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Credo

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The July 1966 SAIA Congress held in Durban provided the opportunity for the revolutionary younger generation to join hands geographically. The first head-on confrontations with the old guard also occurred. Students from all the Schools were presenting projects on this occasion. They were obviously sensing the change in climate and their presentations in the presence of the delegates led to some highly charged altercations.

At the time of the congress, Professor HOWIE was still editor of the Institute's rather stuffy mouthpiece, the SAAR. The younger generation expressed the need for a vehicle to voice their specific concerns. Emotions were running high at times. It is not surprising that the decision to publish the broadsheet, CREDO, was taken at the end of this congress. This happened on the stoep of Danie THERON's house on the Berea. The first issue was duly published in October the same year under the editorship of THERON and Bannie BRITZ. The very first words in this small publication read as follows:

"THE MOST ENCOURAGING THING ABOUT THE CONGRESS HELD IN JULY THIS YEAR WAS THIS CONCERN OF SO MANY AND THE DESIRE TO TALK ABOUT IT - TO COMMUNICATE - AND THE DESIRE FOR NARROWER CONTACT AMONGST THOSE WITH COMMON CONCERN".

This concern was with the state of architecture, but also with that of the city. The Credo statement of belief appeared under the title block and was signed by fourteen architects, mainly from the returnee group. It read as follows:

"WE BELIEVE THAT THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE ARCHITECT FROM THE WIDER FIELD OF CITY-MAKING AND THE NARROWING DOWN OF HIS ACTIVITIES TO THE MAKING OF CERTAIN TYPES OF BUILDINGS ONLY, IS ONE OF THE MAIN CAUSES OF THE CHAOS AND INHUMAN ORDER OF OUR CITIES, WHICH HAVE MADE THEM UNINHABITABLE. WE BELIEVE THAT THE MEANINGFUL MAKING OF BUILDINGS AND THE MEANINGFUL MAKING OF CITY-ENVIRONMENT ARE INEXTRICABLY BOUND UP WITH ONE ANOTHER AND THAT, AS LONG AS OUR CITIES CONTINUE TO BE MADE ACCORDING TO ARBITRARY THEORIES, IMPOSED FROM WITHOUT, SO LONG WILL OUR BUILDINGS REMAIN ISOLATED ACTS, ISOLATED PATTERNS OF ORDER, UNRELATED TO ONE ANOTHER AND TO THE GREATER CITY-ORDER. WE PLEAD OF A NEW HUMANISM IN THE MAKING OF OUR CITY-ENVIRONMENT - USING THE POWERFUL FORCES WHICH ARE SEEKING TO DESTROY IT AT PRESENT, TO REGENERATE IT AND TO FIND THE NEW CITY-ORDER IN THE CONTRADICTIONS, THE COMPLEXITY, THE RICHNESS AND THE SHELTER THAT HUMAN LIFE DEMANDS FROM ITS DWELLING PLACE."

DANIE THERON RON LEWCOCK PAT HOLDCROFT BRYAN LEE GLEN GALLAGHER WILHELM MEYER IVAN SCHLAPOBERSKY WYNAND SMIT HANNES MEIRING JAN VAN WIJK KEITH ALCOCK BURNIE CLARK JOHN TEMPLER BANNIE BRITZ

Various other architects contributed personal statements to the first issue. From then on this small publication became the vehicle for publishing the views and designs of the younger generation until the sponsors went out of business in December 1973. By then the official magazine of the SA Institute of Architects had been transformed and it was seen as accessible to divergent views.

[Bannie BRITZ]