October 2018

Election Results: SAIA Vice-President and Deputy Treasurer
2 October 2018

Call for Registered Architectural Professionals to Serve on the Bursary Committee
9 October 2018

NEWS@SAIA – World Architecture Day

In This Edition

World Architecture Day



Celebrating Good Architecture

While we look towards World Architecture Day…we remember to

Preserve Good South African Architecture

While Heritage Day is still fresh in our minds, we wish to remind members of the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) that, as an organization, we are committed to preserving South Africa’s rich architectural legacy.

We show this commitment by being part of ICOMOS the world’s largest and most important cultural heritage agency that works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage places. ICOMOS is associated with UNESCO and is the only non-government organization of this kind, which is dedicated to promoting the application of theory, methodology and scientific techniques to the conservation of the architectural, archaeological, landscape and intangible heritage.

Additionally, SAIA also belongs to DoCoMoMo the International Committee for Documentation and Conservation of buildings, sites and neighborhoods of the Modern Movement South Africa, an organization that has been increasingly engaged in commenting on prominent modernist buildings and sites.

Should you wish to belong to either or both of these passionate groups of people, contact:

  • For ICOMOS contact Laura Robinson, Director: Cape Town Heritage Trust on 021-426-2157
  • For DoCoMoMo SA contact Ilze Wolff, SA Chair, DoCoMoMo on (021) 422 3803

QS and SAIA Developing South Africa’s Youth

QS Products is working together with SAIA to help develop South Africa’s young architects. QS products is proud to be involved with SAIA’s Future Architects programme and to sponsor a bursary. This is because education and people development is core to QS Products.

QS Products is proud to sponsor a bursary for a deserving young South African with potential to impact the South African landscape. By positively influencing a young life today, QS Products believe they will touch many lives in future as well as leaving a legacy on our landscape.

More about QS Products

By building trust for sixteen years, QS has worked tirelessly to become the most trusted South African brand in ironmongery in terms of quality, style, service and value for money.

QS Products was created as a joint venture in 2001 by Andrew Osborne-Young and Martin Humphry in order to supply the South African market with affordable stainless steel ironmongery and reasonably priced door controls.

Martin, the owner of Doorware, was the Managing Director of Dorma Door Controls SA from 1985 to 2001 having been the Financial Director of Union Locks (Josiah Parkes) for four years prior to that.

Andrew is the owner of Mercury Fittings, a company started in 1992 that has sole agency for amongst other products, the following:

  • Lefroy Brooks
  • Bouvet
  • Frank Allart
  • Imperial Locks

The QS specification team consists of eight experienced specialists operating from two autonomous, fully stocked, branches in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The signature range of stainless-steel door handles is fully supported by a full complement of stainless-steel accessories, locks, cylinders, hinges and hydraulic door controls. All products are covered by a five-year warranty and are available on an ex-stock basis. The overhead, surface mounted, door closers have full fire certification for all applications.

QS Products has sold more than 500,000 units since inception. Over the last 16 years, QS has grown into the largest supplier of stainless-steel ironmongery in South Africa. QS prides itself on being able to offer the entire range on an ex-stock, immediate delivery basis.

QS Products, Further Developments

We recognise that ironmongery is just one of the crucial elements of the access and egress of a building. Thus in 2017 we created QS Access and partnered with three other companies that share the vision of building trust to offer our customers a complete building solution. These companies, all experts in their fields, are:

  • Security Equipment Centre (mag locks)
  • Frost International (automatic doors)
  • Silhouette (glass)

Through constant development QS Products is growing and increasingly making its mark on the South African landscape.

QS-Developing Young People

QS-Developing Young People

Use SCARF to Better Engage with Staff

The SCARF model is being successfully used by business to enhance employee engagement in order to boost productivity, agility and operations within a business.

Within the context of employee engagement and the role of staff in business, each SCARF model elements can increase or reduce engagement in an interaction.

SCARF stands for Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness. It is significant because it speaks to people development and the resources (internal and external) employees rely on to develop and work to their full potential.

Status looks at the relative importance of people or how individuals perceive their own worth in relation to other people.

Certainty is about reducing ambiguity. The brain seeks certainty in order to make predictions, it is natural to want to know what will happen.

