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Philippa Tumubweinee is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture at the University of the Free State [UFS], a Co-Founder and Director of IZUBA INafrica and a doctoral student at UFS. With a range of experience under her belt and many years spent teaching, Philippa joins the PPC Imaginarium judging panel with much to offer! Here, she shares some insights and advice for contestants.


Please tell us a bit about your background?

After completing my M.Arch Prof. degree in 2006 with a notable distinction in Construction, I was introduced to academia whilst teaching as an assistant studio master in the Architecture department at University of Pretoria. I then went on to join the Department of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg [UJ].

I taught there from the beginning of 2007 to the middle of 2012, working as the First Year coordinator and design studio master as well as being involved in the recurriculation process and programme development of the department. During this time, I co-founded the design and architectural firm, IZUBA INafrica, alongside architect Denver Hendricks, and also served on the board for the Gauteng Institute for Architects (GIFA), contributing to the re-branding and rejuvenation of the institute as an active vehicle through which architects and architecture are disseminated to the broader society. As a member of the board, I was privileged to be part of the project team that brought the first International Architectural Festival (AZA) to South African shores in 2010.

While at UJ, my first year students and I held several public exhibitions that documented the broader urban context of Johannesburg, with the most notable exhibitions being held at the Main Change, Maboneng Precinct, and at the Gesso Studio in Melville, Johannesburg.

In 2012, I moved to Bloemfontein to join the University of the Free State. In the same year, I served on the National Judging Panel for the SAIA Awards of Merit and Excellence and presented a paper on the Esquared House at the ARCH THEO’12 conference in Istanbul.

In 2013, I joined the prestigious AfriSAM Sustainability Awards panel, and became part of the team that supervises the M.Arch Prof. students within the UFS Department of Architecture. I have also recently presented a paper at the NEXUS Architectural Conference in Newcastle, Australia, and will be furthering this research towards a PhD in Urban Geography.

Philippa Tumubweinee

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

Being an avid and active presence in the design and architectural industry in South Africa, with a crippling weakness for shoes.

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

This would be teaching.

What excites and inspires you about South African creative talent?

The overwhelming level of diversity and innovation.

Any advice for the PPC Imaginarium entrants?

Whatever happens, be curious about anything and everything. Do not stop being curious!

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