15:00 - 16:40
Session: S49
[Interactive Experiences] + Design
The absence of graphic representations of Madiba in Nelson Mandela Park, Mamelodi, South Africa
Nelson Mandela Park; Mamelodi; Graphic Heritage; Design Intervention; Urbanism
Robert G HARLAND, Alison BARNES, Yolandi BURGER

Nelson Mandela’s name endorses numerous places. Many have a direct link to the great man, others less so. Such variability raises interesting questions regarding the authenticity of naming acts, also known as toponymy. In this paper we explore how places reflect their designation by focusing on a scoping case study, Nelson Mandela Park, in Mamelodi, Pretoria, South Africa. We share a classifying hypothesis that seeks to frame an extended study into the increasing use of Mandela’s name in public places within and beyond South Africa. We outline the notion of toponymy, introduce the township of Mamelodi to situate the park, and define a methodological approach. Early findings explain how the park connects to Mandela and the extent to which he is represented in the park, through photo-documentation of the site. Finally, we propose opportunities for future design interventions that acknowledge both the verbal and visual potential to extend Mandela’s graphic heritage in the park.