Warwick Experts

Student teams registered for the UIA 2014 Durban International Student Competition may submit queries and request assistance from our panel of Student Advisors. Please email your queries to alene.naidoo@uia2014durban.org. Responses from our Advisors will be posted on the website within five working days of receipt of your email.

Jhono Bennett

Jhono BennettJhono Bennett obtained a Master’s degree in Architecture with design distinction from the University of Pretoria, South Africa (2011).

He completed his undergraduate education in Architecture at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal with a supplemented semester abroad at the Carlton University, Ottawa, Canada.

During his two year practical training in Cape Town, he worked in addition to his primary office work with Architecture for Humanity on the Football for Hope Initiative, collaborating on the design for the Special Olympics Training centre in Katatura, Windhoek, Namibia.

Slovo Park, a student and community research, design and in-funded construction project (2010), provided a critical stance in regard to the role of Architecture in the fluid and dynamic developing areas of South Africa. This was taken further in his Masters dissertation that focused on design as a response to vulnerable networks through qualitative fieldwork in Mamelodi, Pretoria.

From this critical point Jhono, with various partners, have formed a Section 21 collaborative that provides a design based collaborative service between grass roots organisations, professionals, academia and government: 1:1 - Agency of Engagement. Soon after, he began working jointly as technical support to C.O.R.C, an NGO working under the Shack Dwellers International South African Alliance while working part time at various academic institutions in South Africa.

Jhono currently works at the University of Johannesburg as a part time lecturer and Independent Researcher while managing the operations of 1:1 - Agency of Engagement.

Rodney Harber

Professor Rodney Harber, Graduated from the University of Natal in 1965 and after five years in practice began teaching in the School of Architecture, Planning and Housing at the University of Natal (now University of Kwa Zulu Natal). He taught in all three disciplines during his thirty six years before retiring as Associate Professor . He subsequently taught at TU Darmstadt and Durban University of Technology (DUT). In Andrew Makin’s words: Rodney encouraged students to explore, without fear of where it might lead or what product might arise, challenging them through finding other reasons, other purposes, through other mind-sets, other technologies, other skill sets and other ways of interacting with people.

Rodney is a registered Urban and Regional Planner and Heritage Practitioner and heads a busy multi-disciplinary practice focusing on developmental work all along the eastern seaboard of KZN. Rodney runs a small bustling practice from home as an extension of his commitment to teaching, with students from South Africa, Malawi, Mauritius, U.S.A., U.K., Germany, Norway, Sweden and Denmark passing through at times.

His practice is a people-orientated, pro-poor, participatory built-environment practice, which has operated for over thirty years along the eastern seaboard of Southern Africa. Projects endeavour to respond to socio-political imbalances and to assist vulnerable communities to access resources. These include community buildings, educational buildings, agricultural food endeavours (nutrition), HIV/AIDS issues, housing layouts, township planning layouts, capacity building and training, funding applications, project management and appropriate technology. His practice has always acknowledged the poor in projects that involve community participation. He has published two books, numerous publications and presented at many conferences – his publications show a breadth of interest and knowledge from Hindu Temples, to housing , to informal settlements and HIV/Aids related issues. Rodney represents Africa on the UNESCO/UIA Validation Council as well as the UIA Education Commission.

Rodney has adjudicated numerous competitions amongst which are: International Student Design Competition for IAHH, Mumbai 2003 and 2004; Des Baker Award National Architecture Student Design Competition, Port Elizabeth 2003; NSA Gallery Durban; Richards Bay Municipal Offices; Rock Art Hotel Drakensberg, Professional Adviser; ACCORD Peace Centre, Durban and Advisory Board for HIV/AIDSHealth Clinic Design Competition, New York 2003 and the African Representative Pan African Parliament Competition 2007.

Bridget Horner

Bridget Horner is an architect and Director of Space Syntax South Africa, she is also a lecturer in the Architectural Post Graduate Programme at the University of KwaZulu Natal. Bridget's expertise lies in evidence based analysis and strategic design advice empowering public and private agencies with the tools to evaluate project proposals and participate in the development of the design process.

Bridget completed her bachelor degree in architecture at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, in Port Elizabeth, South Africa where she graduated cum laude and was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to study at the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies at the University College London. After working as a consultant in the London office of Space Syntax on retail and urban development projects Bridget traveled extensively in Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia. Upon returning to South Africa she registered as a professional architect and then worked exclusively in the field of urban design before establishing Space Syntax South Africa in 2005. She has lectured part time at both Durban University of Technology and the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) before taking a full time lecturing post at UKZN in 2012.

Joanne Lees

Joanne Lees has over 20 years’ experience as an architect, strategic planner, development facilitator, housing and urban development specialist. She is based in Durban, South Africa, and consults to a range of organisations including Government, NGO’s, Social Housing Associations, and the private sector. Her experience includes 18 years as a principal of Lees + Short Associated Architects, and 2 years working for eThekwini Municipality as a housing project manager. She has worked in the Warwick Precinct on and off for many years. She was contracted to provide intensive support to iTRUMP(Inner eThekwini Urban Regeneration and Management Programme) in 2000- 2002, and has been asked to fulfil this role again now. Her specialties include urban regeneration, design for the informal economy, housing, strategic planning, sustainability. Although sustainable development has always been a concern, she has been pro-actively working more and more in the sustainability space in recent years.

Thomas Aquilina


Thomas Aquilina is a researcher at LSE Cities at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is a graduate of Architecture from the University of Edinburgh with First Class Honours. In 2012 he was awarded the RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship, documenting original research on informal livelihoods and recycling practices in six African cities. His main research interest is in the resiliencies of urban residency in Africa, and with it, the possibilities. His professional experience includes working for international architectural practices in London and at the United Nations agency UN-Habitat at its headquarters in Nairobi. Most recently, he has been nominated to the RIBA Validation Panel.