The continuing industrialisation of global society, specifically in developing countries, has resulted in the ongoing extraction of the earth's resources to feed the ever increasing demand for economic growth. What will happen when resources become scarce and unobtainable? What will happen when population growth becomes unmanageable? What will happen when the quality of life becomes displaced by the quantity thereof? The effects of such exploitation are already evident, and the longer solutions toward growing global populations and diminishing natural resources are postponed, the bleaker the future for modern human civilisation becomes. Many tipping points are being approached; some have already been passed. Now is the time to innovate and to find alternatives, as ways to redefine the relationships between people and resources.
This dissertation is an investigation of a post-industrial artefact, an obsolete clay brick quarry and brickworks amidst the suburbs on the southern edge of Pretoria. It has undergone constant changes over the last century and quite noticeably during the last decade, as it lies latent in its obsolescence. The effects of time can be observed in the natural processes of decay, entropy and change, as well as in human development and growth. The history imprinted onto the site tells us about the dynamic patterns and relationships between man and his natural environment, seen in this now Post-Industrial Latent Artefact (P.I.L.A.), and hints toward a path for its future. The principles of Regenerative Design are employed to assist in finding and utilising potential within the P.I.L.A. A new life for the site is found by accessing its inherent potential, while the importance of Industrial Heritage is acknowledged. The programme, as latent potential, is generated through the uncovering of the site's patent potentials, in response to global resource concerns and urban resilience. The architectural design is generated through the conceptual basis of exchanges between knowledge, heritage, the social, the bio-physical, the programmatic, and the tectonic. A social spine is intersected and paralleled by areas of new production, in contrast with areas of historical production, which are all supported by an enhanced ecology and tied together into a new synthetic landscape.
Dissertation MArch(Prof)--University of Pretoria, 2014.