We keep it wildly-disciplined, refined and unexpected...
We keep it wildly-disciplined, refined and unexpected...
We offer a human centred approach to sculptural design and architecture,
through top quality masters courses in South Africa (Cape Town, Johannesburg), Brazil and Chile.
We also produce bi-monthly discussions and insights with creative people from around the globe,
inspiring you to re-vision how you work and live.
Here we uncover the personal biographies of exceptional innovators, artists and architects...revealing their feelings, their inner and outer landscapes and their challenges. And also how their different disciplines can influence one another.
They won't give you a blue moon hairstyle, or change your eating habits, but they can touch your inner rudder lightly which will get you into deeper waters...
The 4 themes' weaving through our full roast flavoured courses and bi-monthly's are:
Our insightful and innovative courses are directly related to your creative practice and everyday life.
... it's a chance to up-skill yourself. To freshen up your design abilities
so you can find new ways to produce genuinely original works,
...to see yourself from a different place, another place, a unique place,
to share, be expressive, laugh freely, and to come to a deeper understanding,
We have a host of deeply satisfied participants who have joined our growing community of creative designers.
‘ I can strongly recommend this module. It opened my mind to a new way of thinking about design and the way I respond to my clients, family and personal life. It will bring you to a totally new level of thinking about the way you do things now ‘ Pieter van der Walt , Architect, Jo’burg, South Africa'
A BRIEF HISTORY
After almost two decades of working intensely with sculptural architecture around the world it was time to share, to give others a well prepared path to designing and constructing sculptural buildings.
I started once a week evening classes for qualified professionals in February 2003 in my studio in Cape Town, South Africa. I was responding to requests from fellow professionals. I described the first course as being ideal for designers looking to expand their repertoire and deepen their practice. A community of like minded creative designers started emerging. This first 7 year cycle established the culture of Naturals Cool and the essential course material.
In April 2010 I ran the first 5 day course, endorsed and accredited by the South African Institute of Architects. I had changed the weekly evening classes into a compacted block of day classes with more visuals. Shannon Flynn, fresh from a 3 year bachelors degree in architecture, had just been employed by Naturals Cool and over time became more involved, from admin to facilitation, until Naturals Cool stopped for a sabbatical in March 2016. We had started courses in Brazil in 2013 and Chile followed a few years later. I had also been interviewing accomplished artists and architects from around the globe on their creative process and the meaning of life. Shannon and I produced these as podcasts. It was meaningful, exciting and fun to work together in this way. Without a sponsor publishing bi-monthly podcasts became financially untenable.
This second 7 year cycle of 6 active years followed by one rest year saw Naturals Cool move from being local to more global; but we're still an underground movement, only visible to those digging around below the obvious. Sculptural design is still fringe to mainstream architecture. And teaching it as a specific subject at higher educational institutes is still something for the future.
Shortly after I restarted on my own in 2017 Gabriela Ventapane, a practicing architect originally from Rio, joined Naturals Cool in Cape Town and revitalised our Brazilian community and is organising here in South Africa. Gabriela and I were back in Brazil in October 2017, but this time not only running courses for qualified professionals, which had been Naturals Cool's focus during these years, but at universities with undergraduate students and post graduate architects studying for educational qualifications.
There is a huge opportunity and potential for the future growth of education in sculptural architecture and design. Currently an interesting contrast is evident between students, who are very enthusiastic and open to sculptural design but inexperienced, and professionals, who are conventionally experienced but resistant to change.
We see ourselves as making a much needed contribution to this emerging movement, for who ever takes it up. And as my friend Julie says, "If you are not going over your edge, you're taking up too much space!'
I’ve been busy with sculptural architecture since 1984 and founded Naturals Cool in 2003. This includes working in the UK, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Ukraine, Brazil, Namibia and presently in Cape Town, South Africa. Besides running Naturals Cool I also practice as Natural Architecture, write, give presentations, paint and swim long distances in the deep blue sea. My focus is on architecture as a reflective practice; a path of outer and inner spiritual development.
Presenting philosophy and work on doubly curved surfaces to about 700 architects, engineers and wood specialists at CTICC Cape Town 2018. HWZ International
Teaching juggling to architects on the street in Rio, Brazil
Living and working in and around São Paulo. NaturalsCool first touched Brazilian soil in 2013 and has been growing ever since. We now have regular events either in the city or as residential retreats on the island of Ilhabela. Check out our Brazilian blog for more info.
Gabriel is our Brazilian go-to right hand man. Passionate about design and facilitation of collaborative learning processes and social change, he grew up between the forest and the sea of Ilhabela. He's lived and worked in South Africa, Netherlands, United States, São Paulo and Paraíba Valley. With a background in psychology, he now works with the transformation of complex social systems with business, government and civil society. His latest project is a merging of two passions. Social, environmental change and water.
Sofia promotes and coordinates the courses in Brazil. She's a graphic design, social media, marketing, programming wizcat.
While facilitating a course in Brazil in 2014, we met Katherine. An architect with a fine aesthetic sense and deeply warm heart. She immediately connected with the intent of NaturalsCool. To find out more about courses in Chile, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (+56) 98189655.
I'm Katherine (standing in the middle of the pic) and I am the founder of 'Habitar Arquitectura'. A studio dedicated to the study of organic architecture and the nature of the human being in connection with the physical space that surrounds them. Searching for my own path in architecture I met Keith and Shannon in wonderful Brazil, were I was totally fascinated by the content of their courses and what they offered. I decided to bring them to Chile. In doing so, I invited Angela (a young person who works with art in many ways) and Camila, (a Political Scientist with an international background), to collaborate in the preparation of these courses in Chile. With joy and kindness they accepted the challenge. For all of us, the knowledge that NaturalsCools offers is extremely necessary for our inner energy and also to rediscover our own creativity. With this empowerment we can build a more beautiful, healthy and happy society.