Jonathan Anstey - Caesarstone Student Designer Competition Judge


What do you think WDC2014 is going to do for Cape Town?
A conference of this calibre presents the local design community with real opportunities to showcase unique home grown expertise to the global market . More importantly it provides a platform to initiate mutually beneficial and relevant dialogue.

Where do you see South African architecture and design in 10 years' time?
We have laid great foundations in the last 10 years – sustainable initiatives are a huge positive, and a core to good practice . The next 10 years will prove if we have the courage to wage war on the real threat to architecture in South Africa: that is, melancholy and greed. It is truly hard to speculate without being biased. We want South Africa to shine. This certainly is our time... I would like to see some major changes in attitudes towards cultural historical preservation and particularly public space management.

In your opinion, what are the biggest issues architects and designers graduating this year will face?
Every student will face the same challenge no matter when they graduate. Their challenge will always lie in the answer to one question: "What is your life worth?" If your worth is defined by how much you can give, there is always an open door. Through that door is huge, real reward – great people, gratitude and ultimately, DESIGN!

Which of your peers do you admire?
I admire the contributions of Sir Norman Foster, Renzo Piano and Jean Nouvell

If you hadn't ended up in the career you are in, what would you be doing with your life right now?
I love engineering, technology and photography, but I believe life is a journey towards reconciliation of will and purpose. Every road presents the same fundamental question of “who am I?” I am an architect because my career becomes an extension of who I am: driven and passionate about the art of creation.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self, knowing what you know now?
1. Travel, spend as much time as you can submersing yourself in the built and natural environment. The best design lessons aren't learned from books.
2. Keep a diary and sketch book.
3. Always divide what is in your hand, even when you think it is too little.

Describe your dream vacation?
Mountains, rock formations, waterfalls and streams, forests, birds and animals… A camera, sketch book, walking shoes, a tent and my family.

What advice would you offer a final year student in your field?
Read, embrace knowledge, and see every project, every assignment as an opportunity to build your first portfolio. Invest in wisdom, search for meaning and let your journey be measured by a vision rather than an impulse.

It's 100 years from now and you are an inventor - what have you invented?
An atomic cutting and jointing tool to assemble building components from an atomic level for improved weather proofing, insulation and structural integrity. Atomic intervention could repair material and structural failure to existing structures, without disassembly. The new tools would revolutionise the construction process to the degree that span, stability and load distribution could be designed into materials rather than merely being inherent in their found state.

Which musical instrument is a good representation of who you are?
An electric violin – an elegant contemporary classic with lots of energy.

Which animal, bird, fish or insect would you choose as your personal logo?
A pitch black stallion

Imagine we lived in a world where time travel was possible - "when" would you go to and why?
To live in the future leaves no dream, to live in the past removes the joys of the present. I have this life to live… I am going to live my legacy right here and now.