Khensani de Klerk
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Public aGender proposes a network of safe houses across South Africa developing a typology that considers both reclusive and gregarious spaces of healing for survivors of Gender-based violence. At an urban level, the project proposes a methodological approach that determines the intervention’s characteristics from the considerations of its potential users, conceiving its brief from the varying and nuanced lived experiences of participants who share their stories on public aGender platform. The platform was developed to glean narratives from survivors of GBV during fieldwork owing to geographic constraints from the pandemic lockdown. At an architectural scale, the proposal designs a safe house for survivors of GBV, using existing community characteristics as safety mechanisms; explicitly moving away from the wall, device and camera as safety. Every safe house is therefore a mixed use project with integrated social housing for existing communities, and in this case a housing project for the Reclaim the City housing advocacy movement occupiers on the site. The project hopes to use both the method of narrative collection and the testing of prototype to make a case for the investment of safe houses at a national scale.