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HARBER, Rodney Roy




1940Born in Pietermaritzburg, to a second generation Colonial family During the war years he stayed in the Durban Bantu Women's Hostel

1945Father returns from war and decides to farm in East Griqualand

1950Std. 3 Merchiston Primary School, Pmb

1954Begins school at Maritzburg College

1959Starts architecture studies at University of Natal

First visits Maputaland and 'Portuguese East Africa'

1961Visits Lourenco Marques and meets Pancho GUEDES

1963'Practical year'in London. Meets Duma Nokwe.

1965Graduates from University of Natal with Bachelor of Architecture

Starts work with HALLEN and DIBB

1968Completes Convent of St John The Divine, Wentworth


Commences part-time lecturing at University of Natal

1971Appointed lecturer/'Studio Master' at University of Natal School of Architecture

1974Chair of Natal Branch of South African Institute of Race Relations

1979Appointed Chair of KZN Branch of SA Planning Institute (till 1982)

1983Founder member of Built Environment Support Group (BESG)

Traditional Hindu Temples in South Africa published with co-authors Paul MIKULA and Brian KEARNEY.

1983Promoted to Senior Lecturer

1987Awarded Master's degree in Urban & Regional Planning

Works for CORD in Maputaland

During the 1980s his architectural activities and community work in "townships" was closely monitored by the Apartheid security police

1989Called to London by ANC Cultural Desk - on Architecture and Education

1992Appointed Associate Professor of Architecture at University of Natal

Commenced work on St Philips Primary School, Ndumo, Maputaland

1994President NIA KZN which becomes KZNIA and is then elected 1st President (serves until 1998

1995Nthlungwane Community Centre (destroyed in the 1985 Race Riot) is restored and Mbazwane Resources Centre built

1997Designs Mansel Road Facility in Durban for Street Traders

1998Designs iPhiva Camp

1998Regeneration of Port St Johns - Presidential Lead Project (Nelson Mandela) Public facility at Mandini

2000Awarded South African Institute of Architects Medal of Distinction

2000"Bishops Guide to Building a Cathedral" - Glenthorne Cathedral, Kokstad

Restoration of Mahatma Gandhi's home Sarvodaya in Phoenix and Phoenix settlement Inanda. Opened by President Mbeki

2001Awarded KZNIA Award of Merit for Sewula Camp, Estcourt, KZN

2004Completed the restoration of Chief Albert Luthuli House in Groutville

2005Elected to Council of Africa Union of Architects (AUA)

International Union of Architects (UIA) Education Committee and UNESCO in Paris

2008UIA Vassillis Sgoutas Prize, Honourable Mention

2011"II Magazine dell 'Architeturra" Harber named amongst 100 names that have an actual influence in the contemporary architectural world

2011Appointed Lead Consultant Architect Urban Design Town Planner - Premier's Pilot Project - Inkululeko Regeneration Programme Ndumo

2013Judge for the New Universities competition for the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) in Kimberley and Nelspruit, Mpumalanga

Vice Chairman of Violence protection through Urban Design (VPUU) Khayelitsha

Open Architecture launched for which he was an original protagonist

2014Tribute exhibition at the Durban Art Gallery (DAG) for UIA DURBAN 2014

Ref: Exhibition text for Rodney Harber-Archetype architect exhibition curated by Carol Brown and Peter Engblom (UIA, Durban, 2014)

Click HERE to see a YouTube video of the exhibition

Submitted by William MARTINSON

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Books by HARBER

Mikula, P, Kearney, B & Harber, R. 1982. Traditional Hindu Temples in South Africa. Durban: Hindu Temple Publications