Autonomy is about the ability to rely on oneself and the perception of having control over an environment.

Relatedness is about connection and a sense of belonging, while fairness is the perception of being treated fairly.

Not only does SCARF help decision makers develop an effective, sustainable employee management strategy, but it also assists employers enforce the strategy and measure the results.

How to practically apply the SCARF model?

Consider this model in its individual elements, Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness.

Status, discuss the current state of the business with your employees in an open forum, invite their comments and input on your business strategy, this makes them feel valued.

Certainty, establish and communicate KPA’s and KPI’s this gives employees the certainty to know exactly what is expected of them.

Autonomy, give employees the freedom to think and act on their own, this may be as simple as just allowing flexible working hours.

Relatedness, make your employees feel like their part of something bigger and connect with their colleagues, this can be done by creating a comfortable space for employees to socialise, this can be a break room, somewhere employees can have a snack or even play games.

Fairness, this can be done by basing the decision to reward or to punish on objective and measurable factors instead of personal opinion and bias, a useful tool for fairness is conducting performance assessments against established KPA’s and KPI’s.

By applying this model, decision makers can attract, retain and maximise the investment in people.

Link Business KPIs to your Strategy

In today’s market, where businesses are busy with digital transformation and processes are being redefined, it has become essential to measure deliverables. The Key Performance Indicator (KPI) has emerged as much more than a generic baseline way to evaluate performance.

The KPI is now a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving critical business objectives, these objectives are created in order to accomplish the company’s strategy.

Traditionally, the KPI has been widely considered to be mostly used to gauge the performance and input/ contribution of individual employees and departments.

But there is no denying the valuable role that KPIs play in any-sized operation today.

They determine whether or not a business is being managed effectively, if it is going in the right direction or not, and if every aspect is aligned.

It is because of this strategic importance that the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound) principles are used to establish what KPIs should be.

This is the best way to establish the criteria for KPIs and link them to the business strategy.

This will ensure that the indicator is based on more than the job function or role, and immediately connected to the requirements of the business.

Unfortunately, it often happens that managers just assign the responsibility of establishing employee KPIs to the Human Resources function and then Human Resources simply puts together a general set of KPIs in line with the job function without considering the big picture strategy.

When using SMART, KPI criteria are easy to establish – but many companies fall short in terms of relevance criteria. In order to fix this the process has to be reversed, in other words first define the strategy, establish the outcomes of the strategy, establish objectives to achieve the outcomes and finally establish KPAs measured with relevant KPIs.

A good example of this in the architectural space would be to define a business growth target and develop your strategy around this target or outcome. Thereafter, you can establish objectives or certain mile markers to achieve the ultimate outcome and, lastly, this is filtered down to each employee, for instance each draughtman must complete a certain number of drawings per month in order to achieve the optimal business outcome.

High Profile SAIA Member Wins Medal


The Medal of Honour for Visual Arts (Architecture) awarded by the esteemed 109-year-old “Suid Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns” was bestowed on Pretoria-based architect Pieter J Mathews of Mathews and Associates Architects.

The medal of honour is regarded as a highly prestigious awards in the Arts/Architecture and associated disciplines because of its gravitas.

Medal (Courtesy of SAAWEK)

Medal (Courtesy of SAAWEK)

Portrait – Pieter Mathews (Photo: David Ross)

Portrait – Pieter Mathews (Photo: David Ross)

Pieter Mathews received the accolade for the firms’ many award-winning buildings and the Cool Capital initiative, which brought art and architecture into the public realm and activated public space in Pretoria.

Pieter Mathews’ passion for heritage in the built environment, prompted the Dutch Embassy to commission him to document the Dutch footsteps in Pretoria with an interactive website His role as curator of the official South African Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale is also acknowledged. The pavilion was featured in Wallpaper online and named one of the 12 best pavilions at the Biennale by the Venice Insider. The Cool Capital initiative received two BASA (Business and Arts South Africa) awards, one in 2015 and again in 2017.

Previous prominent artists awarded this accolade by the SA Akademie include Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, Anton van Wouw, Alexis Preller, Willie Bester, Walter Battis, Irma Stern, Cecil Skotness, Eduardo Villa, William Kentridge, Willem Boshoff, Diane Victor, Deborah Bell and Jean Welz. Welz, a painter and architect, was the father of the late Stephan Welz, the famous art auctioneer.

