34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards Regional Winner: Nelson Mandela University

A project focused on waste pickers, a group of individuals largely unacknowledged within the circular waste economy, was declared a regional winner of the 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards from the School of Architecture at Nelson Mandela University in a virtual ceremony on 11 December 2020.

Blake Smit

The project looked at creating a dignified place for these individuals to recycle the waste within the harsh landscape of the Arlington landfill in Port Elizabeth, explains winning student Blake Smit. It incorporated waste building material and building rubble in the form of reclaimed brick and clay products, which were used in unique ways within the design process.

“Architecture and design have been my passion from a young age. However, the specific choice to study architecture came from an interest in understanding space and the impact that a physical place has on people. Architecture has the ability to mend issues that we have faced, are facing and more importantly are still going to face. It is an amazing subject that is able to speak to many other disciplines, subsequently making it a limitless conversation,” comments Blake.

Billed as one of the most prestigious awards programmes of its kind in South Africa, the Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards selects regional winners from eight major universities, based on the students’ final theses. These regional winners then go through to the national round, where the top title is awarded, in addition to a R70 000 grand prize.

“The interest shown by companies like Corobrik in an academic environment sets a particular standard. This interest gives an extra dynamic to a fifth-year academic mindset, and at the same time creates a feeling of outside interest and acknowledgement from a place beyond the academic realm. I would like to thank Corobrik for its ongoing support,” says Blake.

“It is firstly a huge privilege to be part of something like this and to be among the few that have achieved this great milestone. I am truly grateful and feel a great sense of excitement for what lies ahead. Competing in the finals is a bonus, and to be one of the winners is surreal. Being presented the opportunity to take the next step into a national level is the best possible end result,” notes Blake.

He cites his parents as standout role models. “Without my family, none of what I have achieved would have been possible. My family have supported me from the beginning, making the end result of my fifth year remarkably special. Furthermore, the invaluable influence of my classmates has somewhat shaped me as an individual, for which I will always be thankful.”

Blake’s dream for the future is “to meet passionate people and be part of great ideas and to make a positive impact through whatever opportunity is presented to me. Knowing that architecture has the ability to involve people that come from various backgrounds and cultures, I hope to someday create that very opportunity for my local community. I hope to involve different people and their respective disciplines in the making of architecture and open the process up to more than just the individual with an architecturally-trained eye.”

Corobrik has long played a pivotal role in recognising up-and-coming young architects in South Africa, notes Marketing Support Manager Thilo Sidambaram, who herself has been involved with the awards for two decades. The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that all regional and national events have had to be held remotely. “Despite the challenges posed, the country’s architectural students have still managed to excel, and Corobrik is proud to continue to support our universities during this difficult period.”

34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards: NMU

Winner                                         Blake Smit                       R10 000

2nd Prize                                       Joslin Nel                        R8 000

Joint 3rd Prize                                Daniella Patsalos             R6 000

Joint 3rd Prize                                Marinda Holdstock           R6 000

(+ Best Use of Clay Masonry)

Look out for the National Corobrik Student of the Year Awards ceremony that will take place virtually in May.



Latest


26 Feb 2021
Discover the self-care you deserve

In a world filled with day-to-day stresses and responsibilities, it’s often easy to lose sight of your own value. But…

Discover the self-care you deserve

In a world filled with day-to-day stresses and responsibilities, it’s often easy to lose sight of your own value. But the way we see ourselves is equally as important as the way we see others, and sometimes, we need to take a time out to be pampered and wash away…

25 Feb 2021
34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards Regional Winner: UCT Landscape Architecture

Landscape architecture is a way of continuously negotiating between a wide range of practices, involving people, materials and timelines, according…

34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards Regional Winner: UCT Landscape Architecture

Landscape architecture is a way of continuously negotiating between a wide range of practices, involving people, materials and timelines, according to Hayden Malan, declared the winner of the Most Innovative Final-Year Landscape Architecture Award on Friday 5 February. The event was part of the 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the…

25 Feb 2021
Designed for pet stains and spills at home

From scratch resistant to easy-to-clean! Atroguard® is the flooring that pet owners look for. We love our animal friends; but…

Designed for pet stains and spills at home

From scratch resistant to easy-to-clean! Atroguard® is the flooring that pet owners look for. We love our animal friends; but accidents happen. AtroGuard® flooring makes it easy to wipe away the little accidents, and there’s no need to sacrifice style for the inconvenience of an easy-care surface. Warrant guarantee AtroGuard® will not…

24 Feb 2021
Going touchless – public bathrooms

Hygiene is the most important factor to consider in public bathrooms and the Geberit team believe that a touchless environment…

Going touchless – public bathrooms

Hygiene is the most important factor to consider in public bathrooms and the Geberit team believe that a touchless environment is key. The fewer shoppers or maintenance staff need to handle items, the better from a sanitary and hygiene perspective. Geberit sees touchless use in the public sector growing at…


Top stories


23 Jan 2020
Refurbishment at North West University

As the three established divisions of Norcros SA, TAL, Johnson Tiles and Tile Africa recently played important roles in an…

Refurbishment at North West University

As the three established divisions of Norcros SA, TAL, Johnson Tiles and Tile Africa recently played important roles in an extensive tiling project at North-West University’s Potchefstroom campus in North West Province. The project entailed refurbishing the five-block Sports Village, a guest house facility providing accommodation for the public, athletes…

06 Mar 2020
7 Awe-inspiring marble use cases

Marble, an exceptionally versatile material used for centuries to create awe-inspiring art, majestic staircases, classic kitchens and resplendent flooring. With…

7 Awe-inspiring marble use cases

Marble, an exceptionally versatile material used for centuries to create awe-inspiring art, majestic staircases, classic kitchens and resplendent flooring. With today’s contemporary design trends, the wide selection of marble can be used in more ways than ever before.

05 Mar 2020
First Green Key Boutique Hotel in South Africa

21 Nettleton attains their Green Key Award from WESSA, becoming South Africa’s first boutique hotel to achieve this accolade for…

First Green Key Boutique Hotel in South Africa

21 Nettleton attains their Green Key Award from WESSA, becoming South Africa’s first boutique hotel to achieve this accolade for its efforts in sustainability. An exciting partnership between WESSA and 21 Nettleton has resulted in the private boutique hotel in Clifton, Cape Town being awarded the prestigious Green Key award.…

27 Feb 2020
The Nxuba wind farm Renewable Energy

In its ongoing efforts to showcase the potential that renewables can play in boosting the security of energy supplies in…

The Nxuba wind farm Renewable Energy

In its ongoing efforts to showcase the potential that renewables can play in boosting the security of energy supplies in South Africa, Enel Green Power (EGP) highlights its commitment to the country as it nears the completion of its Nxuba wind farm in the Eastern Cape. The company recently started…


Visit the official COVID-19 government website to stay informed: sacoronavirus.co.za