On Tuesday, 29 May 2018, the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology’s School for the Built Environment hosted Prof Toni Griffin from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Prof Griffin is the founder of Urban Planning for the American City, based in New York. Through this practice, she served as project director for the long-range planning initiative of the Detroit Work Project, and released Detroit future city, a comprehensive citywide framework for urban transformation.
Prof Griffin began her career as an architect with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP in Chicago, where she became an associate partner involved in architecture and urban design projects in London, Barcelona, Detroit and Chicago.
She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame and a Loeb Fellowship from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. During her visit to the University of Pretoria, Prof Griffin presented a lecture on spatial justice and public open spaces. She spoke of how justice can mean different things to different people and how design can be used to advocate for a just city.
Academics in the built environment, researchers from the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, officials from the US Embassy and the Tshwane Municipality, and postgraduate students attended the interactive session with Prof Griffin. The session was informative and engaging as she challenged the audience to start thinking about what justice means to them, what feelings it evokes and how we can all contribute to just public open spaces and, ultimately, a just city.