a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


Moving to London and going to the Architectural Association


Alumni of the University of Witwatersrand
Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown Architect
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

[DSB] Sydney Brenner was at Wits when I was there and it’s touching to hear he was even younger when he got there than I was because I had just turned 16 and therefore was one or two years younger than most. But he was 15. And that’s pretty impressive. By the time I got there, he was already a medical student. And he was getting to be interested in palaeontology. And I was quite involved also. We used to go up to Makapan, the same place the medical students went to dig for fossils. And I knew many of the people he knew, but I didn’t actually meet him. A friend… a slight acquaintance at that time was Phillip Tobias who became a famous anatomy professor following Dr Dart whom he mentioned, and also a great political leader. He deserves to be better known. He is also the medical person who persuaded the South African doctors to admit that Stephen Biko had indeed been killed. When he was here at Penn, it’s a great pity, no one knew that. They should have had him talking to their medical ethics program rather than only to their palaeontology people at the museum. But, so that’s the interesting connections of this sort. Another person who probably had a rather similar childhood to Brenner was Slovo, Joe Slovo. And his experience of being very, very poor and Jewish and living in a multiracial area, unusual in South Africa and reserved for poor people, probably is another parallel. It’s interesting the numbers of South Africans who move out and up and into fascinating places in the rest of the world.

Internationally renowned architects Robert Venturi (1925-2018) and Denise Scott Brown (b.1931) have helped transform contemporary design through their innovative architecture and planning. Winners of numerous prestigious awards, their designs have championed multiculturalism, social activism, symbolism, pop culture, history and evolving technologies.

Listeners: Thomas Hughes

Thomas Hughes is Mellon Professor Emeritus of the History of Science at the University of Pennsylvania and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His most recent books include Human Built World, Rescuing Prometheus and American Genesis. He is a member of the American Philosophical Society, US National Academy of Engineering, Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Duration: 1 minute, 59 seconds

Date story recorded: 22nd to 23rd September 2006

Date story went live: 27 May 2010