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Urban Action Teaching Group

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Under PRINSLOO's chairmanship in 1971 the Urban Action Group applied as a whole for a post at the Wits School of Architecture. These services were gratefully accepted and as group they were appointed for two years, a highly unconventional and innovative arrangement. The salary was used to bring to the country architects of international standing for memorable and stimulating visits - a typical example of PRINSLOO's imaginative management. In 1971 and 1972 the Urban Action Teaching Group conducted the third-year courses in Design and the History of Architecture [lectured by Anthony LANGE]. The teaching by the members of the Group was voluntary and the salaries which accrued to it for this service were set aside as a fund, part of which was used to finance the visit in 1970 of Robert VENTURI and his South African wife Denise SCOTT-BROWN both then of the USA as visiting lecturers in the Wits Department of Architecture. This teaching service to the University by the Urban Action Teaching Group was invaluable to the Wits School of Architecture, the more so because it was most needed at that time and it is undoubtedly the most important contribution the Urban Action Group made since its establishment.

It is of interest that members of this group went on to become Heads of Schools or programmes in South Africa, amongst them Ivor PRINSLOO, Julian COOKE and Bannie BRITZ.

[extracted and edited from BRYERUniversity of the Witwatersrand School of Architecture]