Guest Speakers

Jolanda Morkel

South Africa

Jolanda Morkel, registered architect and senior lecturer in the Department of Architectural Technology in the Faculty of Informatics and Design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) holds a Bachelor of Architecture from UPE, a Higher Diploma in Higher Education and Training and is currently engaged in doctoral studies in Architecture at the CPUT.

Over a period of 20 years Jolanda has taught in undergraduate and Masters’ programmes at the University of Stellenbosch (TRP) and CPUT (Architecture), focusing on history, theory and the design studio.

She is an Interim Board member of OpenArchitecture and CPUT coordinator of the joint part-time BTech programme, teaching theory and design. Recent responsibilities at CPUT include the implementation of a joint architecture and interior design foundation programme, acting as work integrated learning coordinator for the faculty and starting up the part-time BTech programme.

Her research interests include design and design education, specifically related to studio-based learning. The focus of her current doctoral work is online mediation of conceptual design learning. She regularly presents at conferences, facilitates online workshops and has co-authored three book chapters (one in press) on sustainable design, urban design and learning design.

Zahira Asmal

South Africa

Zahira Asmal is founder and managing director of DESIGNING_SOUTHAFRICA, a non-profit research and advocacy organisation focused on design for social advancement. Asmal has collaborated with renowned urbanists, designers and architects where she draws inspiration and insight for DESIGNING_ZA programmes. She has worked with award winning architect David Adjaye OBE on his book project on African Metropolitan Architecture and his exhibition Urban Africa. Her first book, Reflections & Opportunities: Design, Cities and the World Cup, published in English and Brazilian Portuguese, shares the design legacy and lessons learned in city making from the 2010 World Cup, with Brazil as they prepare for their mega events in 2014 and 2016. The book was launched over 15 events in Brazil, Argentina, South Africa and the UK. In June 2012, Asmal curated an exhibition, A Nation Under Construction for the International Architecture & Design Showcase organised by the British Council in London – South Africa’s first ever representation at the festival.

Asmal’s work has earned her a top spot on Design Week’s Hot 50 List in 2011 and Wallpaper* magazine’s Top 20 List in 2010. She was included in the Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans and the Mail & Guardian’s Book of Women as well as Monocle magazine’s Design Directory in 2012. She featured in GLOBO TV on prime time news and Folha da Sao Paulo – Brazil’s leading broadcaster and newspaper respectively.

She presented globally on design led developments in South Africa and has given lectures at universities and design schools in Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Italy and the UK.

Asmal is currently exploring the notion of designing a democracy in line with South Africa’s 20-year democracy celebrations. She is developing three publications on the concept of “Movement” for Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban due for release in August 2014. And once again, she is teaming up with architect David Adjaye, for a pavilion project at Park Station in Johannesburg.

“Design talent is a growing global currency. The countries that best support their creative communities, from architects to city visionaries, tend to be the best known and most visible. A developing nation like South Africa desperately needs designers, urban thinkers, economists, engineers, artists and planning specialists, not only to create suitable responses to social challenges but also to seek collaboratively to construct and create a better society.”- Zahira Asmal

Aamena Desai

South Africa

Aamena Desai is an urban designer and architect at Design Space Africa in Cape Town. She has a passion for research around urban issues and promotes intensifying the use and meaning of public space in her work.

Hugh Fraser

South Africa

Hugh Fraser graduated in architecture before computers were invented. (Although he did lecture AutoCad 10 at university). He has bravely weathered the perfect storm of clients, contractors and computers. He has travelled to 80 countries to record the built environment. Seven years were spent at the Concrete Institute and at Glass industries. He is currently the media manager for Paragon Architects, which sounds like the Minister of Fun, but he deals with a wide range of media in the architectural profession. This includes film, photography, writing, editing, website and organising the Paragon Amazing Architectural Race. No fun.

Jhono Bennett

South Africa

Jhono 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 Non-Profit entity that provides a design based collaborative service between grass roots organisations, professionals, academia and government: 1to1 - 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 1to1 - Agency of Engagement.

Thomas Aquilina

United Kingdom

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.

Lawrence Babatunde Ogunsanya

South Africa

Mr Lawrence Babatunde Ogunsanya is a qualified professional Architect, registered with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP). He holds two Bachelor’s degrees (Honor’s and Advanced) in Architecture and a Master’s degree in Housing.

His career in the built environment industry spans more than 12 years, in which he has outstandingly proven himself in architectural design, housing, project management and urban design. Work experience has seen him undertake various projects of different size at government, commercial as well as residential level.

Mthembeni Mkhize

South Africa

Mthembeni Mkhize, is one of the leading Business Executives in the Design, Manufacturing and Services industry in South Africa. He has beaten all the odds of his social background to contribute towards helping low-income communities to progress from being unemployed and unskilled labourers to becoming a skilled, scientific and technically skilled labour force.

He emerged from a poor education system to be an architect, urban planner, housing specialist, scientific researcher, intelligent transport systems (ITS) specialist, industrialist, trainer in the technical profession and has been the key person in establishing numerous businesses to alleviate unemployment within previously disadvantaged communities.

In 1994 Mthembeni Mkhize was honoured as one of the few emerging leaders throughout the world to be awarded the prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship, which took him through approximately 45 cities and towns in the USA and London, interacting with distinguished leaders in business within his field. He spent time as a visiting Professor at Schools of Architecture and Design in Princeton University, Harvard School of Design, Howard University Washington DC, Miami university, Philadelphia University, Pan State University, University of California Los Angeles, Virginia University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Howard University etc.

During 1994-1996 Mthembeni Mkhize joined the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research as project leader and Scientist in the Educational and Health Facilities Program of the Building Technology Division.

In May 1996, on an invitation by the Minister of Trade and Industry (Mr Alec Erwin) in South Africa, Mthembeni Mkhize was invited to attend the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. The focus of this conference was “liberalisation of global trade between large and small businesses towards improved trade efficiency”.

In November 1997 he was selected by the DTI as a member of the 13 leaders of South African Companies supplying components to the Automotive Industry, to take part in the SEMA ‘97 International Exhibition in Las Vegas, Nevada USA. Since then he is selected several times each year to participate in business delegations led by the DTI representing South Africa all over the world to promote global trade and export business for the South African industry. The aim of this is to assist South African Industries to engage in growth that earns foreign currency for South Africa.

In his 36 years in the industry, Mthembeni Mkhize has worked on numerous prestigious projects throughout his career including: 70 000 houses for Mpumalanga Province (BNG) including Land Acquisition, Infrastructure and top structure development by Mpumalanga Property Development Programme, a division of Mpumalanga Housing Finance Company; Freedom Park, Pretoria – the development of a museum exhibition space for a Centre of knowledge production and possibly the most important cultural project underway in South Africa and a part of a larger Presidential Project for receiving foreign dignitaries; FIFA 2010 – Development of Public Viewing Sites (Fan Festival Parks) based on the German, Korean and Japanese models – South African Ministry of Sport; Umlazi Highway Development Corridor Project – University of Technology, which includes students residences; Ladysmith Sports Complex Development – Mixed used development and the Cato Ridge Inland Harbour and mixed-use development. He is currently serving as the Head of the Department of Architecture at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa.