In this talk, the founders of The PLOT Gallery gave us insights about specialisation and how Architecture & Art complement each other. We also had the opportunity to watch the performance of Rebecca van Beeck.

Alex Coetzee: “we designed it so that you kind of access the space through your mobile phone or your cell phone, which essentially is an extension of your body as in, if it’s not with you, it’s within reaching distance.”

20.07.08 Agora Talk: Rebecca van Beeck

Rebecca van Beeck is an emerging scenographer and artist from South Africa. Influenced by her background in architecture, her approach links across spatial design, urban and participatory research, stage and costume design, and live and visual art.

Her love for the theatre and performance grew out of many years of searching for what she originally self-termed as “making space”. She is interested in the relationship between ‘space’ and ‘performance’, with the notion of performance ranging from daily patterns of use to theatrical movements on stage. Rebecca considers the design process an ‘improvisation framework’ for collaboration and collective making.

As a designer, she is skilled in model making, technical drafting and rendering, video editing and illustration software.

Rebecca studied architecture at the University of Cape Town and is currently completing her MA in Scenography at the Central School of Speech and Drama. She has an additional postgraduate degree in strategic brand and business management. She has worked and lived in Cape Town, Stockholm, Zurich, Bangkok, Los Angeles and now London.


The founding members of The PLOT are Alex Coetzee (ssoft stuff), Ashleigh Killa and Max Mellvill (the MAAK).

the MAAK and ssoft_stuff have been collaborating in the spatial arena since 2019.

About the Founders

the MAAK   the Maak  |  @the.maak:

the MAAK is an award-winning spatial practice based in Cape Town, South Africa, led by Ashleigh Killa and Max Mellvill. With a core focus on public buildings and ‘public-space making’ the design-led studio is deeply engaged in what it means to be public and how this influences our everyday. Choosing to work predominantly in low-income and under-resourced areas, the MAAK is driven to renegotiate the inaccessible and elitist narratives surrounding ‘world-class’ design (whatever that means!) around the world.

ssoft_stuff  ssoft_Stuff  |  @ssoft_stuff  |  LinkedIn:

ssoft_stuff is an art& architecture studio founded by Alex Coetzee in 2020. Alex views architecture as a form of cultural production in all its various mediums — drawings, models, buildings etc. The slippery territory between representation and the real is what he finds most interesting. As an artist, he has been pursuing a personal representational project that is concerned with ways of translating chance encounters with the outside world into images.

Watch this talk

This event was produced for you by our super Team of Volunteers. Lots of shine to: Samm Anga, Dean Botham, Alexandra Busila, Matthew Harvey, Clemmie Melvin, Adrian St Clair.

►► Music jingle by Samm Anga

About the Music

The music piece created by Samm Anga especially for this event is named Kéré. This musical segment of the Agora Talk deals with art and architecture.

The title of the piece comes from Francis Kéré, a Berlin-based architect from the African village of Gando, in Burkina Faso. His work explores ‘radically simple’ concepts that intersect community and architecture.

Paying homage to Kéré’s influence, the piece intertwines simple musical ideas into tightly woven syncopated patterns that dance around each other, constructed from the ground up.

The percussive Afro-beat inspired melodies also explore patterns that are evocative of and prevalent in much of African dance music.

What did we learn?

  1. How architectural design brings people together in an on/offline material relationship.
  2. How to integrate the domestic interior with playfulness into the serious architecture domain.
  3. How to question: “What is the Internet? What is an online community?”
  4. How a simple participatory project supported the communities and kept people connected “intimately” during the lockdown.
  5. What is the role of a costume? How does it represent and conceal a character above the artist’s own identity?
  6. How can you immerse the viewer into a digital performance?
  7. What might be the influence of the art market on Rebecca van Beeck’s practice?

More info

Artist’s Portfolio

Scenographer, architect, artist and educator Rebecca van Beeck explores how her practice rejects precision, labelling and pigeonholing. Reflecting on her own experiences and the rise of digital art in lockdown, this interview with Francesca Gransden discusses the exciting array of possibilities that can occur when technology intersects with art.

Rebecca van Beeck “Pattern of Failure” (2020) excerpt © Courtesy of the artist.
 © Courtesy of the artist.
 © Courtesy of the artist.

What’s Next for Rebecca van Beeck?

As a costume designer deeply linked to performance and theatre, follow Rebecca’s next costume designs.

© Courtesy of the artist.
© Courtesy of the artist.

the PLOT’s Portfolio

 © Courtesy of the PLOT.
 © Courtesy of the PLOT.

What’s Next for the PLOT?

Some cool projects and educational workshop to learn how to immerse the audience.

© Courtesy of the PLOT.
© Courtesy of the PLOT.

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