Design for Change

Architectural Design, amongst all other types, has the ability to be "life-changing" and better yet, able to change the world. Many designers often focus on aesthetic features and generating some form of income.

Design falls into two categories: aesthetic design and problem-solving design, although problem-solving design can still be aesthetically pleasing. 

Aesthetic Design

This refers to how we think and feel about a product or design. The first impression plays a big role here when something is nice to look at therefore aesthetically pleasing. A common example of aesthetic design is certain high heels and their visually appealing style, opposing to the endless pain women go through wearing them. As someone once said, "beauty is pain!" 

Below are the three categories of aesthetics:

Visual Aesthetics

This is visually appealing design consisting of elements such as colour, pattern, shape, balance and texture. Humans are very visual therefore designers often aim to create things that are beautiful and nice to look at.  

Material Aesthetics

These are the materials used in the design with elements such as texture, weight, comfort and shape. This refers to the sleek design of the new watch you just bought or your new jacket that you shouldn't have bought, but couldn't resist. 

Sound Aesthetics

This refers to the sounds of the design. For example comparing two different speakers. Another example is the start of the engine of a car. You will hear the difference of sound. 

Problem-Solving Design

In order to solve problems with any form of design, you need to have a strong understanding of whats happening around you. Following social media, the news and conducting research can help gain some insight. Some of the main topics to target with design (for change) are:


In the past, designers have creatively approached homelessness with design strategies to supply shelter and housing. How can you as a designer approach this? 

Natural Disasters   

Think of ways to act after a disaster. For example, there was an earthquake resistant school designed in Thailand. Prevent fires by designing communities surrounded by fire breaks. 


How can we conserve the planet with design? Think green design, recycling, sustainability. Solar powered designs have become a very effective approach. 


Crime is a global issue. Architectural design can be utilized to create safer environments. Cities can be designed in ways that are better for surveillance. 

Think bigger remember that your idea could change someone else's life. Collaborate with other designers and address social/environmental issues. Create projects. Design for change. 

Written by Tarryn Hardwicke

House Bain

The Bain family approached us through a suggestion from their son who was a student of Quinton J Damstra, founder of Wildetecture. Initially, we met at their home in Baronetcy. They had recently acquired a corner plot in the same estate and were eager to get started on their new home. 

From the beginning, we could see they were not new to the building industry with direct course and influence on what they wanted to achieve. The brief had specs and was great to work through, as it is sometimes very difficult if the client has no direction.

After looking at the unique sloped site we began with our design concept, terracing the levels to use the slope as an advantage to grab the most beautiful views. The house was orientated and rooms were opened on to the mountains doorstep.



Cubist was our approach - pulling the design to create drama on to the mountain. We broke the levels and elevations to create drama and stance - we pushed for the wild but kept in budget by leaving suitable overhangs and cornered pillar supports, we struck rectangular cubes out of the earth and speared them towards the sky, and then gave them inspired detail, mixing raw concrete finishes with pale whites and dark greys. Even the boundary wall levelled along the sweeping slope in stages. The bottom entrance approach creates an overpowering facade, and then once entering the home you look back in awe as table mountain unveils its striking presence and you are left with only the mountain and sky as you lay in your lounger while the breeze pulls the coolness off the pool and over the deck into the living areas which are opened up by large stacker doors. The space creates a relaxed environment for the family and friends.

The client loved it from the get go, with a few minor iterations, we were ready to go. Client had already sourced his building team, and was really involved and close to project.  

Through the design one always had a sense of family unity, the place was designed so family and friends could easily visit and stay over. Entertainment areas with a pool and breathtaking views of table mountain.

This massive 600M square house has a self-sustaining granny flat. Parking for 8 vehicles, pool, terraced garden with koi pond, private guest room and bathroom with own entrance, flatlet, gym, large entertainment areas - open plan kitchen, stacked verandas, indoor braai with panoramic views onto table mountain - uninterrupted with their unique corner plot along Baronetcy Estate boundary.

