On Alteration, Transformation & Diversity

An image that explains the steps of alteration, transformation and diversity

Author: Khensani de Klerk & Solange Mbanefo
Tags: #Parity Talks V


Matri-Archi(tecture) is an intersectional collective that empowers African women as a network dedicated to African built development and spatial education focusing particularly between Switzerland and South Africa.

Khensani de Klerk is an architectural designer and planner from Johannesburg, South Africa. Her efforts are centred on gender empowerment in the architectural industry as well as built environment research and practice. She is the founder and co-director of Matri-Archi(tecture). She has been a researcher at ETH Zürich at the Chair of Architecture and Urban Design, and has worked in Zürich, Johannesburg and Cape Town. She is currently reading an MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design (RIBA II) at The University of Cambridge with her research focusing on design safe public space and social infrastructural provisions in hopes of reducing Gender-based violence in Cape Town.She is also part of Hunguta collective, having exhibited at the 2019 Oslo Triennale on a project titled Disruptive (de)growth Repository of Southern Ecosystems, addressing the archiving of spatial practices in sub-Saharan Africa as a means of subverting the assumed objectivity of Western Canonical spatial knowledge production. She is fluent in English; and speaks Xitsonga, Afrikaans and German (CEFR B1).

Solange Mbanefo is a practicing Swiss Architect, and co-director of Matri-Archi(tecture).She previously worked as a Lecture- Assistant and Researcher for the book: African Modernism, Architecture since Independence (Volume.2), in collaboration with the Universität of Basel’s Centre for African Studies and the Critical Urbanism Master program under Architect Prof Manuel Herz, and Professors Kenny Cupers and Sofie Oldfield. As Founder of XIMMA, she dedicates her career to enhance quality of life and increase sustainability through innovative spatial solutions in the rapidly transforming urban and rural developments of the Global South.
Solange has a multi-cultural background and has lived, studied, and worked in Switzerland, Nigeria, Thailand, Italy, Brazil, Cuba, Ireland and India. She is fluent in English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, while currently perfecting her German and Basler-Deutsch.