Published Work

All Academic Papers & links not found here can be found at http://1to1.academia.edu/JhonoBennett

Masters Dissertation
Author(s):     Jhono Bennett



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Abstract:

The South African population has been experiencing an unprecedented rate of urbanization that has left government bodies struggling to meet the qualitative and the infrastructural demands of the emergent sector in undeveloped areas.

This dissertation aims to focus on the intensive networks found in these developing areas of vulnerability that display strong cohesion due to activities surrounding the production process. The premise presented is that in order to intervene architecturally with these networks, designers should critically engage these networks through participative processes of research, design and ideally construction.

Through the author’s process of engagement, several key Architectural principles for an intervention emerge. Primarily the concept that a built intervention in a vulnerable settlement should first seek to associate itself with a network for its initial survival, and then aim to exist in a symbiotic relationship with this network through a mutually beneficial relationship. 

Key words: staged development, incremental growth,infratecture, infrastructure, community participation, engagement, developing areas, vulnerable networks, fluxual growth, flexible architecture


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Research Papers
Author(s):     Ida Breed, Mias Claasens and Jhono Bennett


FLORENCE, ITALY 2012

Abstract:

This article maintains the importance of a contextual and humanist understanding for the design of public space through the incorporation of concrete and changing realities in the analysis of the urban environment. In an attempt to reach a greater understanding of the construction of space through social networks, qualitative fieldwork methods are used to document the flows of social process and physical matter in the immediate context of the two chosen sites for intervention. The importance of these networks for the design of built form and space are determined for each scenario. 

The research underpins the design relevance in architecture (and contemporary urban life) of social activity, movement, temporality versus permanence (in form), and mobility versus fixity (in location). It places in question the traditional role and definition of architecture and their present relevance in the developing world. The result is an alternative set of considerations that define the architectural brief assuring: integration with the public realm; inclusion of emergent functions; and awareness of the importance of temporality and flexibility (with regard spatial structure and appropriation). The first case study is an urban industrial area and the second a peripheral, informal urban area. Both examples are situated in the city of Pretoria within the greater Tshwane Metropolitan Area.

Key words: Architecture; Urban Space; Emergence; Qualitative; Networks; Developing.




Author(s):     Jhono Bennett & Dr. Amira Osman


BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA, 2013


Abstract:


This paper aims to present an approach to design thinking and teaching that takes the students and lecturers of design disciplines outside of the studio and university campus into contexts of deep complexity – informal settlements. 

Conventional methods of architectural practice are deemed to be of limited use or value in informal contexts. These informally- and incrementally- developed contexts appear chaotic and of little architectural value at first glance but, when examined closer, intricate systems of decision-making and negotiation are revealed. The quality of spatial articulation that emerges could not have been achieved through formal planning and design processes. The informal process results in a distinctive spatial quality as well as complex and varied forms of ownership and habitation models.

The resultant fluidity and dynamism of these contexts offers critical lessons in design and the interaction between the different decision-makers/agents intervening at various levels of the built environment at any given time. As students and lectures engage with these contexts, employing tools such as structured mapping exercises, a better understanding can be achieved, as well as more appropriate design-decision making strategies for future interventions. By understanding the existing energies, activities and quality of routes, nodes and thresholds within these contexts, architects are better equipped to propose context-sensitive and sustainable solutions.

The intention is to better prepare students to engage in non-conventional professional practice – while the lecturers, and the institution to which they belong, are able to make meaningful contributions to a broader debate regarding the role of the profession and the professional in contexts of informality. 

Through this process, it is also possible to provide much-needed services to identified vulnerable communities. However, the significance of the approach goes beyond that and involves the up-skilling of residents, the gathering of crucial data about the context, acquiring critical first-hand experience of the selected settlements; it also offers lessons on action research and knowledge on sustainable and socially-relevant technical solutions. The latter is achieved by identifying possible catalyst interventions, enabling the testing of development concepts through active build projects.

 
Key words: Design teaching, informality, non-conventional architectural practice, action research, and design/build.




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NATIONAL



Title:        

Architectural Design in Response to Vulnerable Networks


Publisher/Conference Sustainable Human(e) Settlments: The Urban Challenge - ISBN: 978-0-620-54069-8

Author(s): Ida Breed and Jhono Bennett


JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 2012

Abstract:

This article maintains the importance of a contextual and humanist understanding for the design of public space through the incorporation of concrete and changing realities in the analysis of the urban environment. In an attempt to reach a greater understanding of the construction of space through social networks, qualitative fieldwork methods are used to document the flows of social process and physical matter in the immediate context of the two chosen sites for intervention. The importance of these networks for the design of built form and space are determined for each scenario.

The research underpins the design relevance in architecture (and contemporary urban life) of social activity, movement, temporality versus permanence (in form), and mobility versus fixity (in location). It places in question the traditional role and definition of architecture and their present relevance in the developing world. The result is an alternative set of considerations that define the architectural brief assuring: integration with the public realm; inclusion of emergent functions; and awareness of the importance of temporality and flexibility (with regard spatial structure and appropriation). The first case study is an urban industrial area and the second a peripheral, informal urban area. Both examples are situated in the city of Pretoria within the greater Tshwane Metropolitan Area.

Key words: Architecture; Urban Space; Emergence; Qualitative; Networks; Developing.


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