It has been a pleasure designing the Bain families dream home, and we look forward to the final result.  




Sustainability and art-chitecture

...and does it change the nature of architecture?

What is sustainable architecture and what is its purpose? Sustainable architecture aims to reduce the effect of buildings on the environment through moderating the use of materials, energy and overall use of space while also taking the future generation into consideration and creating a greener, more sustainable future for society while still creating a paragon! 

Human health and the environment (present and future) drive architects towards sustainable design. Architecture differs now during the 21st century than it did in the past. Technology is advancing at a rapid pace which benefits architects enormously when it comes to sustainability. 

The two topics under discussion today are, does building in a sustainable manner affect the true art in architecture? Here we look at wasteful buildings vs sustainable buildings and whether in today's society, waste can be viewed as distasteful. Secondly, we look at the various ways an architect can go greener. 

There are many debates over whether sustainable architecture shows its true colours when it comes down to an artistic perspective. Then again, as the world evolves, so does society, and as we evolve so do our views. Perspectives change the way in which we see and feel about certain things due to certain circumstances, such as pollution etc. Sustainable design, done effectively, has the ability to better the future, therefore this is something truly beautiful.

Sustainable design starts with the conscious decision for change.   

Use of recycled materials 

Reduce the use of volatile organic compounds - Non-toxic materials

Use local materials/sources

Bear in mind energy use and pollution

Integrate vegetation into structures

Make use of natural sources such as sun, wind, and energy

Urban gardens

Building placement - structure it around peoples everyday lives

Waste management on site

Solar panels, wind turbines, solar water heating

Designing buildings that encourage natural light and/or air flow

In conclusion, each day designers are initiating fresh ideas and the future looks promising. The design world has boundless possibilities. This article is merely a conjecture. We at Wildetecture like to think that designs for the 21st century cater for eco-friendly building practices and functional space usage. 

Written by Tarryn Hardwicke

Brought together through architecture

Architecture speaks a strong language. Each step of the process has meaning and is interpreted differently by each individual, much like poetry. There is certainly more to architecture than just it's pretty face. It impacts on society, their emotions and experiences. It transforms and fixes and then there's the environmental side which is a whole 'nother story but we will get to that later on.

Today we look at how it can divide and how it can bring together. These are two exceptionally powerful actions depending on how they are applied and under what circumstances. Lets go into a little more detail shall we? 

The world is always a better place when society gets along and as architects if this can be achieved then, well, why not? The topic up for discussion is perimeter walls, lower boundary walls or no garden walls at all. 

It all started in the ancient times when walls were used for different purposes. Many cities surrounded themselves with enormous walls for protection. Walls were also built on the inside of cities dividing spaces that differed socially for example royalty. Lastly walls protected civilizations from wild animals.

If we look at civilization today, many of us are still hiding behind these big walls. Of course there are reasons such as the need for privacy or fear of crime, but it could also be viewed from a completely different perspective. Everything in this world has meaning and is psychologically interpreted by each individual in their own way. For example a wall separates one space from another as we all know but it also creates the feeling of exclusion, it divides society. A wall opposed to a fence has a completely different psychological effect on the mind, for instance one can see through it, giving one a sense of knowing what is on the other side. Walls are also built relating back to ancient times, for the feeling of protection. Notice the word "feeling" used in the previous sentence. This is mentioned because a wall creates a sense of safety but is really just privacy.  

Bring together...

Reduced boundary walls could create a greater sociability in a community which overall creates a tighter knit in society. Neighbourhoods would be inclined to bond and lookout for one another. Reduced boundaries and less build would do wonders for the environment. This is where nature can be utilized. Why not create your own "perimeter"? From trees or bushes to large rocks one can go wild.  

To conclude the topic, it is definitely a wild architectural view but the beauty of this industry is having the ability to explore perpetually.

Written by Tarryn Hardwicke