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Getting There: Stan's Introduction

Updated: Sep 1, 2021

I've reached a high point in my architectural career, and want to share how I got there. I was born in South Africa and grew up in a town in the Eastern Cape along the Indian Ocean and close by the African bush. I was deeply attracted to nature and have only now realized that nature was my classroom.

My first encounter with architecture was watching a weaver bird building its nest amongst the reeds of a wetland pool. Using what existed there, the male bird chose the perfect site, and began weaving thin strands of reed grass to construct a nest. Only when the female bird was completely satisfied with the construction did she accept the invitation to settle in. Looking back, I must have made the connection right there with what was to become my lifelong profession and passion - architecture.

I was quite good at sketching but had never taken a drawing class, so my first day at the University of Cape Town, School of Architecture, was eye opening. Looking over the shoulders of my fellow first year students as they dived into our class's first assignment, I saw what seemed to me to be twenty-five Michelangelos as I searched for my new eraser. It took me a while until I met our Professor who immediately resonated with me. He started to impart what he called "the realm of architecture." With this expansive new phrase I could now see architecture's greater dimension, and for me, the flame was lit. I began to sketch with more intent, striving to capture the spirit I was searching to convey. This took a long time to master, and when it finally was, an architecture that speaks began to emerge. Significant realizations were made on the way and I felt I was on the path to discovering the source of architecture.

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