A.D. Schwarz


b. 1955

graphic artist, architect, nature conservationist


Allan D. Schwarz in 1978 (image © Marie-Gisèle Wulfsohn)

Allan D. Schwarz in 1978


Selected Biographical Notes


Born as Allan David Schwarz in Johannesburg on 12th September, 1955


Matriculated in Johannesburg with distinctions in Industrial Arts


Completed compulsory military training as a Commissioned Officer


Entered School of Architecture, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Received his first sculpture commission


Studied etching under Giuseppe Cattaneo


Published first 5 graphics - Worked in association with the architect Stan Field


Commissioned to paint sets for Michelangelo and St. Lori adverts

Participated in Group Shows at Goodman Gallery and Lidchi Gallery, Johnnesburg

Studied at the International Academy of Plastic Arts, Salzburg, Austria

Extensive travels through Europe and North America


Gallery 21, Johannesburg – 11th April, 1978 - First solo show

2nd prize in “Today’s Homes for Today’s People” competition in Roodepoort

Participated in group shows at Collectors Gallery, Sandton (“All creatures great and small”) and Gallery 21, Johannesburg (“Treasures of the Year”)

Participated in the “5th International Graphics Biennale”, Frechen (work reproduced in catalogue)

Winner of a Council of Architecture Students Prize for Design, University of the Witwatersrand Winner of the A.S. Furner Prize for Design, University of the Witwatersrand

Awarded Certificate of Merit, University of the Witwatersrand


Founded Graphic Unit, Dept. of Architecture, University of the Witwatersrand

Included in “Contemporaries” Group Show of Transvaal Artists, Gallery International, Cape Town (April/May)

Included in “Winter ‘79” Group Show, Gallery 21 Johannesburg

Work acquired by The Haenggi Foundation, Johannesburg (PELMAMA PERMANENT ART COLLECTION)

Published first portfolio of original lithographs (“Five Frames”) in an edition of 50

Kunst Depot, Vienna, Austria – solo show (“Pictures at an Exhibition”) - October 1979

Works in association with architect Hans J. Schirmacher, Johannesburg


He completed his degree in architecture at Wits, Johannesburg – B. Arch (WRand)


Things Gallery, Johannesburg – solo show (“The Last Colonial Corporate Palm is living in State”) – 13th July, 1981

Included in Republic Festival Art Exhibition 1981 Durban May/June, 1981


Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg – solo show (“The Last Colonial Corporate Hotel and the First Beach Pavilion”) – 12th June, 1982


Cassirer Fine Arts, Johannesburg – solo show “Letters and Cards from Home” – June, 1986

Collaboration with SA composer David Hoenigsberg



Teaching experience in Johannesburg

University of the Witwatersrand, the Schmerenbeck Educational Centre and the Witwatersrand Technikon (architectural design)


Included in following publications

The Star, Johannesburg – 10th April, 1978, ill.

Die Beeld, Johannesburg – 21st April, 1978 - review

The Citizen, Johannesburg – 3rd May, 1978 - review

"Living Arts", Johannesburg - undated cat., ill.

Gallery 21, Johannesburg - exhibition catalogue - 11th to 22nd April, 1978

Republic Festival Art Exhibition 1981 Durban - May/June, 1981, cat. 281/282, ill.

The Star, Johannesburg – 9th July, 1981, ill.

The Citizen, Johannesburg – 18th July, 1981 - review

“Architecture South Africa” – Jan/February 1982

“Habitat/Wine & Good Living” Johannesburg - no 49, 1982 pp 4+5, ill

“Art & Artists of South Africa” (Balkema, 1983) (Berman), p. 518

“Style”, Johannesburg – May 1985, ill.

Die Beeld, Johannesburg – 17th June, 1986 - review

The Star, Johannesburg – 17th June, 1986, ill.

Weekly Mail, Johannesburg – 20th June, 1986, review by Marilyn Martin

Citizen, Johannesburg – 7th July, 1986 - review

Sunday Star, Johannesburg – 7th August, 1988 - review


Selected Public Collections:

Durban Art Gallery, Durban

Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein **

Carnegie Art Gallery, Newcastle, Natal **

** Donated by The Haenggi Foundation Inc. as part of the original PELMAMA PERMANENT ART COLLECTION


Post-1987 activities

Soon after leaving South Africa, Allan D. Schwarz fundamentally changed directions


Living in Boston, MA USA

Was Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology M.I.T. - While at MIT, Allan designed and taught a course called "Design with Nature"


Founded the Mezimbite Forest Centre, Moçambique

1996 Moved to Moçambique


Selected web references relating to his later activities in Moçambique



Extract from this website's article relating to his architectural activities:

Allan Schwarz, South African by birth, is highly decorated in his professional career as an architect. He’s

worked on projects ranging from Harumi Island in Tokyo Bay to the Built Environment Initiative for the Aga

Khan Foundation to Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique to South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan.

His knowledge and skill set are both vast and deeply vertical, with interdisciplinary roles as architect,

designer, artist, tropical forest ecologist, sustainable development consultant and social entrepreneur, all of

which won him a fellowship with the prestigious organization for social entrepreneurs, Ashoka, in 2000.

(© Ode Magazine USA, Inc. and Ode Luxembourg 2009)




A.D. Schwarz - Still © from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmKapybjYhU

Still from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmKapybjYhU ©


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Updated 22nd November, 2014

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