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Adheema Davis | South Africa


What do you do in your home country and what do you hope to do upon your return? In particular, with the integration of your experiences here?

I'm an architect and urban designer. I am currently doing research towards my PhD proposal that engages with gender, public space and religious space.

Currently I’ve contacted a few organizations here in Philadelphia that overlap with my PhD interests so I hope to engage with them as a precedent for my PhD. I’ve also chatted quite a bit with my peer collaborator about engaging in spaces of shared interest.

Hopefully that can evolve into a bit of a research space because there are fellows who have ideas of interests and how they can make them work and I see their ideas integrating with design. I’m curious to see how their ideas could be experimented with using design.

What is your favorite thing about your home country? How about Philadelphia?

My favorite thing about Durban, my home city, is the beach, waking up and seeing the beach, and I don’t think that home is a place but rather its a feeling. Engaging with the people at home. Durban is particularly laid back and everyone is willing to have a conversation so it's an interesting space to experiment with ideas. Overlapping our interests, our social capacities and our skills, I think Durban has a lot of capacity to make that happen.

My favorite thing about Philadelphia is just being able to walk everywhere. I’ve gotten blisters all over my feet and a new pair of birkenstocks to help me walk more. From an architectural background Philadelphia is incredible,, you can walk everywhere, people say its not as dense as New York and I think that it's a good thing because you get to see things as you are in the city. Everyone has been so nice to us and welcoming, even considering the catcalling in the subway stations.

Do you have any hobbies or an interesting fact you wish to share about yourself?

I enjoy watercolors. I prefer drawing over talking. Particularly when I get stressed. I prefer that over talking.

If I were to come to your home country, what is the first thing I should eat?

Bunny chow.