26 Jul JON JACOBSON
Kate Otten graduated from the University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg, with 100% in Architectural Design, against the backdrop of violent struggles against Apartheid oppression. The darkness of the time profoundly influenced her work, which weaves together materials, light, and landscape in a process of ‘crafting’, to create places that feed and nurture the human spirit. Kate believes that buildings have an emotional presence – ‘fulfilling the emotional and spiritual needs of the users is as important as creating a functional space.’
As an architect, she creates an overall template which allows a looseness within which the detail of the building is allowed to emerge on site.
This allows for an ‘economy’ in building which she believes is relevant to the economic reality of South Africa – details are sophisticated but use simple materials and techniques, opportunities for innovating on site are made possible and a relatively unskilled workforce can be empowered to be part of the building process.
Kate is an active member of several professional bodies, involved in architectural education as an assessor/examiner, and remains deeply passionate about promoting the contribution of women to the profession. Her work has been widely published and has won numerous awards locally and internationally.
Born 28 March 1964
Education Bachelor of Architecture, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Gauteng.
Projects featured Women’s jail, Johannesburg, Gauteng (2002); Lulu Kati Kati, Johannesburg, Gauteng (2005)