Stephan Welz was instrumental in conceiving the new Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria, for which Mathews and Associates Architects were appointed as architects. This unique art gallery featuring an iconic bridge gallery connecting the University’s South and Hatfield Campuses, is currently under construction and will exhibit many artworks created by previous recipients of this medal that form part of the collections of the lead donor and the University.

Javett Art Centre at UP 1 (Foto: Mathews en Genote)

Javett Art Centre at UP 1 (Foto: Mathews en Genote)

Javett Art Centre at UP 2 (Foto: Hein Dedekind)

Javett Art Centre at UP 2 (Foto: Hein Dedekind)

Architects that have been honoured by the SA Akademie with the Medal of Honour include Gerhard Moerdijk, Gordon McIntosh, Gawie Fagan, Willie Meyer, Jan van Wyk, Bannie Britz, Roelof Uytenbogaardt, Daan Kesting and Norman Eaton. Eaton was a founding member of the Pretoria Institute for Architecture of which Mathews is a former President.

Prizes will be conferred and formally awarded at two ceremonies, one in Stellenbosch on 21 September 2018 and the other in Pretoria on 18 July 2018. Mathews will receive his medal in Pretoria of which he is a proud citizen.

The ‘SA Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns Erepenning vir Visuele Kunste (Argitektuur)’

The ‘SA Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns Erepenning vir Visuele Kunste (Argitektuur)’

Writers and Critics Workshop: Energising Writers

A Writers and Critics workshop was held in support of the Journal of the South African Institute of Architects. The achievements of this workshop include identifying the journal’s purpose, acknowledging the obstacles faced by those who may wish to write for it and proposing solutions

For over a hundred years, The Journal of the South African Institute of Architects (in its various guises) has served South African architects and architectural academics. However, this considered, as a critical and informed journal it has a wider duty. Professor Roger Fisher, facilitator of the workshop, shares his views:

As image and text often outlive buildings or remain the only evidence of architectural intention it is critical for architects to record their work, ideas, and imaginings so that they can confidently own and create a legacy of our own time and place. To do this, architects, in all their diversity, need to work collectively to share their achievements. The Journal of the South African Institute of Architects provides an ideal platform for this purpose. However, in our own time, a greater diversity of architects and academics need to contribute to the journal to ensure greater representation.

Thus, the Writers and Critics Workshop, initiated by SAIA and sponsored by PPC, was piloted in Bloemfontein the day after this year’s Thirtieth Sophia Gray Memorial lecture with Professor ‘Ora Joubert as Laureate.

More about the Workshop

One of the main focuses of the workshop is to overcome the perception that writing is difficult. However, the multi-faceted nature of language and its writing needs to be acknowledged and mastered.

While many architects would like to contribute to their profession through writing, some may find it an insurmountable obstacle. Unlike speech and language, for which we are anatomically equipped and for which we have an innate instinct and learn spontaneously from the cradle, writing is challenging both from a mental and psychological perspective. Perhaps, because architecture is an intensely personal discipline, architects may fear losing the magic of their creation by writing about it, particularly if not gifted to do so. This challenge is further compounded by the fact that architecture is also a remote and abstract artform, making it difficult to capture its essence in words.

Despite these challenges, local architects need to persevere and draw on the language that we all speak, namely drawing and images as a scaffold for critical thinking elucidated through plain text. The workshop assisted in allaying the fears of the younger attendees, by indicating ways of taking personal ownership of their own perspectives and stances. They felt encouraged to submit their work for critique and future consideration for inclusion in the Journal.

While there is intense competition for a voice globally, the Journal of the Institute of South African Architects remains authoritative and respected. It is crucial for architects to engage with each other and share their views, for which this publication remains an ideal local vehicle.

The South African Institute of Architects trusts that more workshops of this nature will be held nationally so as to broaden the contributions to SAIA’s journal both geographically and demographically and thus ensure the receipt of copy and correspondence from all the South African regions for publication.



Enlightend: Attendees of the Writers and Critics Workshop together with Professor Roger Fisher, back row, third from left.