africa”.
• Rudolf Bitzer, an architect at Kaye and Kaye Architectural Consultants, talking about “Bisociation as a driving force in design: How design tools and principles form the basis for a creative task across disciplines”.
• Helene Potgieter, an architect at HPA Architects, sharing more about “Happy endings for old buildings”.
• Senzo Mamba, Corobrik Johannesburg winner, speaking about “Bricolage: The architecture of waste”.
Architects share their experience
Vikash Mithal, senior architectural technologist at Paragon Group, says it is the second DAS Johannesburg Conference he has attended and the event keeps getting more interesting. He says he enjoyed the speakers, and especially finding out more about modular design and sustainability.
“I think the architectural field is moving in the direction of modular design and sustainability; and architects need to learn more about these areas. I also learnt a great deal about design features which I had not thought about before, and about the construction industry in general,” says Mithal.
Joy Campkin-Smith, an architect from Studio Joy Architects, says she found the conference to be phenomenal value for money. She says there was a great range of speakers – from technical and sales people to designers and creatives – which made it really interesting.
“The highlight of the day for me was Peet van Straaten, product designer at Raw Studios, who I think is a cutting-edge designer who is really brave in what he is doing. So I hope he is greatly successful. I also enjoyed listening to Marc Sherratt, managing director of MSSA, speaking about net positive design. I don’t often get to see innovative design nationally, so it is inspiring when creative designers like these come together,” says Campkin-Smith.
Top sponsors making it possible
Sponsors of the event included MiTek, Rigifoam, Safal, Kohler (voted best stand), Technical Finishes as well as ABE, Alsysco, BMI Group, Ceramic Industries, Eva-Last, FloorworX, Saint-Gobain Gyproc, Sika and Superb Flooring. Sponsors had the opportunity to present their products, projects and industry updates at the event, as well as showcase their exhibition stands.
For more information, visit www.buildinganddecor.co.za.