Alternative Jewellery School in Kimberley: exploring the impact of poiesis
Vivier, Nicole S.
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The proposed project is an Alternative Jewellery School and Tourist Centre in Kimberley, South Africa. The dissertation was founded in a personal interest in jewellery design and started as a conventional jewellery school. However, research has shown the immense impact that traditional jewellery practices have on the environment, and a new-found passion began, transforming the proposed project into an Alternative Jewellery School. The school will teach young artisans fundamental jewellery techniques while encouraging the use of sustainable materials. An exhibition centre will inform tourists and the public about the impact of conventional jewellery practices and provide alternative jewellery options. The selected site is located opposite the Big Hole on the threshold between the CBD and the residential community of Galeshewe. The site has the potential to become an attraction along the existing tourist tram route from the Big Hole Mine Museum to Market Square. The location provides the opportunity to expose the students’ work to a broader audience while enriching the tourists’ experience. An abandoned mine Rock Shaft ruin still occupies the site, embedding it in the rich history of Kimberley, while forming part of the discourse in creating alternative jewellery. The aim of this dissertation is to create an awareness regarding the impact of jewellery production; converting the deserted ruins into a building that fosters alternative jewellery practices while rejuvenating the Kimberley CBD. The project explores the poiesis of jewellery production and its relation to the built environment through the design of a jewellery school. The dissertation identifies various challenges and aims through three main design drivers: the client, the site and technical exploration, leading to a conceptual and theoretical framework to establish a design methodology. The design methodology will inform the design development and design resolution, concluding with the technical report and a reflection piece.