In 2013 I was invited by PPC to give a lecture at the Totally Concrete Expo at the Sandton Convention Centre. The aim of my “Playing with Concrete’ presentation was to break down any fears that anyone wanting to use concrete for the first time may have had by showing them how easy the material is to use and by encouraging a spirit of playfulness and experimentation. I also brought a whole lot of objects I had cast using plastic containers, which would have otherwise ended up in land-fills. as moulds to demonstrate that expensive moulds aren’t necessary for casting concrete in either.
In order for the Wits second year architecture students to get practical experience with concrete, I was asked on behalf of the Cement and Concrete Institute to facilitate a workshop at the university.
The workshop consisted of a lecture and power-point presentation in various mould-making techniques after-which the students were then given a letter from the alphabet which they would be “reinventing” in concrete. This involved a brain storming session in the architecture studio where students had to design the letter, build their own form-work using everyday materials found at home or in a hardware store, pour the concrete into their moulds and then finally cure their cast concrete letter for seven days once it had been removed from the form-work.