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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

SUHAYL BALLIM (article first published : 2006-10-29)

While architecture is usually associated with the design and creation of permanent structures, the UrbanPlayMobile competition required entrants to develop mobile architecture. They had to come up with a roving event mechanism that would help to breathe new life into often neglected South African public spaces. The vehicle had to promote urban culture and exchange, and, in so doing, invent a new use and demand for public space.

Suhayl’s entry, iBala (playspace) combined simplicity inspired by Lego blocks with the sophistication of wireless technology to produce a modular street display.

iBala comprises a transport container that doubles as a central exhibition area once the doors are opened and tipped up. A kit of parts, which is transported in the container, is constructed to form interactive booths, ramps, stages, street furniture and mixed media displays, all of which are ‘connected’ using the latest technology.

Entries were judged on portability, flexibility, identity and branding, budget and strategy in terms of travel, arrival and build-up, the event itself and departure.




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