Thulani Kuzwayo is Co-Founder of PaperThinkLAB. He is an experienced sustainability professional who also served as the WorldGBC Africa Regional Network Chairperson. We chat about his inspirations and the Living Future Collaborative South Africa, challenges for African cities, stakeholder collaboration, trends and opportunities in a Covid world and what happens after, his vision for future cities and the importance of thinking beyond our current actions.
About Thulani and the Living Future Collaborative South Africa
Challenges for African Cities and Stakeholder Collaboration
Trends and opportunities
Thulani’s vision for future cities
Thulani Vuyo Kuzwayo is the Design Strategy lead at PaperThinkLAB- a regenerative design boutique firm. His role involves the development and implementation of the company’s design methodology anchored on human-centered design and systems thinking.
Some of the projects currently underway is Green Building consulting work on a 33,000sqm commercial office and scoping work for a sustainability rating tool for existing homes. The defining feature of the firm's collaborative work is trans-disciplinarity which is enabled by his blended knowledge and experience.
Thulani is an experienced Sustainability professional who also served as the WorldGBC Africa Regional Network Chairperson, served on other government advisory committees and participated in green building tool development and operation. He is a board member of EcoStandard South Africa holding the Business Development portfolio. He makes time for using photography and text to document the human experience of the built environment in African cities.
About Living Future Collaborative SA
The task of the Living Future Collaborative SA is to advocate and work collectively with all stakeholders towards a Living Future. As such, the voluntary organisation has set itself the task of promoting strategies and approaches that operationalize regenerative design by creating awareness and contextualising the Living Building Challenge in South Africa.
BELIEVING IN A BETTER WORLD FOR ALL
The South African built environment faces numerous challenges and risks. These include cities that are still riddled with the vestiges of apartheid spatial planning; projects currently underway that inadvertently reinforce spatial injustice; scarcity and mismanagement of valuable resources such as water; cities running out of landfill space due to waste management issues; and a lack of climate resilience planning to mitigate the effects of extreme weather impacts such as drought and flooding.
This is a future that many professionals cannot accept and are actively seeking to change. The Collaborative believes in the Living Building Challenge philosophy and comprehensive approach because it holistically addresses the multiple challenges faced by cities.
As a symbol of this commitment and belief in the arrival of positive change, the Collaborative has adopted the yellow-billed hornbill as its guiding animal. A symbol of faith, belief and optimism due to his constant skyward glance, this bird is known as ‘umKholwane’ in Zulu, or ‘Little Believer’.
VISION AND MISSION
At a meeting of like-minded professionals in the Magaliesberg just outside Johannesburg on 18 January 2020, the Living Future Collaborative formalised its ‘raison d’être’ and set itself an ambitious set of tasks.
With the vision of bringing change beyond individual buildings, integrating urban systems and communities with nature, and creating a coherent future for South Africa’s built environment, the Collaborative aims to organise quarterly events centred around showcasing examples, workshopping what it means to go Net Zero Water/Energy, introducing the concepts of sustainability at schools, and advocating to bring transformation in policy.
The mission is:
To advocate for a regenerative future by providing a platform for thought leadership in the area of regenerative design principles and application;
To transform the building value and supply chain for a living future;
To promote projects that move beyond sustainability and demonstrate strength in ecological restoration, social justice and cultural richness.
The Collaborative is currently active in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and relies on the collaboration of people that volunteer their time and energy to implement its goals. For more information, please reach out to email@example.com.
A regenerative design boutique firm that moves projects beyond sustainability. We are driven by the power of intentionality. Our intention is to catalyze design interventions that are socially responsive and environmentally responsible to enable thriving communities.
We have a blended knowledge and experience in resilience thinking that incorporates climate action approaches, indigenous knowledge, beauty, technique, and social justice. We follow an Integrative Design approach.
MOVING BEYOND SUSTAINABILITY
We value transdisciplinarity through COLLABORATIONS. We inspire project teams through using our PLAYBOOK. We use EDUCATION. We develop MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS. We do it by means of sound DESIGN and ARCHITECTURE.
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