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Portfolio 2018

P r o f i l e

Tshepo Mokholo Architecture/design Date of birth

16-01-1992 From

soweto, Johannesburg Language

English, sesotho, isizulu Tel

+27 73 739 0466 E-mail Address

1696 Khumalo street, moroka, Soweto

Cur r iculum

V i t a e


2005 - 2009

High School Pinetown Boys’ High School 2010 - 2012

Bsc Architecture University of Pretoria 2015

BArch Hons University of Pretoria Work Experience


Junior Architectural Technologist GAPP Architects & Urban Designers 2015

Intern KH Landscape Architects 2016

Junior Associate Daffonchio Associate Architects 2016 - 2018

Design Fellow African Design Centre 2018

Intern MASS Design Group Skills


Adobe InDesign Adobe Photoshop Adobe Illustrator Autodesk Revit Autodesk AutoCad SketchUp Microsoft Office Autodesk Fusion 360 Rhino Design Indaba Emerging Creative Class of 2016

Co ntents

Chapter 1

Foundation • • •

Dwelling for the Homeless The Memory Fold The Ecology of Learning Environments

Chapter 2

Material & making • •

VYTZ Stool Koffi - Coffee Making Collection

Chapter 2

Designing for impact •

Ruhehe Primary School

Ch apter - 1

Foundation The work in this section is taken from my undergraduate and graduate years at the University of Pretoria. This forms the basis of my architectural education and is the starting point to the development of my personal design philosophy. In these projects we will be exploring a variety of design approaches that are guided by a problem solving design ethos. Moving from futuristic contexts to more real world socially relevant environments, the design approach extends beyond having a stylistic response, rather relying on process to solve design problems and create a more sincere architecture that becomes contextual through appropriate solutions.

Dwelling for the homeless A houseboat 3rd Year

Given a post-apocalyptic context to respond to, the project was to create a new home for the new man. In a world where the world’s fossil fuels are almost completely depleted and the sea has risen to devastating levels, engulfing most of the world’s major cities. The world as we understood it is long gone, and humanity has shifted to being nomadic species again, in a constant search for resources and opportunity. My response was a solar powered houseboat, made of 2 cylinders, one inside the other, and separated by bearings. The propulsion of the boat is driven by a dynamic outer shell that opens and closed exposing large rotars that create forward and reverse propulsion. The 2 outer rotars also allow for steering through the variable rotation of the individual rotars. The unit is intended a haven for a single occupant, who both travels and dwells in the unit, a new home for a now homeless people.

The memory fold School for the Cinematic Arts Heritage and Cultural Landscapes

The Capitol Theatre on Pretoria’s Church Square, is an example of a once cherished building slipping into insignificance, failing to adapt to the changing world around it, having once been one of the world’s premier movie theatres. This project is thus informed by the idea of the “Memory Fold”, an exercise in heritage architecture and cultural landscapes. The concept is derived as a mechanism of addressing the complex and contested cultural symbolism of South Africa’s historic architecture. Through a process of palimpsest, we start to explore the idea where the cultural narratives are superimposed into the formal space to create new meaning and provide a foothold for the sharing and creation of new cultural heritage, allowing the preceding layers of tangible and intangible history to manifest in a new program, harnessing what was, to define what is and what can be. The programming is informed by the clues found within the intangible fabric of the Capitol, and seeks to allow for these functions to exist within the tangible fabric of the building, adding a new layer that not only respects what is there, but enhances it. The new programs become spacial drivers, helping define space and movement through and around the building, acting as objects in space.

Church Square

restaurant cinema school space

Program breakdown of existing fabric

new floating administration block acts as the urban edge and facade of the school.

Creation of an urban edge towards square

floating boxes to perform enclosed school functions, i.e. (studios, offices, labs)

Floating boxes of new program as spatial ordering device

an external bridge connecting the new structures to the existing.

A bridge to connect all the building’s programs.


Interior Perspective


Environmental Sustainability

Social Sustainability

The ecology of Learning environments Marabastad Primary School Environmental Potential

The project objective was to study the interaction and interdependency of man’s needs with the environment’s potential to accommodate such needs through applying the principles of ecosystemic thinking, researching, applying appropriate technologies, and sustainable and socially responsible development. Building on the Urban framework set up in the previous studio, we were to develop an approach to sustainable architecture that would be both contextual and would question the status quo of what sustainable architecture had become. The project is based in Marabastad, Pretoria. The design seeks to create a conscious and subconscious learning environment by developing a library within a school precinct that is shared by the community. The intent is to ingrain sustainable design features into the fabric of the design, having them be exposed and seen, so as to make the occupants aware of it’s design. A highly iterative process was undertaken to fully explore the environmental potential through design exploration, and how we can create strong architecture that contextual and appropriate.










