As the guest editors for this issue of WALLS & ROOFS, we talk about the role of the architect in the professional team and the importance of again taking more responsibility for our designs, instead of passing it on to other players. We are the ones who need to come up with innovative solutions for our clients and we are the ones who need to see that these solutions are realised.

In order to do this, we need not select products off a shelf or from a catalogue, but we need to understand the materials that we are working with and understand what these materials are capable of. Only then can we use them in innovative ways and create solutions that may not even exist yet.

Today, architecture is moving more and more towards the system. Buildings can have a much greater role than merely fulfilling a critical function. Every intervention must have maximum benefit on an industrial, social, economic and, most importantly, phenomenological level. Every opportunity to build must be used as catalyst for change and upliftment.

Are you ready to make the change? We are.

Meet André and Braam
In October 2000, two independent thinkers in the architecture industry came together when André Eksteen and Braam de Villiers started Earthworld Architects.

Since then the firm has won numerous awards and commendations for projects such as the Stortemelk Hydro Electric Plant in the Free State, the sustainable interior of Trailwolf Cycles in Pretoria, the I-CAT Eco-Factory in Pretoria, the Foghound container coffee shop in Midrand, the Centenary Building at the University of Pretoria and several residential buildings.

The two partners lead the firm to constantly push the boundaries of what can be imagined, built and made, as well as to ensure that environmental sustainability remains core to every design and architectural solution that are developed.