I am Professor of Architecture and Director of Research in the School of Architecture and Cities at the University of Westminster. I held Monsoon Assemblages, European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant no. 679873, 2016-2021. I was previously Professor of Architecture and Chair in the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia (2006 - 2011) and Chair of Architecture at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (1998 - 2004). I am an award-winning architect and writer and have published, lectured and exhibited widely. My published work includes ‘Sedimentary logics and the Rohingya Refugee camps in Bangladesh’ (2020), 'Planning the Chennai Floods' (2020), 'Thinking architecture from an Indian Ocean aquapelago' (2016), 'Fluid Ontologies in the Search for MH370' (2014), 'Folded Ocean: The Spatial Transformation of the Indian Ocean World' (2013), 'The Politics of Rising Acid Mine Water' (2013) and Writing the City into Being: Essays on Johannesburg 1998 - 2008 (2010), winner of the Jane Jacobs Book Award in 2011. I hold M. Arch and DSc. Arch degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand, and a B.Arch degree from the University of Cape Town.
I welcome PhD applications from students who have interests in humanities based approaches to architecture and oceans, weather, climate, climate change and the anthropocene.
I was Principal Investigator of Monsoon Assemblages, ERC Starting Grant no. 679873, 2016 - 2021, investigating the impacts of changing monsoon climates in three of South Asia’s rapidly growing cities: Chennai, Dhaka and Yangon (see http://www.monass.org).
I was Co-Principal Investigator (with Jonathan Cane of the University of Pretoria, South Africa and Euclides Gonvalves of Kaleidoscopio, Maputo, Mocambique) of Sounding the Monsoon, a one year planning grant (2020-2021) awarded by the United States' Social Science Research Council.
I was Director of Architectural Research in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment (2012-2017) and co-ordinated the Expanded Territories Research Group (2012-2021). I am now Director of Research in the School of Architecture and Cities and a member of the Emerging Territories Research Group.
I am on the advisory board for Contested Territories and the editorial boards of AU-STEAM, and UR Journal. I have also served as a Commissioning Editor for the Journal of Architecture, and as a reviewer for the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Cities, City and Society, Building Research & Information, Journal of the Indian Ocean Region, Social Dynamics, Architectural Histories and as a member of the Scientific Committee for the Colonial and Postcolonial Urban Planning in Africa Conference, University of Lisbon, 2013 and the African Perspectives Conference, University of Pretoria and the Delft University of Technology, 2009. I was London School of Economics and Political Science Urban Age Programme Advisor, 2006-2009 and continue to serve as a South African Research Foundation (NRF) Research Rating Referee.
I am currently supervising:
David Mathewson: 'Historic Institutionalism and urban morphology in Jakarta: Drawing the link between flood policy and impacts on urban form & social sustainability ongoing,' 2016, ongoing (PT).
Nina Barnett (University of Johannesburg): Johannesburg's Waters; 2022, ongoing (FT)
Previous students include:
Harshavardhan Bhat (2021), Anthony Powis (2021), Phillip Leuhl (2020), May Aljamea (2018) Lilit Mnatsakanyan (M. Phil 2017), John Walter (2017), Sarah Milne (2016), Jason Pomeroy (2016), Nabil Ahmed (2014), Izis Salvador Pinto (2014).