Mr Nischolan Pillay (back, centre) with the
Architecture design team at the American University
in Cairo.

UKZN Architecture student Mr Nischolan Pillay debated and gave a presentation on Durban’s Warwick Junction during a week-long visit to the architectural design section at the American University in Cairo.

Pillay also participated in design critique sessions, design and model building.

Lecturer within UKZN’s Architecture Discipline, Ms Bridget Horner, said: ‘The Union of International Architects Conference’s international student competition is based in the informal market area of Warwick Durban – a complex and dynamic transport and trading hub on the edge of Durban’s CBD.

‘Because this is an area we have been working in actively for the past year, we were invited to present our findings to Architecture students at the American University in Cairo.

‘The purpose of Nischolan’s visit was to help Cairo students get a better understanding of the site and how Warwick works.’

Said Pillay: ‘Upon my arrival, the students were really excited and made me feel at home within their environment. My presentation was about Warwick and its sensitivity and this was taken rather seriously by students as they could not fully comprehend Warwick as they have never visited the site and experienced the space.’

Pillay shared his lived experiences of Warwick Junction with the students, often bringing textual work to life with accounts and renditions of the area.

He enjoyed being able to work in the studio and experience their studio life. ‘The many places the students took me to were an all-new experience from what we do in South Africa. The way students socialise and the many activities in an Egyptian’s life were really interesting – I felt a sense of excitement experiencing the culture first hand,’ said Pillay.

Nischolan did some sight-seeing, marvelling at the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Nile River, the Egyptian museum and the many bazaars in Cairo.

He said he would stay in contact with his new friends and colleagues. ’They are very keen to come to South Africa for a holiday and I’m also keen to further explore Cairo.’

related article: