Thebe Exhibitions and Projects Group
Thebe Exhibitions and Projects Group
Thebe Exhibitions and Projects Group
Inspired by the African Quest for Excellence
Thebe Exhibitions and Projects Group
exhibitions, special projects, events, conferences, venue management
exhibitions, special projects, events, conferences, venue management
exhibitions, special projects, events, conferences, venue management   exhibitions, special projects, events, conferences, venue management  
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Decorex Durban and the KSA Kitchen & Bathroom Faire 2010
– Conversations on Architecture

Imagine the Difference with Conversations on Architecture

Heralded as the must-attend architectural conference of the year, Decorex SA in proud association with CaesarStone will present the second annual seating of Conversations on Architecture [COA] at the ICC in Durban. To be held on Friday 19th March 2010 from 09h00 – 13h00, an illustrious line-up of super-architects will each present an insight into the latest trends, future visions, technologies and aesthetic approaches to the built environment. Themed Imagine the Difference: Sustain. Revamp. Renew – Conversations on Architecture is bound to be thought provoking, controversial and inspirational to professionals of the trade, as international guest speaker Conrad Gonsalves is joined by leading local talent Andrew Makin, Rodney Harber, Dean Jay and Richard Stretton.

As thought leaders and innovators in the world of décor and design, it shouldn’t surprise that Decorex SA is taking the perspective of ‘eco-easy’ [as published in a recent online trend analysis] in 2010 and this approach will certainly be reflected at Conversations on Architecture. According to Melanie Robinson, exhibition director, Decorex SA, “Conversations on greening are still a top priority while our architects move ever closer to creating the ultimate in environmentally sensitive environs. We are also bound to see the edgy design that strives to outdo.” This mentality combined with an approach to ‘eco-easy’ is bound to cause a stir at COA given the calibre of speakers and direction in which architecture is heading.

“Architects and designers are at the forefront of cutting edge design innovation and CaesarStone is delighted to be supporting our South African architects and designers,” says Trevor King, National Branch and Market Development Manager for CaesarStone.

Since Conversations on Architecture continues to make a significant contribution to the continuous professional development of the architectural fraternity by bringing to South Africa, some of the best speakers in the field of architecture available in the world today, it is a fitting match for Decorex to have paired with the internationally renowned product CaesarStone. King continues, “Excellence of quality and innovation in design, are CaesarStone’s two core values and for this reason it makes huge sense to us to be able to play a small part in contributing to the ongoing development of innovative design.” According to Cairey Slater, general manager, exhibitions – Decorex SA, “We are living through one of the greatest movements in history. With a new era in sustainability being issued in, boundaries are being redefined as the built environment returns to Mother Nature as source and inspiration. Function and form together with a globalised community form the basis for new directions in urban and town dwelling. The new ‘spacology’ is being characterised by an integrated and seamless coherence between the built and living environments, while the question of returning to regional identities remains in the foreground.”

Tackling these issues and more are:

Conrad Gonsalves: is a qualified Interior Designer and Fellow Member of the Institute of Indian Interior Designers - IIID where he was the National President from 2002 to 2004. He has represented the IIID at conventions of the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers – IFI - and for the Asia Pacific Space Designers Association, APSDA - besides conducting workshops and making presentations in Taiwan and South Africa. His professional design services have reached out to a wide category of projects ranging from hospitals, banks, corporate offices, television and sound recording studios for clients ranging from community banks to multinationals. Conrad has been involved with Design Education and presently lectures at the Rizvi College of Architecture; Bandra occasionally contributes to columns and publications on Design and has served as a member of external examination juries.

Andrew Makin: graduated at the University of Natal in 1989 and won the Sonny Tomkin Award for best student in final year in the School of Architecture. Thereafter he gained work experience in a number of London based architecture practices and on his return to South Africa he worked for Stauch Vorster architects and Hallen Theron and Ptns. In the mid 90's Andrew established a one-person practice and in 1997 Andrew, Janina Masojada and Paul Wygers, of Urban Solutions architects and urban designers in Johannesburg, entered the international competition to design the New Building for the Constitutional Court of South Africa. In 1998 President Nelson Mandela awarded them the first prize which included the commission to design and deliver the project. The project has won regional and national Awards of Merit and a national Award of Excellence from the South African Institute of Architecture [SAIA]. Winning this project catalysed the formation of designworkshop:sa [formally omm designworkshop] in 1998 with Andrew Makin and Janina Masojada as founding partners. In 2006 Mark Horner joined Andrew and Janina as a partner, and Carina Strauss is an associate. Work now ranges from Strategic Concept projects for major local and international retailers, property developers and Traditional Nations to architectural and urban projects in the hospitality, commercial, residential, recreation and civic sectors. In early 2009 Andrew was invited by Australians Richard Leplastrier and Peter Stutchbury to share the leadership of the first South African design Master-Class as an extension of the Glenn Murcutt Australasian series. designworkshop:sa has won 4 SAIA national Awards of Excellence, the largest number awarded to any practice.

