The Cape Institute for Architecture (CIfA) has released the following obituary for Professor Fabio Todeschini compiled by Martin Kruger:
t is with shock and sadness that we have learned about the sudden passing of our colleague, mentor and friend, Fabio Todeschini, Emeritus Professor, Urban Designer, Architect and Heritage Authority.
Fabio will leave an enormous space for us to contemplate on. He lived his life to the full and was uncompromising with his convictions on appropriate urban development. He was the ethical barometer for heritage and urban design in Cape Town. He recently took on the City of Cape Town and the Mayor to prevent the development of a huge building bordering the historical Bo-Kaap, and was revered by the Bo-Kaap community, where he lived.
As lecturer, professor and past Director of the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Cape Town (UCT), Moderator of the Masters in Urban Design and City Planning (MCPUD) programme at UCT, he inspired, supported and shaped many students and current professionals with his extensive knowledge of urban history, theory and urban design, and for years presented the inspiring Aspects of City Design (ACD) course, also later as part of the Continued Educational Programme at UCT. Fabio had an insatiable curiosity for understanding city structure, good design and meaningful places.
With his colleagues and co-teachers Roelof Uytenbogaardt, Dave Dewar, Barrie Gasson, Paul Andrews, Vanessa Watson, Brian Wilkinson and others, Fabio shaped 'The Cape School of Urban Design and City Planning' that achieved international recognition. Ironically, Paul Andrews died the same day as Fabio, merely an hour apart.
His wide interests included research papers, publications and conference presentations, locally and Internationally. He was an advocate for the protection of the Cultural Landscape and of small towns and missionary stations in Southern Africa. Later, after retirement, Fabio travelled extensively through Asia, the Middle East and Africa to discover and experience meaningful places and on his return shared his experiences with friends and colleagues.
His research on all matters urban and rural for the protection of heritage was extensive, see: http://uct.academia.edu/FabioTodeschini. Fabio was also involved in the assessment of competitions and tenders (also as a team member of the Cape Town Stadium development for the 2010 World Cup), later for ILAUD and led an academic research programme on China-South Africa on sustainable low carbon settlements.
As a Founding member of the Urban Design Institute of South Africa (UDISA), as Patron and Honorary member of UDISA, Fabio was a leader, guide and critique and promoted the profession of urban design; he also acted and commented on behalf of UDISA on developments. He furthered the awareness and education of urban design through presentation of CPD courses in other parts of Southern Africa - namely in Gauteng and Windhoek.
As an esteemed and loyal member of the University Building & Development Committee of UCT, he helped shape developments on the campus over the years, including the award-winning Chemical Engineering Building and the Graça Machel Residence.
As a committed member of the Cape Institute for Architecture’s Heritage Committee, of the BELCom and IACom-Committees of Heritage Western Cape and SAHRA, Fabio was resolute in his convictions on developments and heritage. He was often involved in appeals for Ratepayers and private clients on inappropriate developments and uncompromising in his convictions on debatable matters.
As professional consultant to Heritage Authorities, Cities and Towns in the Western Cape, Fabio made a huge contribution, the recent study for Stellenbosch, A Heritage Inventory of the Tangible Heritage Resources in the Stellenbosch Municipality, will in future be regarded as a seminal research report.
Fabio Todeschini will be missed by his friends, colleagues and his community, and by those that he fought for what was right, that for which many of us were too afraid to comment on.
Compiled by Martin Kruger | Architect; Urban Designer; First Chairperson of UDISA; Colleague; Friend
25 May 2018