Heath Nash, a South African Designer, was asked to design a public work for the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) in Zimbabwe. Along with 5 talented local craft designers, Nash drew inspiration from the surrounding city and architecture to build a number of shade structures from scraps, found materials and recycled bottles. The results are colorful and eclectic, and make use of not only local resources, but also local craft traditions.
Upon arrival, Nash walked around the city and was interested how people congregated under the shade of trees to talk, do business or relax. Seeing that shade was vital to day-to-day life, he settled on designing and building shade structures with the help of the local craft designers. In just a few short days, Nash and his crew collected materials and built the shade structures in time for the festival. Scrap and found materials were collected from Harare’s famous market ‘siya so’, which roughly means ‘what you see is what you get’.
Scrap metal and wood were used to build the shade structures and a wide assortment of plastic bottles, and recycled materials were cut up and used to build the overhead shade. Nash also drew a lot of inspiration by repeating patterns he found around the city, so the recycled bottles were arranged in similar patterns. The local craft designers drew on their knowledge and experience to shape and build the shade structures. After the festival, the shade structures were expected to remain as permanent installations around the central business district.
Images ©Heath Nash