Rodney Harber: has distinguished himself as an architect, architect-teacher, architect-planner and ambassador for the built environment. He graduated in 1965, He first worked for Hallen & Dibb and then accepted an appointment to the teaching staff of the University of Natal in Durban. In 1987 he attained a qualification in Planning, and subsequently developed a keen interest in alternative yet sustainable construction, in low-income housing and in the conservation of historical architecture - in addition to his long-standing interests in Islamic and Hindu architecture. He was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 1992. Rodney’s buildings and projects have been widely published and exhibited around the globe. Rodney is co-author of the book Hindu Temples in Natal and has contributed to numerous architectural publications. He has represented the KwaZulu-Natal Institute on various local and provincial committees, most notably, the Durban City Planning Committee. He served as President of the Institute for an unprecedented 5­year period and chaired the KZN Architectural Heritage Committee during 1989­/97. He was appointed as a Council member of Amafa aKwaZulu-Natali (Heritage KwaZulu-Natal) in 1999, and a year later, as the solitary architect-member of the Council of the South African Heritage Resources Agency. He has served as Director of the African Art Centre, 1983/­88, and had conferred upon him the title of Honorary Patron in 1997. He served as President of the Natal Society of Arts 1974­/78; and Vice-President of its national counterpart, the South African Arts Association, during 1979­/82. As a planner, he held the Chair of the KwaZulu-Natal Branch of the South African Planning Institute, 1993/­94. It is because of his outstanding work as a roving ambassador for Architecture and the respect and affection he has so earned, that the SAIA Medal of Distinction is being awarded to Rodney Harber. Rodney also received an international award from the UIA (International Union of Architects) in 2008 for his continued dedication to improving the living conditions of his fellow citizens both locally and internationally.

Richard Stretton: graduated from the Architecture Dept at UND in 1993 with very little fanfare. Being somewhat disillusioned with the profession of Architecture he chose to head out for a few years to explore the planet a little and think about work life and design. On a small Island off Thailand Richard had the idea of a design business that has evolved into Koop. The idea was to start small, design intensely and when, larger commissions came they would be projects that required the same intense level of design. Soon after returning home, a project presented itself. A community on the shores of Lake Sibayi (far north KZN) got investors to fund the development of a camp on the Lake. He ended up living in this community for 18 month building 2 camps. This was the start of a design and build practice that grew from his mother’s garage, handling small furniture and interior projects. As time passed the small items became resolved furniture products and the design projects became full-scale architectural commissions. Presently Koop is a multi-disciplinary design studio with a full Architectural team as well as a furniture and product design team. Products range from high-end furniture to simple flat pack plywood decorative goods. Projects range from Public commissions for the city of Durban, Private Estates, Houses and bespoke furniture ranges.

Dean Jay: received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in 1986, winning the Corobrik award in his final year. On graduating he joined Bruce Stafford for three years where he was given ample reign and the opportunity to explore and grow. Following this exciting beginning to his architectural career, Dean went on to spend two years working for Fox Taylor Williams in London. On his return to South Africa, he realised his dream of starting his own practice which has since then become one of KZN’s most renowned and respected firms. Dean served as a member on a number of professional committees including the National Board for the Institute of Architects from 1996 – 1998. In addition he was an executive member of the KZNIA from 1996 – 1998, served on the SAIA management committee from 1996 – 1998 and was the Chairman on the SAIA Code of Conduct sub-committee in 1998. An entrepreneur by nature, Dean started Spooky Designs in 1998 in order to design and develop furniture. In 2001 Paul Nel became a partner of Dean Jay Architects. It was during this period that Dean entered into building developments for himself, including the successful completion of his own award-winning apartment. During 2001 Dean experimented with other business ventures such us, The Barber Shop (hairdresser franchise), Hayley Caro Shoes (design and development of shoes) and the Design Centre (an exhibition centre for residential fixtures & products). At the same time, Dean followed his passion of mountain climbing various parts of the world. In 2006, due to the work pressure he decided to specifically focus on Architecture and the company, Dean Jay Architects. In 2007 the practice went through a name change to Jay + Nel Architects in recognition of Paul Nel’s contribution to the firm as a partner. After many years of dedication to the practice, as well as outstanding achievement in the field of interior design, Kelly Andriès became an associate in March 2009 and is now head of the space planning and interior design division.

Conference Details:

Date: Friday, 19th March 2010
Time: 09h00 – 13h00 (registration from 08h00)
Entrance: R450 ex vat per person including breakfast and entrance to Decorex Durban and the KSA Kitchen & Bathroom Faire
Visit: for early bird special rate and more information or contact Nicola du Plooy to book


Notes to the Editor
About the Thebe Exhibitions & Projects Group

Thebe Exhibitions & Projects Group is one of South Africa's most forward thinking and successful exhibition and event organisers. The group's shareholders include Carol Weaving and Thebe Tourism Group, the heritage-based tourism division of the Thebe Investment Corporation, who has 70% stake in the Group.

In the business of linking people with a common interest, the Thebe Exhibitions & Projects Group, since its inception in South Africa in 1997, has steadily increased market share in an industry that promotes the ultimate form of communication - direct personal contact.

To provide an incomparable turnkey service to our clients, Thebe Exhibitions & Projects Group consists of three divisions, namely: Exhibitions; Special Projects and Venue Management.

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