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Meet the Judges - Hugh Fraser, 2019


Born in Johannesburg, Hugh Fraser graduated from Wits Architecture School in 1987 and has practiced as an architect for over 20 years. Currently, he is with the Paragon Group, one of the country’s leading firms when it comes to corporate architecture, where he fulfils the role of Media Manager.

He continues to be active in the media industry with a radio slot on 702 and is a published author. In Modern Wineries, a coffee table book published by Quivertree, Hugh explores how the wine industry uses contemporary architecture to appeal to a sophisticated wine-drinking market.

His dynamic career is especially relevant to the PPC Imaginarium Awards as he has worked at the Cement and Concrete Institute previously. Hugh is a judge in the Architecture Category for 2019, and here are his thoughts:

PPC Imaginarium

What are looking forward to about your experience as a judge?

South Africa is exceptionally rich in artistic and cultural talent. This is evident in our movies and locally produced craft. I’m excited at seeing the best of this being submitted.

What themes do you think will emerge in this year's PPC Imaginarium Awards? 

I’m wondering if national politics will have an impact, otherwise the opportunities offered by digital technology.

How do you think young artists can be promoted in the industry? 

Social Media can play a hugely positive role (it can also release a spew of abuse which is unhelpful) in promoting young talent. It also needs to be promoted by established channels of galleries, exhibitions, art fairs.

What are you looking for as a judge?

Work that exploresthe rapidly evolving landscape of South African society; new materials and opportunities offered by technology.

Please tell us a little about your own career and how this experience is relevant to the PPC Imaginarium Awards and your role as a judge?

I graduated as an architect but have been fascinated by film and travel for 30 years. I have been to around 400 cities and towns in 90 countries exploring the built environment. It is a profound privilege but has allowed me an opportunity to look and see.

What tip/s would you give to someone just starting out in their career.

Travel (grin). Grab the opportunities offered by digital technology to express our society’s pulse.

What does innovation mean to you?

An opportunity to interpret the past and the present with the opportunities of the future.

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