Constructing Future Cities


We are excited to announce the three participating artists who will be taking part in the CONSTRUCTING FUTURE CITIES programme :

  • Counterspace : An all-women practice invested in finding new architectural languages to bring about new urban forms, comprising Amina Kaskar, Sumayya Vally and Susan de Villiers 
  • Michelle Mlati : A critical spatial practitioner invested in the future sustainability of African cities, currently pursuing a Master of Architecture in Sustainable and Energy Efficient Cities at WITS University
  • Thozama Mputa : Current Masters student, studying Landscape Architecture at the University of Cape Town




  • Visit : Durban 26-28 April
  • Studio Week : Cape Town 22 – 26 May
  • Closing Event : Cape Town (Date and time TBC)


Our future rests on the success of our cities, which currently house more than 50% of the global population. Approximately 800 million more people are expected to move into African cities in the coming decades.

Through research, our organisation has found that these cities are often born out of male dominated, outdated, and unsuccessful modernist-led planning principles, which have served to perpetuate inequality and rupture the systems of justice and quality of life for billions of people. The city of the past can no longer be. A new generation of visionaries who reimagine cities is not only necessary, but urgent.

Despite the rise of female city leaders and professionals around the world and the growing expression of female voices in the built environment sector, gender inequality still exists in the ways cities are envisioned and planned.

As our world becomes more complex, intertwined and yet fragmented, open cultural exchange and understanding becomes more necessary. Our approach to research should therefore include new informants and mediums to engage with these complexities.

CONSTRUCTING FUTURE CITIES is a research programme, which will support 3 or more women artists to produce works which seek to interpret, engage and assemble these views and imagination, of young women in the built environment sector in Cape Town and London.

CONSTRUCTING FUTURE CITIES provides both an opportunity and platform for artists to contribute directly to the research of our organisation.


The overall programme is structured around : 

  1. for our organisation : the collection and research of the views young women in the built environment sector, about visions for cities,  in Cape Town and London by our organisation
  2. for the artists :
    • discussions with the organisation (digitally, every second week) to discuss the research presented or collected by the organisation
    • a 2 day visit to Durban to visit local projects, people and spaces
    • a 5 day visit to Cape Town where artists will live together, share a studio space to produce/finalise their artwork and present their work at a public forum

The visits to Durban and Cape Town provide an opportunity for collaboration and learning with the aim to inspire and allow the artists to meet new people, establish networks, contemplate new projects and to enrich their works. The programme for the artists is largely process-based, with the artists required to produce pieces/works (depending on the artistic medium) at the end of the programme, which they will present at a closing event.

This project forms part of the British Council Connect ZA 2017 Programme. It is also supported by  :