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MEET THE JUDGES: MOKENA MAKEKA

Mokena Makeka is an architect with numerous accolades under his belt as well as impressive projects that range from the rebuilding of Cape Town Station to his involvement in the groundbreaking new Museum of African Design (MOAD). We caught up with him for more on his vision as an African design impresario…

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Mokena Makeka is an architect with numerous accolades under his belt as well as impressive projects that range from the rebuilding of Cape Town Station in 2010 to his involvement in the groundbreaking new Museum of African Design (MOAD).

Recently selected as a member of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Forum of Young Global Leaders, Mokena Makeka’s architectural vision is increasingly making a substantial impact on the South African built environment. Along with running his own studio-based practice in Cape Town, Makena is known for his passion and dedication to crafting a modern African aesthetic. He is currently a lecturer in the Architecture Department at UCT and holds the position of Adjunct Professor at the Columbia University School of Architecture. Likening the role of an architect to that of a fortune-teller, Mokena believes architecture is an integral way towards a post-apartheid society that transcends embedded lines of division and celebrates a unique African identity.

We sat down to chat with him and find out a bit more about this modern design impresario…

MOKENA MAKEKA

Please fill us in a bit on your background?

I am an African. Architect. I design therefore I am. Functionality without beauty is not functional.

Why do you think that you were chosen as a PPC Imaginarium judge?

I am a creative who is passionate about creatives and education.

What is the professional achievement that you are most proud of to date?

Presenting my work and thoughts as part of the Chicago Architecture Biennale, where the top young architects on the planet are showing their work. Also, teaching at Columbia University in New York and the love of students who believe in my work and share my values.

What excites and inspires you about South African creative talent?

We are finally learning to re-script the old narratives into new ones. We are no longer afraid of the old guard, their networks, their myopia, and their fear of the unknown.

Any advice for the PPC Imaginarium entrants?

Play. Work. Be Gentle. Listen. Speak. Repeat.

Find out more about Makena’s work here: http://www.makekadesigns.com.

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