Elao Martin - Recently Completed a Masters in Architecture from the University of Johannesburg's Graduate School of Architecture

Brief: Recently Completed a Masters in Architecture from the University of Johannesburg's Graduate School of Architecture

Share your achievement/success story in detail. I have recently been merited with the Regional Corobrik Architectural Student of the year award at the GSA for my Masters thesis titled 'Reimagining Kitintale's landscape through clay brick making'. This is the top award for Graduate architects at Masters level and the award has been running for 32 years. I am one of 8 graduate architects in South Africa to receive this honor and will be celebrated by Corobrik throughout the year. The National Corobrik winner will be anounced at an award ceremony in Johannesburg in May this year. My thesis was based in Kampala Uganda, and explored how the actvity of illegal brick making in the Kampala wetlands can be reimagined in order to create a more sustainable relationship between the fragile ecosystem and human settlements.

Tell us more about your journey leading up to this moment. I was born in Anamulenge village in northern Namibia. I began my architectural education at the Namibia University of Science and Technology NUST, and subsequently pursued a Masters in Architecture at the Graduate School of Architecture in Johannesburg. I have always been passionate about architecture, and my decision to study architecture came as no suprise to my family and friends. My studies in architecture have taken me to many places, allowing me to travel and develop an understanding and appreciation for the built environment.

What does this achievement mean to you and how will you use it to motivate others? For me, this achievement showcases the potential we as Namibians have to create a demand for our skills beyond our borders. Awards of this nature create value for our skills and opportuities for other Namibians based on reputation. It is also motivation for other young Namibians in the field and other careers to aim for excellence.

What are your plans for the future? I hope to attract the interest of top architecture firms in Namibia and South Africa, possibly even further beyond. After completing the required training and statutory examinations to register as a professional architect, I hope to make my positive mark on the built environment. I also want to work to create an international reputation in order to contribute to the export of Namibian skills and services and potentially create job opportunities for other young Namibians in the field.

Share with us your success quote! "Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality" - Ralph Marston