The installation draws inspiration from the seasonal outbreaks of Mophane worms ,caterpillars of the moth Imbrasia belina, which provide an important source of income and food for people living in the villages of Botswana, however also enjoyed as a traditional diet also by the city dwellers .
Global Design & Architecture Design Awards 2019
First Award | Category: Pop-Ups and Temporary Structure (Concept)
Architect: Beullah Serema
During the outbeak, many villages in Botswana experience an influx of Mophane worm harvestors,. They gather at the outbreak areas and prefer to establish temporary settlements near tarred roads, especially the A1 highway (main road in Botswana connecting South and North), to harvest and sell their products to the road users travelling across the country. This has led to the transformation of the landscape and the environment where parts of the road side are heavily articulated by floating umbrellas and makeshift shades for harvesting and mainly selling the products under the day sun. Therefore as a social response, the designer has made a social series of installations to be placed on nodes along the road, where harvesting and selling is most concentrated. Therefore parts of the road will be adorned with colours of the installation and responding to the need of shade shelter for the local mophane harvestors.
The idea was to build a colourful temporary series of shade installations inspired by the form and shape of the Mophane tree leaf, shaped like a butterfly, and implement some vibrant colours of the Mophane worm. This would create an interactive environment for the harvestors and road users with joy, pride and inspiration. Beyond its function as a shade installation, the Mophane harvest shade installation marks the beginning of a season that is highly embraced by local people as a source of food and income which should be celebrated in the form of a temporary structure built form in the environment. The intention is to tell the story of the existing environment and its relationship with the people. The series of installations create a free public space along the roadside for harvestors to freely sell their products under protected conditions from harsh weather. It can also be used by road users while travelling, as a spot for rest and to enjoy a moment .It can also be used to mark annually the beginning of the Mophane harvest through celebration by adorning the streetscape and areas with temporary colourful installations.
The installation be used for the duration of the season of the Mophane worm. There are two seasons annually each lasting for an average of a month depending on weather conditions. The designer has made provision for two types of shade installation, one which would be used by the road selling for selling the produce, and one that would be used by the harvestors while harvesting for preparation and drying, located a distance away from the road and within the tree scape of the Mophane trees. The materials proposed for the installation involve recycled plastic components making the surface and structure for the whole installation.