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A mixed-media piece by Daniel Maggs

Shack Rise, a colourful and intricately composed speculation on the fate of an abandoned apartment block in South Africa

Artist/architect Daniel Maggs made this mixed-media work on paper, entitled Shack Rise. It was exhibited in Spier Contemporary 2010 - an art biennale in Cape Town). He depicts an imaginary scenario where a property developer goes bust. The reinforced concrete building being designed for a generic multi-storey apartment block is abandoned.

Inhabited by squatters, each floor is populated with makeshift schemes and DIY engineering. Everything on site is recycled and put to use in the spirit of ‘n Boer maak ‘n plan’. The squatters are ingenious and resourceful in their methods of maximising the use of space. Rooftops are planted with vegetables and trees, materials are left in their natural state to age gracefully, or decorated in a vibrant way.

The work conjures an adaptable community/organic democracy, celebrating the potential of the human and creative spirit to endure against the odds. This vision stands in counterpoint to the subsidised ‘wastelands’, the South African government is building for the poor and the endless tracts of bland middle-class suburbia.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Surely this is the way to use up old Containers and provide inexpensive housing for the masses.
    Vertical plumbing throughout and collective rubbish chutes on outside.
    Allow for vacant lots for playgrounds and greenery.

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