Growing up in Soweto, and questioning why the municipality decided to make the space opposite his house a dumping ground, Mxolisi Makhubo, 33, knew from a young age that architecture is not just physical: it’s political.

His journey to becoming an architect and town planner was fuelled by trips to inner-city Joburg, which not only sparked his love for architecture but cemented his understanding of it as “what happens in-between the walls”: in the conversations, connections, and opportunities to change lives.

Since then he has been offering alternative ways of looking at what is considered traditional architecture.

But, like the Roman architect Vitruvius, Makhubo believes that the same acute attention to detail is required to make anything from a ring to a skyscraper. As a director of Blackboard Design Lab, he tries to be the architect of his own life by combining his passion for music, travel, photography, design, object-making and architecture to ensure a seamless flow between his professional and private lives.

An avid music fan and DJ (with a collection of 20 000 records), he can be found behind the decks at inner-city hangouts like Kitchener’s in Braamfontein, bridging the space between music and people.

Find Makhubo on Twitter: @mxolisi_makhubo