In South Africa, hundreds of thousands of workers commute daily from the outlying townships or informal settlements into the cities. This has given rise to the rebirth of the trade in refreshments, loose cigarettes, sweets, and snacks along sidewalks and public spaces. A redesign of the “café-de-move-ons,” or coffee carts, popular in the 1960s, the Spaza-de-Move-on, first prototyped in 2008, is an efficient, durable metal cart designed to give street vendors dignity, convenience, and relief in the streets of Durban. The design incorporates a seat, trolley handle, wheels, storage area, and foldout display table. Its evolution involved bottom-up collaboration between architect Doung Anwar Jahangeer and street vendor Moses Gwiba, who formed a relationship while Jahangeer conducted CityWalks, an initiative of the city’s sustainable city planning program.
Dala, a South African creative collective, produces art and architecture for social change. It engages creative practitioners—artists and performers, architects and designers, researchers and urban planners—the municipality, and the people and organizations that live and work in the Durban metropolitan area. Spaza-de-Move-on is one of Dala’s livelihood initiatives that explore informal livelihoods and entrepreneurial networks. Jahangeer’s work embodies a philosophy of “architecture without walls.” Rather than focusing on physical walls that divide, his work explores urban spaces that unite. Part of an ongoing process, the Spaza-de-Move-on is a product that embodies the possibility of a new attitude, methodology, and philosophy of urban design for African cities.
Architect: Doung Anwar Jahangeer, Dala, with Moses Gwiba. Fabricator: Rebcon Engineering. Durban, South Africa, 2001–present (prototype). Galvanized steel, mild steel