Both Shilongo and Williams have secured employment at local firms as Architects-in-Training. Shilongo works for Barnard Mutua Architects, whilst Williams is at Kerry McNamara Architects Inc.
“I always dreamt of how extremely fascinating it must be to know everything about design, building and construction. I imagined designing buildings and how it would feel to experience my own designs once they are built. However, my perception of the profession differs now from when I first pursued the field. It is not as straight forward as drawing pretty pictures and expecting them to materialise, but I absolutely love it!” said Shilongo passionately. His thesis is titled ‘Architecture Mediating the Re-integration of Informal Production and Trade Spaces in Windhoek.’ It aimed at identifying opportunities within existing urban and financial frameworks for the informal economy and to use architecture as a medium to re-integrate formal and informal urban spaces.
Williams, equally passionate about the architecture field said: “I have somewhat always been inclined towards creative industries, therefore, architecture became my career of choice. I grew up in Khomasdal, where I realised many people do not often have opportunities to expand their horizons beyond high school. I was determined to ensure that I make a difference.” His thesis is titled ‘Liminality at the Edge: Architecture as Catalyst for Bridging Landscapes of Marginality in Swakopmund, Namibia: A Vertical Urban Aquaponics Farm and Research Development Centre for Swakopmund.’
The research proposes the provision of a solution that would bring together the fragments of the urban fabric by strengthening cultural mobility.
Asked what developments they would like to see in the architecture sector in the years to come, Gabriel said he envisages the de-centralisation of industrial activities from the peripheries of towns and cities to urban cores, where it is closer to the urban population. This, he said, provides easy access to jobs, food, skills- development and housing.
Shilongo emphasised that he would like to see an improvement in the provision of affordable housing.