Configuring the Authority of a Mother within a Birthing Space
BArch Hons 2022
Unit Leader: Jiaxin Yan Gong
Unit Assistant: Ruth Manda
Unit Assistant: Thandeka Mnguni
Rogue Roots: Magic of Port and Passage
This project explores birthing rituals of the BaPedi culture and the architectures of such rituals as they often relate to BaPedi cosmology. The work investigates current birthing practices and architectures within the contemporary setting that voids and ignores the rituals and traditions of other cultures, causing discomfort during pregnancy and birth. The comprehensive research theme is Legoga (the Bapedi reed mat), which according the BaPedi culture (Basadi ba Moshate, 2022) is an artefact that is considered a spatial element that sets boundaries to piousness and profane within the space of giving birth. It sets demarcations to a space in which the mother effusively governs and practises her authority in defining her own spatial setting. The project proposes that antenatal clinics and birthing spaces are reimagined as ritualistic spaces wherein mothers of a distinguished culture are accommodated to practice birthing rituals they believe in while still receiving bio-medical infrastructure as a tributary need instead of it being a normative ritual of birthing. This project is to be conducted through comparative analysis using performative drawings and language to present the ritualistic nature of birth and its architectures.