UJ Alumni Impumelelo Magazine Edition 8

engagement is crucial in discussing and exploring ideas concerning design and practice while also fostering synergetic relationships between different building disciplines.” Kamal’s thesis investigated drawing as representation and developed prototypes in the form of drawings, instruments and immersive videos. These prototypes develop modes of representation that subvert linear viewpoints and illustrate the multiplicity of narratives embedded within space, he explains. Focusing on modern Egypt between 1827 and 1952, his project uses drawing to construct “the hidden hauntings of colonialism and modernisation across three main historical

Above: Old Epoch Cairo uses 2-point perspective in a way that distorts and stretches out architectural elements revealing portals that expose the complexity of industry, trade and hybridity. This drawing portrays the space as a machine of industrialisation. Right: Reconstructing two photographs of the hotel’s interior allows the spaces to extend beyond the frames of the photo. This representation subverts the linear viewpoint exposing more hidden

narratives. Through using cartographic transformations, the second drawing is experienced as a 3D space through navigation.

events”, namely the Battle of Navarino, the Bombardment of Alexandria and the 1952 Cairo Fire. When he started his initial research, he found that all the monuments and spaces that interested him tied back to this period. Also, there were gaps in the historical archive in this period and he felt the thesis and its methodologies could help uncover and speculate these missing pieces of history.

and the months leading up to today, I know we should pursue our passions and ideas even if they do not have an immediate result or application. Since the competition, my career has developed into transforming all the ideas and concepts that I have learned into an existing working environment, to test and get feedback on what I have learned.” Completing his architectural studies from undergraduate to master’s degree presented a great challenge and took a great deal of patience, time and effort. The journey, however, proved to be life-changing

and the lessons learned invaluable.

“I was surrounded by amazing people, from friends to lecturers, who inspired me to think in different ways, and have always been an incredible source of support. I found their different ideas and ways of working inspiring, and that turned out to be instrumental for my project. My biggest challenge was simultaneously one of my biggest opportunities.” Kamal Ranchod holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Johannesburg.

Kamal says architecture is important as it can serve as the agent of change in our environment. It can help us

rethink and navigate economic, political and social factors. He is still developing his best qualities as an architect and will probably continue working on it for the rest of his life. These qualities involve the ability to listen to people, to the environment and everything that informs us, he says.

“Looking back to the competition


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