Since the advent of the industrial revolution man has become increasingly detached from the idea of making and the processes associated with it. Today’s society is a consumer driven one dependant on machinery as a means to an end. This attitude has lead to industry becoming an exploitative entity that rapidly becomes obsolete due to the static nature of its program. A shift in mindset is required to create healthy environments that balance the acts of being and doing. At the Tswaing crater, the salt and soda reserves in the crater basin were mined and exploited until they were completely depleted. The factory ruins now stand alone as silent witnesses to the downfall of a doomed industry, consumed by nature and ravaged by time. Although the process has long vanished from memory, the scars of industry are still visible on the landscape, providing an opportunity for a new layer to be woven into the fabric of the site. To respect its history, a new, craft-orientated industrial intervention is incorporated within the existing ruins, which allows visitors to get acquainted with the process of making and allows workers to experience the ephemeral qualities of the site. The end goal is to encourage man to dwell within his surroundings blurring the line between being and doing. The intervention is a fabric dyeing workshop where sheets of fabric add a new layer of colour to the landscape. The fabric is sold to the public on site and training is also provided for the public to educate people about the craft of fabric dyeing. The new process works with the natural surroundings, not looking to exploit the resources as before, but instead looking to add value to people’s lives through learning and experience - and not simply creating an economically viable product.
Dissertation MArch(Prof)--University of Pretoria, 2013