As Durban gears up to host the International Union of Architects World Congress next month, the Goethe-Institut will host a parallel programme that will showcase art installations, exhibitions and something more edgy for attendees.

If you’re not into keynote speeches and architecture theory, this may be for you. The idea behind the programme is to honour the informal in terms of reimagining and designing public spaces. One of those is the Rush Hour installation – an ecofriendly covering made from old car bodies that provides shade.

After noticing that commuters walking between inner-city Durban and the M3 highway were exposed to sun and rain on their way, the project launched as a social service, using design creatively and usefully.

The Informal Studio in Marlboro South brings together community leaders, architects, the municipality and architecture students to deal with housing issues in contemporary South Africa. The event will showcase exhibitions of the strategies, issues and solutions produced by the team.

There are many other events on show, all elevating the value of dynamic, distinctly African solutions. The organisers hope to continue this project across Africa.

The programme will run from August 2 to 7 at a number of venues. For info, updates and links,