my work

about me

Michelle Collis

Architect, product design, sustainability & energy alignment consultant

I am an interdisciplinary architect practicing in Cape Town, specializing in sustainability, organic architecture and experiential spaces with a grounded outlook in terms of budget applying my firsthand knowledge as a small scale property developer.

2012 -2007
Freelance candidate architect. Architect, product design, sustainability & energy alignment consultant and small scale property developer property development and design capitol 2014 proposal & pilot programme.

Personal practice and property development. Business Acumen for Artists part time. Exploring & innovative product research with GSB on going.

Paul Carew consultant’s part time for oprah angels network model c school. Graphics and model making. Land Art piece & Social experiment in Thibault Square as part of “Cape Biennale”, Cape Towns Art Bienalle. 2006 Febuary -March 2007. Psychophonetics foundation year, researching sound & form and human relations and anthroposophical theory as relates to form.

B.Arch. UCT 2001-2002 Worked at Natural Architecture. Gained practical experience in the use of geometries, construction, council drawings and layout construction. Architectural Practice specialising in organic design and sustainable eco-friendly commercial and domestic building and planning.

Building in timber, brick and cob, permaculture and biodynamic course at Kuthumba and ceramics may 2001 dodeca architects worked on proposal for The Edge, Hogsback that was attained and further research development for Montessori high schools 1997-2000 Bachelor of Architectural Studies, UCT.

1998 & 2000
Greenhaus architects. A practice Practical natural building, presentation, levels and layout, model making and drawings. Specialized practice dealing with organic design and sustainable construction and procurement processes in Southern Africa. Involvement ranges from private and public design commissions to dissemination of information on sustainability, organic design , social and community building to consultation and training work for government, N.G.O. and private driven programs. Design proposals contained a significant social, labour training-based component in the procurement pattern. Public training workshops at the Sustainability in the Built Environment (SBE) Conferences were given annually throughout Southern Africa.

Gap year.Lived in London travelled Europe & New York. The design book “Experience” influenced me to become a Architect. 1995 Graduated with B+ matric aggregate & awarded the art prize. Western Province surfing.1st team waterpolo
I create “organic architecture”: integrated curvilinear and rectilinear forms produced with a budget and economic efficiency using natural materials and sustainable practise where possible. The various with systems integrated include land terrain analysis, permaculture and biodynamic agriculture energy: vastuu Shasta, energetic alignment and geomancy. My methodology marries both low- tech and high-tech solutions & natural alternative methods and materials where viable. Craft and innovation are local regional practice and have a branch of innovative product design & research in the office. I have small-scale property developing experience from start to finish, buying renovating and selling & renting, simple units of various sizes to highly collectable interiors. Property developing allows us to understand the market forces & test methodology in the market system and finance research whilst profiting from our design.
Michelle was born in Cape Town to her Dad Peter, a nationally recognized psychologist & her mother Pat now Director of Comprehensive Health for Province that has produced 5 innovative clinic programmes for primary care and several community based NGOs’. Both of them are creative.

Ballet at ages 4 – 11
Junior school. Won art prize, Sports, modern dance and ballet until thirteen, choir and dramatic plays, hockey team, athletics, cross –country team, netball, cricket scoring, sailing and water skiing.


Pinelands high School and Frank Joubert Art Center, Newlands.
Painting, Printing, Math, Physics, English, Afrikaans and Ceramics at Frank Joubert as an extra subject. Western province surfing, 1st team water polo, Peninsula Cross-country winner and participated in swimming, judo and hockey first team.


Graduated in matric in 1996 with a B aggregate awarded the prize for art.


Year out traveling, Europe and America. Continued to travel to New York twice a year for a choir and metaphysical interest until 2000.


Architecture school, BAS Architecture graduated with bachelor of architecture.
In top 8 of the class with a Peace Center.

1997 -1999

BAS Bachelor of architectural studies.


Travelled to Mocambique. March -June.
Worked for ‘greenhaus’ architecture. Went to school worked for ‘greenhaus’ architecture jan- June doing presentations, practical work on clay buildings, and basic drawings. Traveled to New York twice April and Sept. month times that year and performed in a choir.
Producing drawings and models.


Worked for a proposal Dodeca architecture. A firm that explored “ organic” forms used natural and sustainable materials. Worked on a peace center retreat proposal and Montessori high school Kenyans. Jan – April.
Building onsite, a timber construction, brick lying 3-x two week Buddhist retreat and service.


