On 4 April 2019, the first ‘Ignite!’ event was hosted at CIfA. It was held as part of the monthly First Thursdays evening, and we welcomed hundreds of people into CIfA to view an exhibition of excellent work by some of last year’s Masters students from UCT.

The programme showcased various exciting initiatives working towards transformation and gender equality in the built environment industry. This included the Women’s Property Network (WPN), which is dedicated to advancing the success of women in the commercial property industry. Other featured initiatives included ArchiFemme and the W.H.Y Project, which both work to support female architecture students, and Exemplar, an online platform that aims raise the profile of women architects. Also featured was the intersectional collective Matri-Archi(tecture), a network dedicated to African city development and spatial education. (For more information about these initiatives, click here.)

Those attending the event listened to an address by our guest speaker, Karuni Naidoo from Durban, who outlined her long-standing involvement with issues of transformation and gender equality. As chairperson of Women in Architecture South Africa (WiASA), she shared valuable insights about the work the task team has been doing both in KZN and nationally. WiASA aims to support, educate and develop women in the profession, as well as those wanting to enter the profession.

The catalytic event was a resounding success and, as a group of interested individuals doing work around gender equality in the built environment industry, we are excited about the possibilities it has ignited.