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h. reading/study rooms i. reading nook j. book shelves + reading space k roof gardens h. reading/study rooms i. reading nook j. book shelves + reading space k roof gardens

Ch apter - 2

Material & making Based on the idea of process driven design thinking, “Material and Making� explores how through the study of materiality and the process of making, we can unlock new design potential. The exploration focuses on small industrial scale objects that are contextually responsive and allows the exploration to be intimate and refined, but the principle is one that can be expanded to a larger architectural scale. This work is from my time in Rwanda, an environment limited in it’s technological development but rich in skills and ingenuity. These projects are developed after engaging various craftsman and makers, and making the most of what the context has to offer. Allowing for unique and context specific product design, highlighting the potential in partnership between designer and craftsman.

VYTZ Stool Design/Build

African Design Centre

As part of a short 2 day studio project, we were tasked with designing a stool in partnership with local craftsman found at the “Gakinjiro” workshop in the heart of Kigali, Rwanda. We had 1 day to design the stool and figure out the most effective way to communicate the design intent to the craftsman. Our design response was to make a simple stool that would comprise of as few-apieces as possible, whilst also being easy to assemble and disassemble. We then spent a day making the stool, using multiple craftsman with specific skills, from wood turning, to metal workers. The final product is a simple sophisticated piece of furniture that celebrates Kigali’s carpentry tradition and skills.


Coffee Making Set African Design Centre

Rwanda, like many other countries on the continent has a strong tradition of clay pottery. In the modern environment, Rwandan pottery has been relegated to more of tourist craft, rather than an important of the countries design identity. Building off the pottery tradition, I explored how, through design, we can add a new layer of value to the tradition, and bridge it into the 21st century. My design is a coffee making set that celebrates the art of pottery, whilst referencing traditional Rwandan art, such as “Imigongo� (A geometric art form, known for its contrasting colours and relief texture), as a functional accent to the design. Coffee, being one of the biggest export goods from the country, and also a growing beverage amongst the middle-class, the design speaks further to aspirations of Rwandan society, where practicality is married with good design.

Pourer + Coffee pot





Ch apter - 3

Design for impact A long held belief of mine has always been that architecture, has to potential to have a great impact on people, whether it be the occupants, the community or the people who build it. It starts by emphasizing the human aspect of architecture, and centring people in our design approach. By breaking down the architectural process we can begin to understand how architecture can bring dignity and development to people, but it starts with the architects actively designing with this in mind. Impactful design is not a philosophy exclusive to social architecture, but a design approach that should be ingrained into general architectural practice. This is the one way, the architects can be socially responsible professionals and as important players in society at large. Being African, and understanding the challenges our society faces, it is imperative that the architectural profession takes a active role in these challenges.


rUHEHE PRIMARY SCHOOL Design/Build Project African Design Centre

The Ruhehe Primary School project is the culmination of the African Design Centre program, and seeks to put into practice the human centred design approach developed over the past year. The project is an upgrade of an existing school in rural Rwanda. Our intention was to develop a new school typology for Rwanda that is process based, rather than a replaceable physical model. For this project, a huge emphasis was put on the predesign stage, that focused in-depth on analysis and engagement with stake-holders and the environment. Our response was then to derive a mission driven approach that would encompass the social goals that we wanted to achieve through the project. By having a mission we could tailor our design approach to achieve our intended impact targets.


What is the end goal?

Broaden the learning environment



How do we get there?

What intended systemic change expected


What is the metric that will evaluate progress?

Method 1. Use playful and curiosity driven architecture 2. Create spaces that involve the community in the school 3. Create spaces that support an active learning approach, by expanding learning beyond the classroom and typical curriculum.

Impact 1. Students spending more time at school beyond the designated shifts and engaging with the school spaces. 2. A school strengthened by contributions from and to the community. 3. Students experience learning and development through their environment beyond the classroom Behavior 1. Creating a more positive perception of the school, which encourages more of the youth to go and stay in school. 2. Shift the government’s agenda from purely providing structures for schools but also understanding how design can add value to schools and learning in Rwanda.






The design of the school is anchored along a spine that seeks to connect the 2 remaining structures on the site. This spine acts as both a spacial ordering device, and as a thickened porous wall that is an active part of the architecture. The new classrooms were then arranged along this new spine, almost as extrusions, which all together define community, senior and junior spaces within the campus. The wall is the defining element of the design, and most of the design feeds off it. The final form was achieved a highly iterative process, driven by seismic and budget constraints, resulting in a draping structure that frames vies through the school, starting to mimic the 5 volcanoes that surround the region. A large part of the design makes use of hyper-local materials, sourced with 20km of the site. The volcanic stone is the most defining materiel, extremely unique to this part of the country, and a clear vernacular of the region. The clay bricks and roof tiles, also feature greatly in the local village architecture, and the design references the local architecture with great intent.





References & Press

References Christian benimana Director at MASS / African Design Centre e-mail:

Michael Murphy CEO & Founder of MASS Design Group e-mail:

Marianne de klerk Study Advisor at the University of Pretoria e-mail: cell: +27 79 537 0724

Johan smith Director at GAPP e-mail: cell: +27 11 482 1648

Press Design Indaba Design Indaba Arts Thread Home Crux

The Journey - Tshepo Mokholo - Design Portfolio 2018  

A collection of works, architecture and industrial design.

The Journey - Tshepo Mokholo - Design Portfolio 2018  

A collection of works, architecture and industrial design.