Worked for ‘Natural architecture’ for a year, producing a model fro a development where I learnt about octagons. Construction & layout drawings for a Gaudi like horse stables, two extensions with an extended eccentric geometric roof for council.
Courses: permaculture and biodynamic course.


B. ARCH, at U.C.T.
At school we had simulated office for 3 months during which I accessed the expert sustainable engineers in the differing fields to a level of costing and energy calculations.


B. ARCH graduated. CT. June result 85% for design in first module studio 2nd in class.
MCQP Dec instillation , Jürgen Keislich architects. Designed & drew council submission for a beauty college. Courses: Eurhythmy once a week.

April – march 2007

Paul Carew Consulting ( sustainable engineer), I produced models and graphic design and textbook display for children for Oprah angels Network Model C School.
Drawings : Building addition in Kommetjie. Creation of own permaculture biodynamic gardens.


Mown company and the third to council level for wolf architects. design of three houses Kommetjie , Pringle bay. April- may public art instillation in Thibault Square with Cape Africa.
Courses: First year psychophonetics intensive year of study.
2 x times Buddhist retreat. Buddhist service on landscape and maintenance.


Own practice and drew concept to council for wolf architects.

design & council dwgs. for house in Newlands
Development and restoration and additions in Highlevel road Sea Point . Innovation of stair and balustrade product through the graduate school of business UCT. Alteration and addition for holiday unit and landscape recently acquired . Basement for storage, gallery and craft space. Feb. psychophonetics practical completion Innovation of stair and balustrade product through the graduate school of business UCT.

Abbotts High School B+ 1995, Art prize

BAS. Bachelor of Architectural Studies, 2000 B.ARCH Bachelor of Architecture, 2005 Activities and Societies: HYPERLINK “” o “Find users with this keyword” student representative council for architecture throughout my studies.

Graduate School of business, Business Acumen for Artists, 2008 COURSES Pschycophonetics first year of three degree. Eurhythmy: 1st year part time of bachelor degree & continued. Biomimicry 1 and Zeri systems. Nature School: geometry and natural architecture construction course Biodynamic and permaculture on-going every 3 months I do a weekend module and set book each year. This always includes Gentian studies in the observation of nature.

Short list for SOUTH, DESIGN INDABA show casing the best in innovative SA Architecture. Contact interactive Africa Mike Purdham. Future Cape Town 2012 – Cape institute for Architecture. Showcasing all the national and local projects and innovative propositions.

The Cape institute for architecture, South African Institute for architecture, The Green Council, SA. RESEARCH & INTERESTS I informally studied vastuu shaastra via India and work with a mentor. I began my first permaculture biodynamic course in 2001 and have studied ever since both in theory and in practice. The theory and practise of anthroposophy as seen in architecture, farming, and movement and community social development. Practised part time eurhythmy movement in 2005-2007 and dance weekly in this form. I have attained first year in Psycophonetics in 2007, a healing art based on the principals of Rudolph Steiner dealing with sound, form and psychology and continue to practise I dance 5 times a week overall in contemporary, meditate and further my research in geometry and sound and frequency. Participate in local forums and sculptural projects i.e. the mother city queer project a very successful party where spaces where transformed under the auspice of architect & artist Andre Vorster. Now set up social pilot programmes in place for testing my financial model for the storytelling proposal design capitol 2014.

Available on request. Landscape Architect Tarna Klitzner, Avice Hindmarch Permaculture & biodynamic agriculture and social developer from small to community developments nationally. Flow- form developer with Howard Dobson anthropsophist, science teacher and expert bio-dynamic sub-urban garden developer. Ina- Wichtericht Mogane choreographer and director of the Arts and Dance. Ree Treweek illustrator and Brendon Bussy sound engineer.




Shnu Tribal & Basotho Blankets

The Tribal Basotho blankets are interwoven with history for everyday use made with the highest luxury at home in a royal ceremony or on a dirt road. Proudly produced in SA, steeped in in tribal custom that lives amongst us. This African design bright, as warm as cow dung is made from the first shear of a lamb, its design carries a language in patterning, symbols and stories through time. A sustainable heirloom blanket full of forever to snuggle up to. Enjoy the warmth, soaking in the juicy colours with unique story of your Tribal blanket.



Get in Touch

I am currently accepting new client projects. I look forward to hearing from you.

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