The Bartlett School of Architecture


Bartlett Research Conversations: Jhono Bennett

19 October 2021, 4:00 pm–5:30 pm

2015: Op pad/en route to the installation of a public space intervention in downtown Joburg for Public Acts#5

MPhil/PhD student Jhono Bennett discusses his research interrogations into the situated nature of architectural practice in contemporary Southern African cities.

This event is free.

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The Bartlett School of Architecture

Locating spatial practice within the post-post city: a situated southern urban design inquiry around how 

Speaker: Jhono Bennett
Supervisors: Prof Jane Rendell, Prof Peg Rawes and Prof Lara Schrijver (University of Antwerp)
Guest Panellist: Prof Ben Campkin


South African cities remain among the most unequal urban areas in the world; the tacit logics of their designed built forms play a significant role in how these systemic inequalities continue to manifest decades after political reform. The socio-spatial city-making forces that led to these asymmetries were not simply a passive by-product of centuries of segregated development, but were conceptualised, drawn, designed and implemented by built environment practitioners –  individual spatial designers who were socially, historically, politically, technically and ethically situated in South Africa.

This observation is made to highlight an important, and under-explored, inter-scalar and inter-personal dimension of agency between the individual practitioner and the socio-spatial systems of the built environment that require more situated explorations of spatial practice in order to better understand. Towards this effort, the doctoral project seeks to respond to the ongoing efforts of Southern scholarship in developing more locational and theoretically contextualised approaches to research and will attempt to locate and reveal the various tacit values embedded in the how of socio-spatially focused post-Apartheid South African spatial design practice while aiming to contribute an additional partial perspective to the growing discourse around Southern Urbanism.

About The Bartlett Research Conversations

The Bartlett School of Architecture’s Research Conversations seminars comprise work-in-progress and upgrade presentations by students undertaking the MPhil/PhD Architectural Design and MPhil/PhD Architectural and Urban History and Theory. All current UCL staff and students are welcome to attend.

Held regularly throughout the academic year, the seminars are attended by the programme directors, Professor Jonathan Hill and Professor Sophia Psarra, PhD Coordinators, Dr. Nina Vollenbröker and Dr Sophie Read, and other PhD supervisors.

Image: Op pad/en route to the installation of a public space intervention in downtown Joburg for Public Acts#5: What does Mai Mai mean? (Jhono Bennett, 2015)