Laurin Paul Rudolf Baumgardt

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Rice U.

Grant number

Gr. 10097

Approve Date

April 8, 2021

Project Title

Baumgardt, Laurin (Rice U.) "Declarations of Home: Housing Developments and Infrastructural Temporalities in Cape Town"

My research explores the multiple and constantly changing meanings and practices of “home-making” in post-apartheid South Africa. It examines the ways people cope with, and react to, the rise of housing demands and new infrastructural requirements in an era of intersecting crises, scarce urban land, and continuous socio-spatial segregations. This research will ask two interrelated research questions: how do resident communities, design professionals, as well as government initiatives seek new solutions to mass-scale housing and infrastructure demands? And how might residents turn the provision of basic service infrastructure and housing development into a sense of home and urban belonging? Researching the economic, social, and affective investments of both residents and professionals, this project surfaces core values associated with new urban housing solutions. I will work with one community-organized, one government-led, and one NGO-driven housing initiative in Cape Town. While Cape Town is one of the most segregated cities in the world, it is also among the most innovative global cities and has been declared “the first African World Design Capital.” Conducting extended field research in these three sites will be critical to understanding residents’ limits and opportunities for economic stability and urban belonging through their efforts and claims of “home-making.”