This is a concerted effort at understanding the contemporary utopian processes
and systems of the formation and spatial narratives of the people it is designed for. Locality and nostalgia is the essence of the times we live in. There is currently a global refuge crisis which is defined and can be contained within each countries borders as well as external forces that disrupt the ‘contemporary utopia’s’ of the times.
Man is conditioned from early life to be fascinated by the longing of a place to dwell.
Safety and familiarity of place is an important state of where people choose to dwell. Dwelling is also a proponent of opportunity where local migrants and immigrants to the environment with limited resources such as South Africa. According to the UNHCR, it was determined that in 2015, South Africa received 62 159 asylum claims. A total of this, 2,499 were approved for refugee status while 58,141 were denied, suggesting that all the applications in the 2015 period were dealt with. However, 14,093 were appealed, and of these 12,361 remained open into 2016 (Africa Check, 2016). The conditions of
these new city dwellers is threatened by a new spatial continuum of land restitution and/or transformation, very bureaucratic legal process, resource accessibility and inclusivity. There is an inherent lack of spaces of community building within the Pretoria CBD, with most space succumbing to decay, a sustained urban sprawl, monofunctional territories, and nucleated densities. New migrants into the city struggle to find formal and informal opportunities and resources for ‘urban survival-ism’. These conditions are ones that have ruinous affects on the cities utopian public spaces that mostly are stuck in the spatial utilitarianism of the time of production.
The dissertation Real and Re-imagined Spaces as Contemporary Utopia’s looks to reevaluate the current conditions of the city that manufacture a hostile urban context and subsequently ‘agonistic’ people without spaces to commune. The urban condition is territorial, consumed by a fence fetish, entrapped by different spatial and architectural utopias and ruins. The presence of ruins is evidenced by a preoccupation with ‘Heritage’ architecture and landscapes. These leftover spaces and heritage provide 1 opportunities to have new layers of memory and legacy that is conscious to erasure, space-making, man and the environment, and the trappings of time.